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Don't Hope. Know. USST camp starting...

Tue, Jul  17, 2007 - By Pete Vordenberg,

Today the USST Cont. Cup Team rolls into town. They CC team will be joined by the World Cup team later on in the camp. The team will be training together daily as well as doing sports psych, and team building activities throughout the camp. Another big component of the camp is testing. Testing helps us remove the "hope" and add the "know" into what we do.

Time trials help you see that you are getting faster (or not) but testing on the treadmill is very comparable from test-to-test because of the consistancy of conditions and control of variables. In addition to this it gives you more info than simply faster or slower. On the treadmill we can learn what improvements have been made (or not made) that have made you faster... The goal is to know, not hope, that we are heading into the season faster and fitter than ever before.

Alice Nelson of Williams College on Sunday's Over Distance workout.


Sunday's OD was from Salt Lake City to the top of East Canyon by rollerski. Here you can see all of the lower part of the route. There is still a ways to go up from here. The rollerski (2hours 15min) was followed by a run on the great western trail from the top of East to the top of Parley's Canyon (another 2hrs 10mins). Some of the athletes were slower than this - making it a 4:25 or more OD workout.


University of Utah skier Sarah Maccarthy on the Sunday OD.


The Red Planet? Naw, just a Red State... Matt Whitcomb and Liz Stephen on a steep pitch.


D.O.T.S - in the treatment of disease (esp stuff like T.B) Doctors use what is known as Directly Observed Therapy because that is the only way you can be sure - the only way you can know - what the patient is doing and how it is working. This includes how they live, what they eat, drink, etc and that they take their medication. It takes time but if you want to know then take the time.

In skiing D.O.T.S is important for the same reason. Directly Observed Training. You can't go into the season hoping to do well. You have to know what the athlete is doing and how it is working. The only way to know is to be there. With younger skiers this is more important than with more experienced skiers (I suggest that only a hand-full of US skiers are at this more hands-off level) - but for all skiers and coaches communication and consistent monitoring and observing is vital. Note that skiing dots must be less invasive than medical dots. That said: be there, listen, watch and coach.

(note in this photo: high hips, good position to start the kick. What you can't see here but what Liz Stephen did have was a snappy kick , snappy double pole for the whole ski even at a slow pace - her heart rate was around 130 the whole ski).


Note: For good or ill the skier imitates the coach (in this case it is for good! Matt Whitcomb followed by Liz Stephen. Note high hips right over the feet, low relaxed arm swing, gentle C-curve in the back...). If you can't ski as well as you'd like your athletes to ski, find a way to teach it using video (have you seen the USST technique video? and use description, visualization, other athletes on your team, drills and lots of practice... Beside technique athletes follow your pace (is it the right pace for the workout?) and pick up on your habits (helmet on rollerskis? drink belt? healthy snack after training? show up early or late? do you really care... are you INTO IT?).

Get into it. Give up on Hope and find a way to Know.

(Vordenberg Images)

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