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Racing Drills?


NMU Alpine Boarder
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Ok, I am new to the forum, but it looks like it can be a great tool. My question is this:

This is going to be my first season racing. I have been carving for the past 2 seasons, and wanted to try racing this year for the Northern Michigan Univ. team. Can anyone help with any racing specific drills?

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sorry nmu, no advice from me. im in a similar situation, joining princeton's team for my first racing experience. luckily, we have on-hill training before races start, though. so to add to his request, does anyone here have experience with mountain creek's coaches or gate set-up? thanks to everyone for making this forum such a great resorce for us beginners.

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Guest Pre School Rider

NMU and Ed,there's a bunch of good stuff you can do to get prepped for the upcoming season.It's a bit late to consider getting a Slalom/GS/Longboard Skateboard(or Teirney Rides,Carveboard or Flowlab crosstrainer)for this fall,but put those toys on the wish-list for next season.[There's a neat Comparison of 'crosstrainers' over on Hugh R's Tutorial page,a link off of www.ncdsa.com] I use skateboards extensively to keep the muscle memory alive and well during the warm months,other 'boardsports' can other similar benny's without having to deal with roadrash(wakeboarding,by example). Off the hill,pre-snowfall,you should get some soccer cones,find a field that has a Track.Set the cones up in a zigzag pattern,and simply RUN.This gets your 'lean' balance into gear.You don't need to go fast,just fast enough to lean-in hard,and work up a good sweat.This can also be done by Bicycle(I like using BMX type bikes),but you'll want to set the handbrake at the rear up to "drag" a bit,or ride Uphill,just make your legs work some(coasting is cheating!). Up on the snow,consider using brightly colored Frisbee-Golf Disks as practice gates.These aren't cheap,per say,and the local Ski-Patrol may not like this idea,so Ask First for permission to place these on any trail.I like these because they're not all that visible,thus they don't attract undue attention from skiers-by,they're packable,and pretty much unharmful to the general public.Placed along a short,but chair-serviced run of moderate slope,you'll get quite a few good laps in easily. In general freeriding,try exploring these ideas: Keep your shoulders level at all times.A hand-held pole is good way to visualize this while riding,simply keep it at waist level ahead of you(arms bent a bit),and keep it 'flat' in relation to the snowpack you intend to carve over.Instant Angulation,though not very Dynamic. Try this too;Start your turns even-footed,with a soft touch,but UP on edge.About midway through a turn,put about 70% of your power down through the back foot.Lift your front knee,and lightly place it 'into' the next turn,follow thru with even foot pressure in the early-mid phase of that new turn;Repeat.. Another thing to do is 'pick a beat',and ride your turns in time with it.Change songs (or count) every other run.This gets you into a cadence that'll help you in sorting out your timing.Obviously,no gate-setter is going have the course follow an exact rhythm,but they do tend towards certain sections following along,with breaks or offsets inbetween.The better you can "shift gears" in your internal timing,the better you can handle course changes,and course patterns. O.K.,Nuff said ...

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Guest Pre School Rider

I'm going to be Coaching as opposed to being a "Line Instructor",so don't try to find me at Stratton.I'll be there at times(have a Pass there,and Okemo),but I'll be gadflying about to other local hills.You can always E-Mail me to touch base.Oh,but keep an eye on the USASA calendar of Events in the Vermont area,that'll tell you when I'll be busiest(Just before contests,and during them)getting the kids geared up. Gonna be a fun winter!

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PSR,

Coaching? Where? When? Is there any way to join your coached team?... at least occasionally? Just tell me how. What's the session price (if that is possible)?

Would be glad to get race coaching from you. Need to correct some rusty moves and hone skills after one season of relative inactivity.

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Guest dvsfzr1000

I agree with the lengthy post above regarding the bamboo pole in your hands while free riding. Keeping the pole level and square to the fall line will improve your muscle memory so that if you encounter some adversity mid corner during a race, your body position will give you the best possible chance to recover and continue. A pole between 5 and 6 feet should do. The longer the pole is the more apparent that your correct or incorrect upper body position will be.

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Guest Pre School Rider

DVSFZR,I had my first exposure to this at Mt. Hood.The coach,whose background was Ski Racing,had us put 8Ft. long bamboo poles in the crooks of our elbows,with the pole behind our back,just above the waist.Unfortunately,snowboards then sometimes still had fins,a sidecut theory,was Uhmm,speculative at best.I hooked into one turn,very deep,lean as I normally would,and that damn pole almost yanked my arms out of shoulder sockets! Yes,I GOT the Concept,and it's well incorporated into my riding habits.However,I absolutely Will Not use poles longer than 1 meter with my students for this.Negative [painful] reinforcment isn't a prefferred method of teaching IMHO,and you want to look at tools like that with an eye towards 'what if';My coach didn't really get that (then) a Snowboarder could/would lean over more than 70* from being vertical,let alone lie flat like CMC can in a carve. 5 Ft is a plenty big stick for this drill.

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Guest dvsfzr1000

What the heck was was a coach thinking having you put the pole behind your back. When was the last time you saw a world cup racer, either ski or snowboard with their hands and arms beside them during a race. A good racer will always reach for the speed with their arms streched out in front of them. I fail to see how having a pole behind your back will promote a good body position. If you hold the pole in front of you,(in your hands) arms outstreched, this is the optimal body position for you to be in.

If a coach told me to do that I would first check if it was april fools day, and if not, demand my money back.

I don't wish to sound brash or boorish but the pole behind the back technique seems to have some fundamental flaws. In the long post above he says HAND HELD pole, which I wholehartedly agree with. You said his background was in ski racing, and it was a while back, maybe he was playing some sort of sadistic prank on "the snowboarders". Skiers please don't take this the wrong way either as I ski about 90% of my time on the hill.

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Guest Pre School Rider

Dvsfcr,what I think that coach was striving for was for us to use the Shoulders in creating good angulation,not to 'cheat' by using 'just' the arms. He did warn us about touching the pole ends down,but I don't think he was ready for body the amount of lean we'd incur (this was back in the day,when your skis were over 200cm if you were serious,and Gnu still made split-tail boards). Things obviously have changed a tad since then. When working on the level-shoulder idea,keep in the back of your head the thought that you want to use the muscles alongside the ribs that run from shoulder to hip.Don't PULL these muscles!! Stretch smoothly before your runs! Use this idea also;If one side is in stretch mode(lengthening the distance from shoulder-to-hip),the other side should be in contraction.While sitting and reading this post,see if you can't lift one butt-cheek off the chair,but keep your elbows at the same height.That 'pull' you feel along the ribs is the muscle group you want to focus on using for getting better angulation. If you're just swinging your arms,you're only getting about 1/3 of the body's power into the move.

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Guest dvsfzr1000

I kind of figured that there was more to it than that. The explanation you've offered makes his motivation for doing this a little clearer. Got to go, the boss is coming.

:)

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