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Ski race tips

Dominate your outside ski

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In ski racing, balancing on the outside ski is one of the basics. It’s especially important as the terrain gets steeper. If you can be solid over your outside ski, the rest of ski racing becomes easier, like your line and how to create speed. We know we must do it in a racecourse, but can you do it on every turn? It is something you want to do naturally and not have to think about when you’re

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Respect the gate in GS

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In giant slalom, whether it is in training or racing, you need to respect a certain distance between your skis and the gate. We all want to get a nice tight line but if you’re too close to the gate, you’ll have to hit it hard, and at high speed this could cause pain to your arms and/or to your back. More importantly, you’ll have to move your body in a certain manner to flatten your

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Essence of progression

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Don't underestimate the knowledge of an old ski racer or an old coach. They've have been through years of training, racing and accumulating years of knowledge of the sport. Perhaps they are not as fast as they used to be, but the knowledge of what to do in numerous situations remains intact. Follow older racers around the mountain and you'll see how solid they are on their skis and how sound the basics

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What’s your plan?

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Preparing to race to the best of your abilities This column is written by my guest coach Diane Culver, PhD in Sports Psychology, level 4 C.S.I.A. and Canadian national ski team member. Great performers don’t leave performance planning to chance. They prepare physically, technically, tactically, and mentally to be the best they can possibly be. Of these components, the mental one is often brushed

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Look ahead

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Looking ahead in a race course is an art form. It takes experience, but it can make all the difference in a race. All racers study a race course before a race and, ideally, before running a practice course. It is impossible to remember the whole course but you can get a good idea of its rhythm and line. By looking ahead while you’re racing, you refresh your memory and can cope with the changes

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Adapting your free skiing to gates

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When we free ski, we can easily lose focus. You may think of a technical aspect, but the tendency is to let the skis go and ride the edges. You may be training for slalom turns, but the tendency is to ski more of a G.S. radius; or you may be training for G.S., but skiing more like a Super G radius. I have seen this with a lot of racers and good skiers. They can carve their turns really well, but they

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Let’s get started !

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Finally you are back on our skis. It’s so exciting to be back on snow again, but don’t go crazy right away. Even if you’re in great physical condition, you’re still doing movements you haven’t done in a while and using muscles you haven’t used since last season. I’ve seen too many accidents on the first run of the season or on the first few days because skiers

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Let it go!

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We’re getting closer to the end of the ski season. It’s been very cold but the good snow conditions were ideal to work on your technique. I’m sure your coach has been telling you the same thing over and over and that you’ve been trying to improve in and out of the gates. There are not too many races left, so it’s time to trust your instincts and ‘let your skiing

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WORKING the skis

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You could be one of the best skiers visually and technically and still not do well in races. What does it take to do well in races? You have to be in good condition, physically and mentally. You have to be a good technician, but one of the most important things is to have the ability to WORK the skis. What does ‘WORK the skis’ mean? It means putting pressure on the outside ski, bending

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Ski like running down a staircase

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Have you ever wondered why at the end of the day, skiing down your last run, you feel terrible on your skis compared to the first runs of the day? When you get out first thing in the morning, the slopes are usually well groomed and you feel like you’re skiing well. Itʼs like walking down a wide staircase talking to a friend on the way down. You know what to expect and you can get down easily

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Learning visually to improve skiing skills

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Welcome to the 2014/2015 ski season. Everyone is hoping for much snow and good conditions to enjoy the new season. When you get out and start skiing and training, try to ski with someone who you believe is an excellent skier. This skier can be a teammate, a friend or even your coach. The idea is to have a good visual of this person skiing in or outside the gates. The way I learned was mostly visual.

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Crowding the gate in GS

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This article has been prepared by my friend and guest coach, Geoff Prophet, Level 4 C.S.I.A. and U16 coach at the Club de Compétition Mont Tremblant. Many racers feel they can be faster by going closer to a GS gate. This may be true on flat sections of a course when the gates are not too much offset but on steeper sections of a course, with more offset, it does not work. When you are too close

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Improve skiing skills through old technology

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World Cup Giant Slalom rules have recently changed from a 27-meter to a 35-meter turn radius ski, taking a step back through time. Technology has been working towards more and more sidecut to facilitate carving. However, at higher speeds, more sidecut had too much G force on the knees and that took a toll on the athletes causing injuries. The athletes werenʼt sure at first, but after spending time

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Push-pull loading

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A good racer will load the outside ski or put pressure on the new edges early in the turn. If it is done well, it will produce power and quickness in the response of your skis. This is done by moving your body down the hill (cross over) and pushing on the outside ski immediately. As you push on the outside ski, you pull the inside ski towards your body. This will allow your body to move inside, creating

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Reflect on last year

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Welcome to another ski season. Hope you’re ready. You should have a checklist. (1) Are you in good physical condition? (2) Is your equipment ready? (3) Are you mentally prepared? There is so much information available on (1) and (2) that I would like to focus on (3). We all would like to be better skiers and competitors. When you ski better, you enjoy it more. The question is, “How

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Get down

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When your skiing skills reach a high level and your looking for more performance, how can you get more out of your skis? Here is an exercise you can experiment to increase your edge angles. During some performance turns, establish good balance on your outside ski and as you pass the fall line, drop your inside hand to touch the snow just in front of your boots. If you have some angulations, the movement

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Fore-aft balance

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The racer who can control the fore-aft balance is usually the fastest skier. I watched Ted Ligety on some of his winning GS runs and remarked how he used more of his skis than any other racer. When he comes out of a turn, he lets his body rock back slightly, jetting him out of the turn on the tails of his skis. This movement is very fast if you can handle it. The problem is to get into the following

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