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What do you do away from the slalom course to maximize your progress?

SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
edited May 2012 in Technique & Theory
Including the setup for the gate, a slalom pass takes about 20 seconds. Do the math and it becomes depressingly obvious that a fit keener is lucky to get 10 to 15 minutes of actual course skiing practice per week. That's about 8 to 12 hours per year ... if you live in Florida. A serious golfer spends this much time practicing DAILY! Making progress with 15 minutes of practice per week is guaranteed to test the patience of any card-carrying Type "A" baller.

What do you do to accelerate your slalom progress, other than skiing itself? ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent


  • Onside135Onside135 Posts: 436 Crazy Baller
    edited May 2012
    You can "Chair Ski"...basically it amounts to running through an entire pass while at 0mph. In your mind, visualize exactly what it is that makes a good pass for you before you do it, and you'll be more likely to remember to do those things at 34, or 36mph. Start with the get up...and go from there through the entire pass. It's easier to build muscle memory when you have brain memory...
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,808 Mega Baller
    edited May 2012
    Firstly, this "issue" is one of the biggest reasons that I am a hardcore skier. It's a sport where nobody can put in crazy hours, so the fact that I can't (am unwilling) to put in crazy hours doesn't put me at a huge disadvantage.

    But to answer your question:

    1) Read BOS! I really find I can learn a lot by thinking about what I want to do. I swear my technique has improved more in the last few years, since becoming a BOS junkie, than it did in the previous few. (Of course my biggest run-up came years ago when my skiing partner taught me a TON of stuff. But I'd been on a plateau for a while. )

    2) Visualization like what onside135 said.

    3) Training: I especially like core exercises and plyometrics during the season. I also jog, which I'm not sure has major value other than burning calories to help keep the weight down.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • bogboybogboy Posts: 699 Solid Baller
    Swim laps, walk the dog, & free ski.
  • crashmancrashman Posts: 722 Crazy Baller
    aside from reading BOS, thinking about my skiing, and TRX lately my off the course activities have consisted trying to help out at home as much as possible so I can keep my marriage strong while I leave my wife at home with a 4 week old to go skiing 4 nights a week.
    slalom addiction triggering irrational behavior
  • Taelan28Taelan28 Posts: 262
    weights. GIves me much more stamina, my muscles are less likely to tear apart. Also I can do 16 passes a day if I wanted to. However the way I grip the dumbell is not the way one should grip a ski handle, so the balls of my hands are blistered and bruised from being pinched for the last month.
  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    edited May 2012
    Weights?! I just eatsk me spinichk, A-gah-gah-gah-gah-gah-gah!
    image ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    edited May 2012
    But seriously ...

    I've been big on visualizing and simulation techniques for decades for racing, but I've found it difficult to apply many of these techniques to slalom. I've not come up with any useful ways to simulate slaloming, but two visualization techniques that apply are:

    1) Visualize full passes using a stop watch. If you can't visualize a pass within .5 of a second of real time, you don't have a complete and clear mental picture of what you are trying to do.

    2) "SoundTracking" is a powerful technique I developed for racing where you record the sound of the engine for a full session, then listen to it while visualizing laps. I've been trying to apply SoundTracking to skiing by using my GoPro. I took the sound of my whistling fin from a full pass and spliced a bunch of copies of it together so I can sit with my eyes closed visualizing passes. This keeps the visualizations in real time, and allows you to focus your attention on single aspects of your technique like staying connected after the wake, or countering, or where you are looking, or whatever you want to work on. Without the sound track, my mind wanders off task within seconds.

    These are the kind of dryland training tips I'm looking for. ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    Drink beer. Usually try to steal it from @MS.
    Jim Ross
  • KillerKiller Posts: 443 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    TRX and Mountain Bike
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,466 Mega Baller
    I drink @Razorskier1's gin and when it's a rainy, crappy day we try to see who can do the most push-ups or most curls with the 60 lb dummies. On nice days, I don't bother trying to see which one of us can ski the most passes per set.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    Honestly in the offseason I work on having a strong core and I do lots of rotator cuff and rear deltoid work along with (too) heavy lifting. You know, sets of 10 with 1000lbs on the leg press, sets of 4 on the bench with north of 300lbs, sets of 10 on the low pull machine with the entire weight stack . . . you get the picture. Do a lot of planks and use cables for rotational core exercises. During this part of the year I just try to keep my overall body weight down below 195. Pretty easy to hit 210 when I'm lifting.

    Once the season starts I almost never go to the gym (like not even once/wk) and pretty much only work on maintaining core strength. I'll be 49 this August. Probably will start lifting a little less hard in the winter -- can't be good for you!
    Jim Ross
  • konakona Posts: 528 Baller
    @razorskier1 You must be huge :0

    Bob Boyle - I am my girls father
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,808 Mega Baller
    Gawd I hope that's a photoshop...
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • Steven_HainesSteven_Haines Posts: 1,064 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    That's disgusting!
  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,432 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    It's human bubblewrap! 'Roid's, heck no!!:)
    Scott Calderwood
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