Ramping up USSA's sport science program
The U.S. Freestyle Team utilized one of its final water camps before the upcoming competition season to engage high-tech data collection with USSA's sports science staff this week.
The first to utilize the technology was aerials athlete Mike Rossi, who attached a miniature magnetic inertial navigation system to his ski boot. The system tracked the G-forces on his body during the in-run and at landing.
"Having the sports science staff out here supporting us is really huge," Rossi said. "They're working hard to keep us safe. With this being a World Championship year, it's important to look for all possible ways to boost our training."
Rossi will do the same test on snow in the next few months. By knowing how strong athletes need to be to withstand these kinds of forces, they and their coaches can focus on technique while decreasing injury rates.
"We have wondered about these questions for years and the technology is finally here to answer them," says Troy Flanagan, USSA high performance director. "What better place to find these answers than at a summer water ramp session with support from the entire freestyle program.
The first FIS Freestyle World Cup of the season is Dec. 15 in Ruka, Finland. Both moguls and aerials will be back in the U.S. for the USANA Lake Placid World Cup (Jan. 17-19) and the Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley, Utah.
"These last three weeks of water ramping are key. To have the coaching collaboration across both sports is really important before the World Cup season begins. And the support from Sports Science is huge," said Freestyle Program Director Todd Schirman. "Everyone benefits from that especially before they take their tricks from water to snow."
Photos: USSA/Sarah Brunson