U.S. mogulists hone skills on water, then snow


In an effort to accelerate the transition from water ramp training to snow, U.S. moguls coaches decided the first training camp would be a split-personality camp with water leading to on-snow workouts.
    "Things were awesome. It was a great success," head coach Scott Rawles said after the weeklong camp concluded at Arapahoe Basin, which straddles the Continental Divide. Fifteen athletes, including five who have been nominated for the 2008 Development Team, took part Sunday through Wednesday in water ramp training in Steamboat Springs and then on-snow training Friday through Sunday at A-Basin.
KEYSTONE, Colorado — In an effort to accelerate the transition from water ramp training to snow, U.S. moguls coaches decided the first training camp would be a split-personality camp with water leading to on-snow workouts.
    "Things were awesome. It was a great success," head coach Scott Rawles said after the weeklong camp concluded at Arapahoe Basin, which straddles the Continental Divide. Fifteen athletes, including five who have been nominated for the 2008 Development Team, took part Sunday through Wednesday in water ramp training in Steamboat Springs and then on-snow training Friday through Sunday at A-Basin.
    "We've never done water-to-snow this way but we felt we could get everybody up to speed quicker. This provided a good crossover; we got such a ton of jumps … such good, quality work accomplished," he said. "A-Basin has a high elevation, over 12,000 feet, and that can be very exhausting … but we got great energy from the athletes."
    Athletes and staff arrived May 27 in Steamboat Springs for the splash pool segment. "Eric Skinner [freestyle coach with the award-winning Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club] did an outstanding job getting things ready for us, and we were able to get a ton of jumps to get everyone back into the swing of things," Rawles said. "It's not the same kind of facility as Utah Olympic Park [outside Park City], but it opened early for us and gave a good, low-key start on the camp. It was just what we needed.
    "We were using trampolines as well as jumping into the pool Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday was an off day and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday were on-snow sessions. We built a jump and also had a stubby course [i.e., short poles testing skiing agility and quickness], which helped everyone with footwork, and that was it. Snow conditions at A-Basin were great. We'd do long warm-ups and be on snow by 9 a.m., and we got about 650 jumps, which was excellent," Rawles said.
    Added Montana native and current Park City resident Heather McPhie, who was named rookie of the year last season by World Cup moguls coaches from each national team on the tour, "It was a great camp. Our team — really, everyone — was pushing the limit. It was a great group environment."
    McPhie, who missed the Steamboat phase because she was taking classes at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, said the coaches' decision to include Development Team athletes with the national squad was a big plus. "I think that's so important; we're all one team … and incorporating the development athletes into what we're doing makes such a smoother transition for them. There's such a good sense of unity, top to bottom," she said.
    She also was pleased that Rawles and assistant coach Todd Schirman brought in two Colorado club coaches, John Dowling (Team Summit) and Chris Seemann (Winter Park), to assist with the coaching. "I've worked with John for about five years and ‘See-Dog' is great, too, especially with our air training, so they were a tremendous addition … a good fit," McPhie said.
    After a testing camp earlier in May in Park City, Rawles said the A-Basin camp had a subtle conditioning element to it because only one jump was set. After the athletes skied over the jump and tried their trick, they had to hike back to the top of the run.
    "Oh yeah. Most of us come from 6,500 feet elevation [in Park City]," McPhie laughed, "but I'd hike 10 or 12 times a day, or more — and this is at about almost 12,500 feet … and you have to be in shape for that. I had at least 30 jumps, maybe 40, in the three days. Some of the others, like [Dave] DiGravio and Sho [Kashima] had about five more jumps than I'd have each day … and so would Landon [Gardner] …
    "I was working on my D-spin [off-axis, double rotation] and our video really helped me out," she added. "Everything was so supportive. We're all trying to work on our own jumps but everybody's doing everything to help teammates get their jumps down, too. It was such a really, really great experience."
    The next moguls camp will be the Team's annual on-camp at El Colorado, Chile, for the last two weeks of August.

Online Coaches Ed: A plan for the summerAerialists focused on flight at Lake Placid camp

Comments

comments



skiracingmag's Latest Youtube Favorite


See more Ski Racing Videos in our Video Vault


Ski Racing Magazine LB1