SKI TIPS: Pre-season training to get prepare for the slopes

Whitewater’s Dylan Henderson writes about how to get in shape before the ski hill opens

Dylan Henderson

Ready or not, winter is on its way! What is your approach to winter this year? Are you wishing you could hibernate, or are you excited about being up in the mountains, skis disappearing under the deep fluffy snow in the sparkly sunshine?

For winter athletes, the fall season is centred on conditioning and building sport specific strength to improve performance and prevent injury. The time that a skier spends actually skiing in a six-hour day is about 30 minutes. So, if we planned on “skiing” our way into top shape it would be a very slow process. To really enjoy our favourite activities we need to prepare so that we can make the most of these few minutes of play while continually improving our technique.

The Whitewater Ski Team began preparing in August, and they have really enjoyed the process of working hard toward their goal of hitting the slopes ready to train in December.

The focus for the team this year is on love! Love of the training process, love of team, and love of themselves. This focus has come from the world’s top coaches as the new approach to high performance competition. With this focus we are guaranteed success because if we love the hard work, then we will work harder and be better prepared for competition. This philosophy can help us all with our approach to the goals we all have in life. If we focus on enjoying the process rather than the end result we will be happier and often have better results.

Our under-16 athletes have been working with Ali Popoff doing CrossFit conditioning at Power By You. CrossFit has a “love of the process” approach that fits perfectly with the Whitewater Ski Team’s mentality.

Ali has some suggestions to further prepare you for your ski season.

Focus on plyometrics to get some explosive hip power! Plyometrics are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power. Try pushing yourself by running up stairs, doing lunges, and jumping exercises.

Build strength focusing on your posterior! Do some squat movements, but get some instruction on correct movement even if you are not using any weight. Drive your hips back so that you are using your glutes and legs and not your back!

Build your core and upper body strength through a variety of movements so that you can be stable and balanced when you are charging down your favourite run in a few weeks!

See you on the slopes!

Dylan Henderson is the head coach of the Whitewater Ski Team. He is a certified Development Level coach with the Canadian Ski Coaches Federation and a Level 1 ski instructor with the Canadian Ski Instructors Association. Henderson was also named 2017’s top ski coach by B.C. Alpine.

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