No pics... and people want to see pics!!!!

First week back on it....

24 November 2012 AT 20:29:36

Little over a week ago Ambition re-started the engines and got going again with the full-time athletes returning to base....

As the weather was still reasonably mild we had some good training last week, full length slaloms, 3 mornings of SG and some GS also. Training has been going pretty well, long hard days up on the Kitz but some good progress has been made - some sessions in the rut line have helped get the movement a body position a little better. Alex Buchanan in particular really trying to change what she is doing and seeing little improvements every day.

We split into 2 groups at the end of this week, with Ellie & Alex continuing to train (and Euan arriving) while Barney, Paul & Imi (and Roy) headed to Bormio to race in the first NJR's there. The races in Bormio have been productive - our first encounter with aggressive, man-made snow this year which has been a little bit of a shock to the system but very very good to ski/train on. The races so far have seen some positive skiing/sections from Barney & Imi, and a different approach from Paul Henderson which has been good to see. I dont like to comment too much on Roy, he knows what he needs to do and has his plan sorted with Jo & Stefan Schild in any case.

From a coaches point of view, i now have a clearer idea of what direction our training needs to go in next. Heading to races at this time of year serves that purpose as much as for the athletes own motivation to actually get to race. However, we need to train more and get the consistency and decisiveness up a peg or two rather than focusing too much on the races. We will not be racing so much in general this season - as coaches we are always thinking and learning like the athletes and we will instead look to up the standard of technical skiing. We are not there yet (it's November) but i have seen some really promising skiing so far.

Enough of that for now, im told people want to see pictures of sunny slopes and snow-men.... sadly i've been coaching (and of course working on turn-shape) so haven't had the camera out so much but will try soon ;-)



What a weekend....

Something good for GB skiers to cheer....

13 November 2012 AT 16:14:14

Old news now but what a weekend for GB skiing!!

Up early on Sunday, duvet & pillows in the lounge ready for a big chill in front of the skiing - slalom no less & it doesnt get much better than that!! Like the rest of GB skiing, we were straight onto the FISSKI live timing once the TV coverage stopped, with Fantasy Ski Racer ready in the second tab and facebook on the 3rd. I didnt have Dave in my top 10 though as the first split came in at +.10 i started to re-think that.

When Dave came through, my first reaction was to jump around like an idiot, second to get it on facebook (like the rest of GB) and lastly to wonder what bizarre thing Tristan would have done on the hill with the coaches!! I'll be interested to see Tristan's footage of the first run - that's if he didnt throw the camera down in the midst of excitement.

Now im not going to say i knew that was going to happen this race because in all honesty seeing the conditions i thought it would be near impossible to get in there, but i did have a feeling that Dave would rock the flats, the old air-thrusting working its magic. The 2nd run, to quote Dave 'i had a mistake at the start of the pitch and my balls shrank' but he made sure he finished and got a taste of his first points. Im pretty sure the whole of British skiing was bricking it as much as Dave - maybe even more!

What did i take from it all.... 3 things;

  1. Never stop working - Dave isn't pushing for TV time, interviews, fancy haircuts or anything else. He's just got his eyes on the prize and has a coach working in the exact same direction. Dave wasn't a child prodigy, he wasn't on 50 points first year FIS, he has just grafted away and has kept working hard all the way. 
  2. Use what you have. All the people that talk about dry slope sucking, or there's no point for indoor. If you want to ski fast, go and ski train regularly, even if its on dry slope. I guaruntee Dave will credit much of his speed-making on the flats to his dry slope days.
  3. Always fight. Not so much to do with Dave but anyone watching Jens Byggmark's 2nd run would have seen a few big mistakes (see end of vid below). He could easily have come out but insetad chose to throw himself around to scrape through. He was rewarded with his first podium position since 2008.

What a lift for British Skiing and what a way to unite everyone. From the look of facebook on Sunday, that result has meant the world to our small skiing community.

Good job rocket... (didnt see you tuck through any vertically's though?)


The Kitz...

A barrage of wind, snow, cloud and some more snow

05 November 2012 AT 10:27:12


So the first core week of the season is already over. It seems we were a little unlucky with our timing because, from what I understand, the Kitz had been clear, calm and sunny for the previous two weeks. That all changed last weekend when we arrived to a smattering of fresh snow even down at Haus Tirol. We had a couple of days of a distinct lack of visibility but plenty of snow, a couple of days mostly sunshine, and then another day or two of a mix of it all, with fair bit of wind thrown in for good measure.

So while the conditions were fairly tough at times this week we still made the most of it, skiing from half 8 in the morning till 1/2 o'clock most days, and that was before we'd even had lunch (I'm pretty sure on more than one occasion the children stayed out longer than the juniors...). Kudos to all of the guys on the Ambition Children's team - even the two Sarahs! - who managed to brave everything that was thrown at them and make the most of the relatively short amount of time we've had this camp.

We concentrated mainly on GS this week, skiing mostly brushes or stubbies to give the guys a good track to ski on as all the fresh snow on the pistes was chewed up by 10 o'clock. And as it's the start of the season, we've been going back to basics. Focussing on the fundamentals: from basic stance to upper body separation and turn shape. The aim is to get the basics right at the start, particularly in free skiing, to give us a good platform to build upon once we get into the season and start skiing more gates.

All in all it's been a pretty successful week with some good progressions from pretty much every single athlete. With a promising start to the season, all we have to do now is wait for the snow to start falling over the next month and a half, and we'll be back out in early December ready to hit the training hard in preparation for the first set of races in January.

I'll get some photos up from last week shortly...



Been a while....

Busy camp but this is how it looked from the junio

04 November 2012 AT 15:48:12