From the U.S. Ski Team:
Women's Alpine Drills with PSIA
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, CA (May 19) – The back-to-basics annual spring training camp for women's alpine took on another layer this season with the help of Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) Team Captain Michael Rogan.
"It was an extremely successful partnership," said speed Head Coach Chip White. "I met with Mike ahead of the camp and spent a whole day doing drills with him. As a staff, we're demanding perfection, so bringing Mike in was a good way to get closer to that. He saw what we needed and then took the ball and ran with it."
The athletes, including Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA), Leanne Smith (North Conway, NH) and Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) then spent a portion of each day running various drills. The result was a number of new warm-up routines for athletes to use prior to training and races.
"It's really important to have his perspective," added White. "He's been with PSIA for over 15 years and captain of the Demo Team for eight of those years. The drills he created are incredible and we've already seen progress. Leanne Smith for example was making awesome position changes over terrain later in the camp."
It's that terrain that was the focus and Mammoth is a perfect spot not only for working on changes in terrain, but also for body position off jumps. White also reported good length for the course, noting that they were able to train from the top of the cornice for two of the days.
"After a few days, we were into the meat of it. We built up two jumps on the training slope that carry between 25-35 meters of air with a lot of different slope changes in between. The terrain was definitely pushing them around, but we need to challenge them. It was cool to go from the top of the cornice. Snow conditions haven't allowed us to do that in a long time."
Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) was also there for the latter half of the camp, but focused her attention on ski testing before a downhill training crash sidelined her for the final day resulting in nine stitches above her left elbow.
Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) opted to skip the on-snow camp in favor of her rigorous conditioning program that will take her between the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA to the Center of Excellence in Park City, UT and also to Austria. She'll rejoin the Team on snow later this summer in New Zealand.
Chelsea Marshall (Pittsfield, VT) and Alice McKennis (New Castle, CO) were also absent from the camp as they continue to rehab injuries sustained last winter.
"It was just a flesh wound, no big deal," said Mancuso, who was also focusing on testing downhill and giant slalom skis during the week-long camp. "I'll take a long break now and be back on snow in July."
"Jules was really happy with the testing she was able to do before cutting herself," White said. "Now it's time for everyone to take some time away from snow and focus on their conditioning. We'll all get back together in mid July for physical testing and we expect every one of these athletes to be right where they need to be so we can really up the volume in New Zealand and Chile."
Mancuso will return to her home in Maui. Other athletes will work on individual programs in their hometowns or base at the Center of Excellence in Park City, UT in order to take advantage of the equipment and training staff in addition to the USSA educational partnership with Westminster College in Salt Lake City.
The men's U.S. Ski Team has now set up shop in Mammoth, which will remain open for skiing until July 4, and will be training there through the end of the month.