ARAPAHOE BASIN, Colo.
- The U.S. Freestyle Ski Team just wrapped up a week of training at Arapahoe Basin (A-Basin) that had moguls athletes getting their jumps dialed in by both training on ramps and landing into a lake as well as taking their jumps to the snow.
"We were the only team there, which was great because we were able to complete a large volume of jumps. By the time everything was said and done, we had 1,800 jumps in six days with 15 athletes there," said Moguls Head Coach Scott Rawles. "A-Basin did such an incredible job of hosting us and it was a really good start to getting everyone going this summer."
While training, athletes focused on perfecting their fundamental jumps as strong foundations for further training this summer and eventually the competition season.
"The focus was to go back to basics. The athletes were concentrating a lot on throwing a back layout [a back flip], which is a base jump for a lot of the [tricks] and where we start with flipping," Rawles said.
"We did three days on the water to get the solid foundation and then we took it to the snow up at A-Basin. It really gave us a good foundation to work off of for the rest of the season," said Pat Deneen (Cle Elum, WA). "We have everything going in the right direction now and we know what we're going to work on. We'll be able to focus all of our energy."
According to Rawles, having a majority of the team together while training adds a competitive element that drives the athletes to push themselves while helping each other.
"Bringing everyone together, people get more dialed in on what they want to accomplish. When they're working with the whole team here, they see where other people are at and can determine what they want to accomplish over the next four or five months," Rawles said. "When we get the group together, we end up getting a real push out of everybody. It puts everyone in a good team atmosphere."
Deneen also believes having the team training together gives everyone an extra push towards success.
"We're all just trying to get better and we want to see our teammates succeed, too. When someone's having a problem, we don't just rely on the coaches, our teammates come in and really help each other," Deneen said. "At this camp, David Babic (Washington, VT) helped me through my [jump] issues. I've also been helped by other teammates and have helped teammates. It's a good dynamic we have going on."
The team will now break from training until July when they head to Park City, UT for training at the Utah Olympic Park.