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Starts and Transitions

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any good drills to help me get a better start? I don't have the upper body strength to really power out, but I know my timing could be better. Also looking for tips on getting quicker transitions.
post #2 of 27
Start a workout regiment, upper body and of sourse lower body, don't neglect your back as this is where alot of power comes especially with the start.
As far as drills theirs nothing better than the real thing, just keep practicing getting your arms forward and bringing yoru feet through te wand last. Practice, practice, Practice!
post #3 of 27
Use the dip station in the gym. Don't go too low -- 1/2 way is good enough. Then start adding weight using the weight belt.
post #4 of 27
yoga
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryel
yoga
Already doing that. Started my upper body workouts on Monday (planks, side planks, push ups, curls, flys), and of course, mtn biking my a** off (I wish).
post #6 of 27
Skate every time you can. Practice getting as much power out of each smooth skate as you can, really milking each stride for all it's worth. You don't want your skate to throw you off for the first gates. Once you're at the start, plan your skate. Should you start on your right or left foot? How many strides before the first gate?

As for the kick, this is a personal thing. A lot of skiers have very powerful kicks, while others (like Bode) almost seem relaxed when they kick out of the start. I've seen a whole lot of guys get 18" off the deck on a flat start and go nowhere with it.A kick gets your body moving forward, down the hill and smoothly into the skate. Again, your kick should not be so aggressive that it ruins your first turns. Ask around for favored methods and try them all. When you find one that feels right, practice it every chance you get until it feels natural. For start pactice, I'll find a series of bumps or lips that approxmate a start and practice a kick, three skates and then a few race turns. When I can link the three together smoothly, I know I'm on the right track.
post #7 of 27
this article by Lou is kinda related:
http://www.lous.ca/Articles/alberta%...rticle%204.pdf

mike
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey_10
this article by Lou ...
That same piece appeared in Ski Racing also. Sometime this season.
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hmmmm..That's really interesting!

Thanks for the input guys. Maybe I can work on my starts with my blades this summer?
post #10 of 27
If you are in the gym you may want to try seated lat pulldowns. The back strength will significantly increase power from poles (to compliment good skating of course).

I made an effort to add upper back exercises to preseason stuff a few years ago when I raced in hs and it helped bigtime with poling during starts.
post #11 of 27
Is upper body strength really at issue here? Seems to me a good kick start is a matter of timing, coordination and technique.
post #12 of 27
Good core strength is key to a good start, but I would say a well-conditioned upper body can't hurt. Nothing extreme, but it certainly helps the initial push.
post #13 of 27

We need arm and shoulder strength

One thing about upper body strength at least for me skiing does not maintain it. This year now switching gears to windsurfing and am way out of shape for upper body strength compared to last year coming off a winter of primarily mountain biking. I was really caught off guard by this a few weeks ago and barely made it back in after the wind came up to 40 knots and flattened me in the middle of the river. Now can see the importance of perhaps doing a weight routine for the upper body during ski season so as not to lose too much of strength in that area. Keeping the hands up takes some strength anyway just ask a boxer. Maybe just a set of dumbells for a routine along side the WC Plyometric

In another week or so will have access to a snowfield for hike - a - slalom which is a good conditioner all around. Gonna take the shovel and build a practice start area too. In some racing opportunities like Nastar as long as the participant can hold a clean fast line - a strong start along with some properly juiced skis can really make the difference.

- Fossil
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaska Mike
Good core strength is key to a good start, but I would say a well-conditioned upper body can't hurt. Nothing extreme, but it certainly helps the initial push.
I agree, but without, proper tinming, coordination and proper techinque, i don't care if you can lift an 800lbs. gorilla, your kick start ain't gonna be worth a darn.

as an example there is a pitcher her for the U of W. he ihas been named the lPac 10 pitcher of the week 6 player of the week awards this season and just got his 60th college career strike out. He is only not even 6'0 and weighs 165 and thows in the 90's, it is not upper body strength it is timing, coordiantion and technique

Check this kid out. My older son played against him his senior year!

http://gohuskies.cstv.com/sports/m-b...cum_tim00.html
post #15 of 27
Absolutely, and flailing/muscling through your start is a great way to lose a lot of time. If it isn't smooth, it isn't fast.
post #16 of 27
My typing is terrible! That was his 460th career strikeout!

5 out of the last 13 weeks Pac 10 pitcher of the week and 6 Pac 10 Player of the week awards this season.
post #17 of 27
do lots of tricep work too.
weighted dips, rope pulldowns, etc.
post #18 of 27
Volklgirl,

I like amike's advice. While kicking out, work on moving your core forward and not worring so much about your arms with the poles. Work on skating like mike suggests. Good skating toward the gate is improtant. The skating motion should be diagional to get the most possible. Practice skating on the flat by crossing one ski over the toe of the other boot and then extending onto the other ski. Your theighs and knees should meet while in the process and the transition onto the new ski should be smooth and precise.
Hope this helps.

RW
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White
Volklgirl,

Practice skating on the flat by crossing one ski over the toe of the other boot and then extending onto the other ski. Your theighs and knees should meet while in the process and the transition onto the new ski should be smooth and precise.
Hope this helps.

RW
It didn't help me - what are you talking about doing here? :
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White
Volklgirl,

I like amike's advice. While kicking out, work on moving your core forward and not worring so much about your arms with the poles. Work on skating like mike suggests. Good skating toward the gate is improtant.
Hope this helps.

RW
I think I actually have a pretty strong skate. My problems seem to be:

1. Tripping the wand before I have any significant forward movement
(a timing problem?).
2. Transitioning from the skate to the first 2 turns. On anything steep or
icy, I usually skid those first 2 turns trying to start on a high line.
3. Transitions between gates are slow making my line later and later 'til I
have to scrub to keep from blowing the last couple of gates.

Thanks for the insight so far, though!! Keep it coming!
post #21 of 27
I had the exact same problems before... I solved the early trip problem by timing my feet with the upwards push, cant do it with all the start gates... Stoneham's one is the most evil ever... sometime you just have to push through. Another thing is you have to make sure that you kick your boots back and not up if so you will trip the wand.

As for skating in, my technique is..

Slalom: two quick pushes/skates clip the first gate and dive in the second one with a clean turn... I dont know what courses you ski but I usually get my line down by the 3rd gate, on the top 2 I concentrate on getting a clean start and a clean first turn.

GS: again skate skate... maybe a 3rd time then drop in a tuck and maybe keep pushing once or twice with one leg to push me up in the high line position.

SG: Skate until I cannot possibly get any more speed and usually worry about my line because in SG you can ease your line in as your worrying more about getting and carrying speed for the first gates than line.

DH same as above.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
I agree, but without, proper timing, coordination and proper techinque, i don't care if you can lift an 800lbs. gorilla, your kick start ain't gonna be worth a darn.
I think it is unfair to stereotype people who can lift an 800 lb gorilla as not having technique.

I believe a great deal of technique and precision is required to lift just about any sized gorilla. Whether those technical skills can be transferred to executing a well timed Kick start I am not sure.
post #23 of 27
something that I found helped, as bizzare as it sounds was to work on skating forward, skating backwards, and practicing with butters. This helped me by effectively changing my balance at will and feeling in control the whole time as well as being able to place my CoM where it needs to be, not where is was.
post #24 of 27
volklgirl,

Quote:
3. Transitions between gates are slow making my line later and later 'til I
have to scrub to keep from blowing the last couple of gates.
This sounds like you are trying to ski a too tight of line. Practice skiing a "rounder line" giving you more time in your transition between turns. You will be able to finish your previous turn and will allow you to engage your skis more precisely in the new turn. A more precise ski engagement will allow more carving than skidding and as I stated in other threads, patience is a virture in race technique. You can always start to tighten your line once your transitions are cleaner.

Quote:
2. Transitioning from the skate to the first 2 turns. On anything steep or
icy, I usually skid those first 2 turns trying to start on a high line.
It sounds like your skating is a little out of balance making your transition to clean turns difficult. A dirll I love is called skate-to(2)-shape. It starts off with skating down hill, transitioning into a sequential short turn that transitions into simotionous short turns while keeping the same rythum (easier said than done). Practicing this drill should help.

Quote:
1. Tripping the wand before I have any significant forward movement
(a timing problem?).
Moving your core area forward instead of your feet and legs should help. Watching Diane Roffe do starts in a clinic with her on race technique was very inteeresting. She is able to explode out of the start shack. To keep her feet and legs from tripping the wand and getting her core to move forward first, she does a hard stomp on the start platform while she moves her core forward. Her sholders are more than a foot past the wand before she tripps it. Maybe this would work for you.

Quote:
I think I actually have a pretty strong skate. My problems seem to be:
Most skiiers skating is not as good as they seem to think it is. Make shure that the movement is diagional and too side to side. In a strong skate, your movement needs to start from the center of the longetudinal plane, and move forward diagionally. To do this, your theighs should touch and knees meet before the skating extension. Work on precise and balanced skating, up hill, on flats and down hill.

Sorry I didn't respond sooner, my comp. hard drive went south.

RW
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the update, Ron.

Do you have any footage of your skate to turn drill? I'm a seer-doer, so I need the visual .

ps. Sorry 'bout your hard drive...that's a huge bummer!!
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Is upper body strength really at issue here? Seems to me a good kick start is a matter of timing, coordination and technique.
I remember Bill Johnson always used to get good start splits, even though he had by no means the biggest strongest upper body. I think it is more in the timing and the whiplash effect.
post #27 of 27
Volklgirl,

Quote:
Do you have any footage of your skate to turn drill?
Sorry, I don't, but if you know any PSIA L3 or higher istructors at your area, they should be able to demonstrate it, if not, next time you take a PSIA clinic, ask the course conductor about it. It is known as skate - 2 - shape. I'm shure you would have fun with it and it directly involves the transition from skate to turns.

RW
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