Sunday, 28 August 2011

Landgraaf day 2

Today we got into some gates, albeit stubbies. I've not seen so many teams here at one time before. There were six lanes in use for most of the day with a new start ramp servicing one of the lanes. This was above the snow start ramp that is there for the rest of the summer.

So, we had a tech session first thing followed by a couple of hours in the stubby course on the medium injected part of the hill. This was great training after the tech sessions we've been running over the last day and a bit with some interesting changes to the trainees skiing from previously.

We finished with a short tech session to build on what we'd seen in the gates.
Tomorrow will see a a get session in the morning, a short tech session then we'll be on our way back to the UK.
We've got another Landgraaf camp next month for a couple of days and there are a few places left on it.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Back Into The Big Freezer

Today was the first day of our Bank Holiday camp at Landgraaf. It's our second trip here this season but there are no races this time.
There are a shed load of teams here though, including the Savoie girls team and the Swiss EC mens team - great to watch for our guys.

Loads of team vans and extra containers for ski tuning!

So, we worked on about 5.5 hours of tech over the day with some good improvements for all athletes. Tomorrow sees a short tech session to build on this, followed by a gate session with stubbies to take the improvements into the course.

All in all, a good day today and we're looking forward to tomorrow to see how the guys fare in the stubbies. The training side of the hill looks good with 2 rollers now set on it to give the guys a little extra challenge. Should be great fun!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Aosta Academy Trainee Picks Up Awards!

Impulse and ARA trainee Finlay Davies has just picked up a place on the Gifted and Talented programme at his regions Multi Skills Academy.

Fin was selected by his school, along with around 250 children from his region to attend 2 assessment mornings where he was selected, along with only 16 others to go forward in the programme.

Fin believes all the work he has put in for his skiing was a major factor in this achievement.

From here, Fin will attend further sessions later in the year where he’ll  perform tasks such as those featured on the MSA website here.

It’s a great milestone for Fin as he moves up to secondary school and gets ready for the season ahead. His preparation has been has gone well with skills and drills on the indoor yielding some great results (see below).

Finlay with His Trophies

The final round of the British Indoor Grand Prix Series finished at Castleford (Leeds) recently with Fin entering the race on the same points in the series as his nearest competitor going into the last race of the series.
 The pressure was on and there were also some other racers in the mix who could turn the results up side down (Ryan McCann over from Austria) and British Team member Scott Buchan. However,  due to the points, the fight for the title was between Nathan and Fin.
 Fin only had to beat Breeze to claim the series title but put on in immense push and ended up winning on the Saturday.

The next day the pressure was off - the championship title was in the bag (and the cheque for £100!).
With this in mind whatever happen in Sundays race, which was for the British Indoor Championship title, was a bonus.
Fin again put in 2 blinding runs beating his competition by two tenths overall to win the title.

ARA programme director Phil Brown said 'This reinforces what our athletes can achieve with the continuity of our program and the hard work that they perform in order to achieve their goals. We expect to see more of our athletes moving in this direction as we become established at our new base over the coming season'.

For more information on Fin or the other athletes from Aosta Race Academy, visit

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Roundup On The Irish Summer Camp

The camp finished on Saturday but we've not been able to get this final blog uploaded until now.
What can we say, another really great camp this summer with a great group of trainees who were really engaged with what they were doing.

The camp ran with mainly technical training, only introducing stubby gates on the penultimate day of the four day camp and full gates on the final day. We used a reference task with video on day one and then re did this on the last day. When we combined the video from day one and the final day, the results were really obvious for the athletes to see and there were some great improvements.

The final afternoon saw us running a dual slalom to give the group a little competition and fun to finish the camp on.

All in all, it was a great camp to work on and thanks to The Ski Club of Ireland for organising it, Brian Byrne for coaching, Head skis and Bartletts for supplying some test skis for the trainees.

Next for us is a camp in Landgraaf this coming bank holiday weekend.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Back in the Emerald Isle

This week we are back at Kilternan and the Ski Club of Ireland for the second time this year. This time it's our annual trip to run the summer camp on the dry slope over here.

Working with local coach Brian Byrne, we've got a mixed group of athletes with some coming from the club and some from the schools training that we came over for earlier this year so most of them are trainees that we've worked with previously, some for many years.

Today was the second day of the camp and we're running until Saturday. We've been working on slow drills to take the athletes back and work on their fundamental skiing. After 2 days we're already seeing great improvements and the guys are all really engaged with what we're doing which makes it really enjoyable to do.

The setting here is great with views from the top over Dublin bay and the disused golf course next to the slope is hope to several deer that we see on most days here. The weather has held well so far with a great sunny day yesterday and the threat of rain today that didn't materialise. I'm not sure that our luck with the weather will remain right through the camp, but we'll see what tomorrow brings.

The deer on the old golf course

The View Over Dublin Bay From The Top Of The Sope

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Back To The Dry Slope!

It was out of the fridge and onto the mat yesterday with a training day at Gloucester with their club.
It's a while since I've been to the slope and it was interesting to see it a little shorter, but with some great start ramps at the top.

It was a warm day but, fortunately, the slope is well served with a mist system so the smell of burning base wasn't too prevalent!
With a small group, we ran with drills for the morning and beginning of the afternoon, putting what was learnt into some stubby courses and eventually full gates.
All the trainees seemed to take some improvement from the day which was proven when some of them competed in the summer league race today at the slope. With teams from Torquay, Avon, Midlands ski club and Gloucester itself.

The racing has a great format with 2 timed runs in the morning and then all racers put into groups of four to run a dual slalom. The groups are organised from the mornings runs with similar times for all for members of the group. This makes for some close and exciting dual slalom racing.

Hopefully we'll be back here for some more training later in the summer.

Well, off to Ireland on Tuesday to run the annual Ski Club Of Ireland Summer Camp so the next blog will be from the emerald isle.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Head Camp at Hemel - Last Day

Well, the last day of this camp today, and what a great day it was! The guys were working on various drills to improve their lateral seperation with great success.
Just before lunch, the slope staff set a tight course of brush gates, not dissimilar to the course of stubbies we used yesterday afternoon.
When asked if our racers would ski this course to start building a rut line, we needed no further encouragement. The group showed great improvement over previous days and had a great session.

Some of the group outside the centre

This afternoon saw the training step up a little. The slope has had a roller on one side for some time now but this was made a little more extreme last night, in preparation for the freestyle sessions tonight and tomorrow.
This allowed us to have some fun with setting, using the terrain to allow the trainees to increase their versatility in the course. With the quite sharp drop off after the roller It made for some inventive course setting.

That's it for our camps at Hemel this summer. I'll be at Gloucester tomorrow and then a summer camp in Kilternan (Dublin) next week.

Then it's out to landgraaf for the August Bank Holiday to get 3 days training in on the awesome 500m indoor slope.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Head Summer Camp Day Two and Three

We've just finished day three of the Head Indoor Camp here at the Snowcentre, Hemel Hempstead.

Yesterday we ran with the theme of stance with the trainees skiing with wide feet, narrow feet, forward and aft to find the most efficient stance for the individuals and we had some breakthroughs with a few of them.

Today saw us working on rotational skills with skidding, 360's and spinning in pairs and more. These skills are often lost or not built on in the early stages of skiing, in part due to the equipment that we now ski on but they are essential skills, especially with the equipment changes coming in at FIS level in the 2012-13 season.

This afternoon we set a stubby 'suicide' course to build on the rotational skills from the morning, followed by a corridor of standard gates to see if the work we've done so far is paying off. It would appear, from the skiing today, that it is.

Tomorrow is the last day of the camp and we'll be working on individual issues with the trainees.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Head Summer Camp Day One

Today was the first day of our first camp in collaboration with Head skis. It all began at the Snowcentre this morning.

Paul and Matt from Head

We had Head skis and Bartletts arrive first thing with a collection of next seasons slalom skis for the trainees to test. Then came the trainees and coaches. So we began with the athletes working through the morning on some balance drills - following this through up to lunchtime.

We then took the drills from this morning into some stubby gate courses to see if the trainees could carry the skills developed earlier.
One the lads managed to incur the wrath of the slope patrol and  find himself on the receiving end of a shovel full of snow! That's what happens when you throw snow at the wrong person!

After a good session on the hill, we took the athletes out for some fitness and games to loosen them up and finish the day. The dodgeball always proves very popular.

The camp runs up until Thursday and we still have a couple of places left for later in the week.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Looking Toward Next Weeks Camp....Only 3 Places Left!

The Hemel ARA camp finished yesterday with a group of very happy trainees.

After 3 days of drills, stubbies, gates and some fitness and games, we said goodbye to this weeks trainees and now look forward to next weeks camp at the Snowcentre in association with Head skis and Bartletts.

The camp will run from Monday through to Thursday. we will have next seasons Head skis for testing, there will also be some head goodies for the trainees attending and Bartletts will have an offer on the Head equipment exclusively for athletes on the camp.

We only have 3 places left on this camp so, if you want some great summer training and access to deals on the new seasons Head kit, book on through our website.

Monday, 1 August 2011

August Indoor Camp - Day One

Today saw the start of our second indoor camp of the summer with a mixture of trainees from different clubs at Hemel with us.

We started the morning with work on the athletes stance using some drills with our brushes and this set the tone for the rest of the day with lots of work on their stance and balance, looking to achieve a good uniform ski width within the courses.

With our own lane from the start, we had plenty of space for the drills and later, we were able to work on the whole slope. The guys got a lot out of this and once we'd done on the hill, we braved the high temperatures and headed out to the fields for some fitness and games with a new take on dodgeball being the favourite amongst the trainees.

Hopefully the weather will hold for the next two days for our fitness sessions!