Monday, May 27, 2013

2013 USASA Nationals Review #1

Copper Mountain was once again host for USASA Nationals.  As in previous years, we arrived early to take advantage of the extra SBX Practice Days and to try and better acclimate to the altitude.  In fact, I had been living in Breckenridge for a month prior to Nationals, coaching in the Ski& Ride School and had adapted fairly well to the high alpine environment.  Ale showed up a few days in advance and put in some gym time in an effort to acclimate to the altitude too.  We were both excited to get some quality practice runs in on a full-length course.
The primary theme for all of the Practice Days at Nationals was “Progression”.  On Day #1, after inspecting the Copper Course, we spent most of our time dialing in our skills on the Start Section.  It took a certain level of aggressiveness combined with rhythm and flow to smoothly handle the start features.  Ale did a good job with the technical nature of the start section and showed solid progression in speed and confidence throughout the day.
Beginning of the Start Section
View From the Gate
Every so often, and towards the end of the session, we took a few ½ speed, full-length runs.  On course, our goal was to set a solid race line and determine what features/sections were going to be particularly challenging and would require specific work on Practice Day #2.  There was some course redesign work going on in the bottom section, which you can see in the video, where we had to go off course to avoid a closed feature.

The boards ran really well, we both felt strong throughout the entire day and the course was fast and fun.  We finished up with some video analysis and practice review after dinner.  Both of us were satisfied with our performance and effort from the practice session and were anxious to get back out there again the next day.
Part #2 coming up……

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