News from Mammoth: OST Camp #1

Submitted by OST Men’s Coach, Cam McKenzie

“Our first on snow OST camp is in the books. We finally found some true California days and ended the camp on a high note. Overall, we had a successful camp that saw the athletes make substantial changes to their skiing with technical and tactical understanding.

Mammoth (California) treated us exceptionally well and provided a prime location for the athletes to get miles on miles of methodical and technically-focused skiing. We took advantage of the free ski opportunities as much as possible and did a lot of work outside of gated environments.

The primary focus of the camp was establishing an engaged, balanced position on the ski to initiate the turn. It took a bit of time over the first couple days on snow to get the group to back off the performance and speed (they are racers after all) and take the time and focus necessary to make fundamental technical changes to their skiing. Once they understood the process, their work and diligence was evident. They all found a stronger, more balanced position over the ski and were initiating turns more effectively and efficiently. While the work continues to be slow to moderate speed, with low to moderate intensity, the technical platform that we can establish here will pay dividends as we increase speed, performance, and intensity through the prep period and into the competition season.

Off-snow, our dryland work was primarily at one of Mammoth Lakes’ gyms due to some inconsistent weather. We followed the programming provided by team at the Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario (CSIO) which includes the freedom to tailor programming to the loads the athletes are facing on-snow, and their relative fatigue. Primarily, the focus was on movement and activation to prepare for the next day on snow with additional strength and anaerobic loading as was suitable.

The athletes pushed hard on snow and maintained a focused and positive attitude. They stayed focused through inclement weather at the start of the camp (which certainly added an additional mental load) and continued to execute quality work each day even with slow speed drills and significant mileage.”

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