Knowledge is SPEED!
I'm just back from a pretty cool experience with the (CPAST) Canadian PARA Alpine Ski Team in Sunshine Village Alberta. In the past, I have collaborated with them on coaching seminars, ski camps, planning sessions, karting camps and educational documents. So here my view of our project.
Brianne Law, Matt Hallat and Jean-Sebastien Labrie are a group of leaders with a forward vision. Not only are they competent, but they are not afraid of going externally to challenge themselves and their group. They are looking for new ideas to create a gap with their competition.
The intentions of my collaboration were to bring a technical scientific support to the Athletes and Coaches. Basically creating an understanding on how to GO FASTER. But ultimately, the goal is to transfer the camp learning ideas into medals at the 2018 Para-Olympics in Korea.
One intention was clear from the head coach Jean-Sebastien Labrie. Make sure that the athletes are more involves in their own skiing development and understand the difference between focusing on speed versus too much internal focus on balance and stability.
The first two days of the camp were focus on understanding the bio-mechanics of our sport. We spent a bit of time on the principles of Stability and Maximum Force. But the main part was focusing on laws and principles that makes us go faster. Impulse, Direction, Velocity and Angular Motion were dissect to the bones. This was followed by a series of drills and situations in order to experiment the application of these principles. At the end of the day, we debrief inside to confirmed the concepts. Cognitive Hard First principle at is best! I am sure this will be digest, retain and transfer during this coming ski racing season.
On day two, with the collaboration of the athletes, coaching staff Dave, Will, Lasse, serviceman Todd and Scooter, we worked on creating a standard terminology system that is now understood by all the PARA individual. This was a first time for me in my 20 years of experience that I have seen a 95.67% consensus like this :)
The last two days where focusing on working of external cues of attention. In ski coaching, we have a lot of experience using internal cues, but we all agree that most of the time, these cues are not necessarily link with Going Faster. We experimented many external cues in Slalom and Giant Slalom. I must say that the effort the 9 athletes put into trying these cues was phenomenal.
Para athletes have different physical disability witch make them unique. They are great athletes and amazing humans to interact with. On again,I have learned a lot with this group on this camp. All week it was beautiful to watch athletes, staff and leaders attitude towards applying the Growing Mindset principle.
Bravo CPAST and perform to your your best abilities in Korea.