So how were the schools?

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So how were the schools?

Postby Damon » Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:33 am

Anyone care to share some experiences from the schools that just happened? Pointers from anyone and things maybe they would do differently the second time around. I'm still trying to get a chance to slide this winter, but have so far been stuck snowboarding here in PA. This is the first year in the last 3 year I havent had an injury, like George mentioned, that prevented me from sliding so I'm trying to work something out.
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Re: So how were the schools?

Postby George » Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:26 pm

I helped train the latest batch of 23 new sliders at Park City. I was extremely impressed--around 21 of them completed the school (versus a 50% dropout rate in my fantasy camp). Interestingly, folks who registered at NewSliders.com tended to outperform. In fact, the top guy was the most frequent poster here. So the moral of the story is: post here often if you want to become an Olympian. :D

I think these folks were more prepared, after consulting the resources here and other sites I link to. Damon, to give you an idea of what happened at the skelschool, I'll email you a temporary link to the skelcamp training video I shot (if you can download and play a 36MB Windows Media movie).

- George
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Postby slace22 » Sun Feb 04, 2007 10:27 pm

Hey Damon!!!
First i'll give you some pointers but remember im new to this just like you.
When you steer you steer with your right knee and left shoulder or your left knee and right shoulder , lay on your bed and practice that because its hard to remember when your flying around those curves so get used to doing it before you go.
Get along with your classmates because we all had a great time together at school and many of us have kept in touch with each other.
One thing that i would do different is i would view photos of myself after my runs the reason why is this , i had the best times from the top on both days from the top but after getting home and watching video's and pausing them i realized i held my head up to high on the straights and i was way to far back on my sled , i can only imagine the times i would have had if i would have known this while i was there, another thing you should do is learn to relax , its hard to do the first few times but when you relax and let the sled do its job and just make small corrections it makes it a whole lot better , i was one of the few that went home with NO bruises on my body and it was because i learned to relax and be patient on the sled.
Also there are ALOT of people in this sport that dont want new people in it but there are also some very good people that will help , befriend those people because they are all great people.
One regret i have is that at times i got to caught up in Skeleton and forgot to take it all in and enjoy the moment, i forgot to get photos with some people that i wanted photos with , like George and Jeff and some others.
Just remember relax and remember to have fun , fun comes first , seriousness comes second and also remember George is one of the best people to get advice from , he'll be honest with you and help you as much as he can.
Hey George send me a link to the video.
Oh Damon one last thing , Skeleton is the most awesome rush you'll ever have , get ready for some fun , oh and tape your chin up before your runs, lol.
Harold R.
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Re: So how were the schools?

Postby George » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:42 am

Agreed. Often sliders, without realizing it, are too far back on the sled and have their heads too high. Your instructor may teach you to find your "balance point" on the sled so you know your proper placement. Being too far back on the sled leads to skidding and slower times. I was chatting with Micah (a forum member here) about this during the camp--he really improved when he moved forward, partly b/c he's so tall and a lot of weight hangs off the back end of the sled.

Yeah, if you're among the few chin-bangers, simple scotch tape will prevent cuts via reduced friction.
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Postby Damon » Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:54 am

Thanks for the info guys, I appreciate. I saw from the video that it looks like only a few people had full out speed suits. I didnt know if I should drop the cash and go ahead and get one or just tough it out with warm up pants or something. I know it wouldnt be easy getting a good push start wearing bulky snowboard pants. However, I figured it would be best to wait until after my first camp to start investing in decent gear.

Also, I saw some people doing their starts different. Someone would do one handed grips on the sled and others would do both hands. Is there a recommended technique or is it more just whatever feels right to the slider?
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Postby George » Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:17 pm

I think getting a speedsuit just for camp/school is overkill unless you already know you'll become a regular slider. I had sweatpants, with thermal underwear underneath, for camp. Later, I ordered my custom speedsuit, it was $100 and took several weeks to arrive.

You can push one- or two-handed, whatever's comfortable. Many advanced sliders who are proficient at both styles find they push a tad faster one-handed; however, it's easier for beginners to learn two-handed and then experiment with the more-difficult one-handed push later. One-handed appears more common at the world-cup level; two-handed more common at the club-sliding level. One guy in skelschool prematurely experimented with an aggressive one-handed push and immediately did a 360-degree spinout after popping the groove.

Those with access to a summertime push track should experiment heavily with one-handed pushes since there's no "popping" risk there. And there are hybrid approaches--some people do two hands to get the sled going then switch to one while running, while some folks put their far hand on the center rather than on the outside handle, etc.
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