Break time!!! Scott's final pre-season training block came to an end on Saturday and he's been enjoying the time off. As a bonus, his girlfriend is in town. She's also a top racer, although not yet on the Team, and is out here for a National Development Camp. They've been able to visit a couple of hours a day -- real romantic stuff like tuning skis and doing homework. Her camp finished today, so they're ice skating this afternoon before she heads to Aspen tomorrow.
There are many aspects of a national athlete's life which aren't self-evident. At age 17 Scott lives on the road, sharing rooms with people he really doesn't know, working all day either on snow, in the gym or in the tuning room. Not alot of the normal stuff a High School senior might experience. Scott's further complicated the mix by having a girlfriend from Nevada who travels similarly, but on a different circuit. They won't cross paths again this season until April. It's an interesting life.
The past three weeks have had their good and bad sides in many respects. On the positive side, Scott is skiing the injected surfaces with confidence and strength. He's also right in there with athletes two or more years ahead of him. His health is good, and he's excited about the coming season. His strength is excellent. In addition to hours on the snow each day and some fairly light-weight dryland training with the team in the afternoons, he's been stealing off to the gym at night with a few of the more hard core guys and getting in some extra lifting. He's trying to adhere to our regimen of last year, which was designed for him to continue getting stronger through the competitive season.
On the negative side, I see some regimentation in his skiing, for want of a better word. He's skiing well, but an element of freedom is missing... the freedom that takes it down the hill hard. In the tech events I attribute this to the focus on "carving from the top" which has thrown his timing off a bit. He needs to get back to running the longer line, as we patterned during the first week out here before the Team arrived. If he can just add that back in, he'll be scary fast. He's been working hard in speed and is a natural at those events. However, he's so fucused on the carve that he's too precise to go fast. Now this may be the by product of any number of things such as soft snow conditions at Copper Mountain, working on new stuff, or whatever. But he needs to loosen up a little and let them run. Tonight we're going to watch some of his ski video, followed by the classic downhill documentary "The Thin Line" to get him into the mood for speed!
This "rest" break isn't all relaxation. We've been spending a couple of hours in the weight room every day, plus we've been getting all of his skis super prepped for the next two weeks of racing. Scott's also been doing schoolwork each day. We're looking forward to Joy and Bonnie getting here for the long weekend. Unfortunately, they already had minor car trouble and are now travelling in a winter storm watch. Hopefully they can push through today.