By: CXC Team athlete, Felicia Gesior
My first real lessons on skiing began on rollerskis the fall of my freshman year of High School. That first day of practice, I felt hopeless when ten minutes into practice I was still learning how to put my boots into my bindings. Once I got on my skis, I did not feel much better. The bike path we skied on had a slight decline that felt like a drop off to my shaky legs. However, over time I slowly became more comfortable. With practice and time, I was able to find my rhythm on my rollerskis.
Now, when I ski I do not have to think about each tiny motion but instead rely on my muscle memory. Nonetheless, from that first practice onward I remember my coach telling me how important technique really is in order to become an efficient skier. Good technique practiced over and over again makes for good muscle memory and strong skiing.
To this day, I still have a long way to go on improving my technique. Yet, I found myself repeating these same words over and over again (“technique, technique, technique”) to a similar group of athletes this past week. Over the years, I have been lucky enough to help coach the Peak Nordic high school team during the summer. We just finished up another successful week long camp with some very motivated young skiers.
Being on the coaching side of skiing always gives me new perspective, especially on technique. Since technique is such a critical aspect of skiing it is really worth the time it takes to break it down and go over it meticulously. We always dedicate a large chunk of camp to working on both skate and classic technique.
Watching and critiquing other skiers helps me reflect on my own technique strengths and weaknesses. Figuring out ways to put the pictures I have in my head into words is a great exercise in understanding how to break down the motions that now come naturally to me.
I was inspired by the eager attitudes of the campers I had this week. Their continued dedication to self-improvement has boosted my awareness of my own skiing. While technique work is not always fun it is important to continuously strive to improve.
I wish the best of luck to all the skiers I was fortunate to work with this summer as you enter into your fall sports and continued training!