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What I would have to do to run -39


Than_Bogan
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Around this time of year, I sometimes find myself considering what would have to happen for me to ever run -39. To be clear, this is NOT a New Year's Resolution -- I will not be prioritizing any of these things over other stuff in my life. I just find it interesting to consider.

 

- Train more. My off-season training is basically a rebuiding program each winter. 3 days a week of basic strength and conditioning exercises, hitting all groups. But if I upped to 6 days a week, I could build new strength I've never had before. Then I'd need to continue some of that training during the season as well, instead of just my once-a-week plyometrics (for quickness) and jogging (for aerobic).

 

- Train better. I've evolved it over the years, but for the most part I'm comfortable with some pretty basic stuff. To give myself a serious shot at -39, I'd need to commit to working very closely with a top-notch trainer.

 

- Much better diet. My diet is probably above average only because American's eat sooo much junk. But I could enormously improve my fitness with something closer to Paleo or The Zone: anything heavy on lean protein and vegetables. And no Mountain Dew or chocolate chip cookies...

 

- Spend 6 off-season weeks at The Boarding School. -39 is such a different beast that I really need to learn some new fundamentals. Brooks began to break me down last fall at a clinic, but there is so much more to do. I don't think these 6 weeks need to be continuous, but I need a lot of repetition with top-notch coaching guiding me.

 

- Practice at a lot of different sites. I'm not certain this is truly key, but I think it might be. Skiing with different people and on different water seems to really make me a better skier.

 

- Continue professional coaching during the season. Arguably my best practice season was a year I managed to get up to ski with Jamie Beauchesne just 3 times. Normally, I don't even manage that much professional coaching.

 

It is my honest belief that if I did ALL of these things for about 2 seasons, I could run -39. However, I will be doing none of them and seeing how I do!!

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Maybe I should also move somewhere where the Baller Index is NOT -90... (But in all honesty I don't think that is required. The above would need to happen whether I had a slalom course available to me year-round or not. It just might be easier to do some of those steps.)
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@Than_Bogan I think training better and coaching would be two of the big keys. I think training once or twice a week during the season makes a big difference to maintaining the strength you gain in the offseason.

 

For you I don't think the diet would hurt but your weight isn't an issue increasing strength and technique are more important. During the season you don't seem to have a problem running two 8-10 pass sets on the days you ski which brings technique and coaching into focus.

 

I don't think 6 off-season weeks is really necessary but I do think 3-6 coaching events a year spread out over the season with video to support that you are continuing to work on the right stuff would make a big difference.

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@Than_Bogan‌ move to Orlando.

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About Horton

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You have a great list of things that will all help. One other thing to add is to ensure you have the best equipment and as technical as you are you are probably in good shape here.

 

For many people the one that would help the most is professional coaching. I would priorize that given where you seem to be on fitness, and training

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Back when I was skiing at my peak, I remember thinking that the biggest key to running my hardest pass was spending a lot of time in the gym. Strength to weight ratio is arguably the most important factor in running the short lines.

 

But since you already admitted you aren't actually going to do any of those ideas, go ahead and have another mt dew and a few cookies while you're watching tv :)

If it was easy, they would call it Wakeboarding

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I haven't run 39.5 yet, but I have gotten around 5 ball 4or 5 times.

 

For me it is Technique, patience and confidence.

 

The more you see the pass, the less weird it will feel. You will be a lot more comfortable, I don't even feel like its 39 because I have gotten used to it.

 

I definitely watch what I eat, and I ski A LOT. I can only ski about 3 or 4 days a week, but I make every set count.

 

I think you should try to ski as much as possible, go down to Fl and get coaching for a week, you don't need 6. Shoot 3 days with a great coach can change everything. At 38, 39 and on;the things you do to run those passes are small, and those small changes go a long way.

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Achems Razor

All things being equal the simplest solution is usually the best.

Than you are one sharp cat. I am sure the first practice step you need is something simple. Once you have an idea of what that most important first step is just wrap your mind around it.

Begin to think about it off the water. When you begin to ski make your body a slave to your mind.

Make yourself do that task or skill no matter the out come. You have already pushed all your chips in.

You have decided to learn this skill and you won't be denied. You know it's a good skill to have and it is one you can confirm by observing the best doing it.

You asset is your brain ,it can dictate the terms. For sure you can run 39. This is a sport where ordinary

people can do extraordinary things and your brain is far from ordinary.

Hope this helps.

Chet

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I would say this my friend @Than_Bogan, the asymptote is not in our favor...we are at the point in the curve that for us, given our ability, we would need to dedicate much more time/effort/resource in order to improve a little bit. Or we could just keep hoping and when we run that occasional 38...take a crack at 39. That's my strategy!

 

We need to make changes to get ourselves through more 38's before thinking we can run 39 legit...just my two cents. Having said that...go prove me wrong and I will be as pumped for you as anyone.

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You need to ski daily with others that are into 41. In the last few years there have been a few M3-4 skiers that have made the leap from occasional 38s to putting 39 down. Dont count yourself out. Just adding a few months of skiing in March and Oct/Nov really helps.
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Interesting -- folks taking this a lot more seriously than I had intended. There may come a day that I take some or all of the steps necessary to move off my plateau, but that is not today. Many other priorities. I'm just glad I can ski at a reasonably high level in my 40s at the same time as a lot of other things. Maybe if I'm not feeling too old in about 10 years, when both kids are off to college, I'll dust off this old Plan and put some of it into action. Or maybe I'll have other priorities by then.

 

But thanks for the thoughts, advice, and encouragement anyhow!

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I did a year (2013) with personal trainer, got really fit did but did not make any progress. In 2014 skied at diferent sites, coached by John Battleday (Freddie Winters mentor) & Steve Glanfield (ex-british Team Coach) & ended the year with my best results in 8 years on a day in Winter 2c in winter suits and hats only skiing once a week.

Nate Smith says he does no gym training, just skis-thats a big suprise when the old guard is clearly keeping very fit in a gym as well.

Modern boats and modern skis need technique the muscle are only there for when it goes wrong surely?

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The year I was in the best shape I have been in was my best ski year. I have not been in good enough shape in general but I do think strength to weight ratio is important. If you are already in good shape then coaching is more important than continued fitness.

 

Regarding Nate Smith he is very long and lean. My understanding is that Nate also skis a ton and if the barefooting video of him last year is any indication has a ton of natural ability. I think most of us need to emulate a mortal rather than an obvious alien like Nate.

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At 51 now durability is my enemy. Every fall my body is about to fall apart, I put the boat away and hit the gym for injury rehab and strength. I know -39 is out there and I believe I can still put it down, but like @Than_Bogan I think I need to be able to carve out more coaching time (more than any other variable) if that is going to happen. I believe @Horton put it best -- time to move to Orlando!
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try running at 36 for a couple or 3 weeks - once in skiing shape. Based on your level you should be able to make 35 and get into 38. Then go to 34. You may see that your technique has changed and that 38 is more consistent and 39 doesn't seem that bad.

- I did this last year (run at 36 for seveal months) and ended up gaining about 4 balls. before last year I made 35 a dozen times and last year i averaged 1 at 38 and made 2 @ 38 at nationals. Just saying...

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@simonz,

Back in the 90's I got the opportunity to spend 2 days with mapple working a boat show. He also told me he didn't work out... Even as a 15yr old kid I didn't believe him, and have since heard that not to be true.

These guys are fierce competitors to get to the level they are at, and may or may not fully disclose their complete routine to a relative stranger (even a kid in my case)

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Agree with @skidawg. Alot more benefits to being in warmer conditions. I would think if you aren't running 38 more than 1/2 the time in practice and a few times in a tourney than you should start there. 38 is doable with average(scrappy) technique. Most people who run 39 make 38 look like a narrow 35. 38 for me is still dicey. I usually need a big 4 ball to keep me in it. 39. I really practice there. I know I can get to 2 if I get the chance. I look forward to hearing your plan.

 

chris

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I thought it went without saying that the path to running -39 goes through "running -38 pretty much every time." That's part of why getting there isn't about some incremental change -- it would be about a fundamental change of commitment level.

 

And really my point in starting this thread was to highlight how there are very different levels of commitment. Most folks who know me regard me as a total waterski addict. But there is a LOT further I could go, and that's part of the difference between "pretty decent" and "top big dawg."

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I was talking with Harald tonight and he said a guy at the dock today asked him what it would take for a guy who runs 38 to run 39.

 

Harald asks me to guess what I think it is, so I say "Well I guess he would have to have some talent, some natural athletic ability." Harald says "He runs 38 so we'll assume he has some of that." So I say "He would probably have to be strong and fit." Again he says "He runs 38 so he must be strong enough."

 

I give up guessing and he says, "It's very simple, he needs to teachable, open to trying new things and be willing to change."

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