With the 2018 Subaru Australian Interschools Championships about to kick off in Perisher this week, the team at The Arc Skier Development Program has put together these top tips for being racing ready for the big day.
- Train hard, but not too hard: Whaaaat?! Of course, training is a critical part of being ready for race day. But do all your hard work in the years, months and weeks leading up to race week, rather than cramming in training during the few days leading up to the race. Training too hard close to race day can leave you fatigued, and is unlikely to leave you in tip top condition for race day. Remember, solid technique comes from years of hard work, dedication and commitment, and (unlike school work) cannot be crammed.
- Eat your greens! Your race body is your temple, so treat it to all the best types of food so that you’re strong, healthy and wholesome for the big day. Sugary, fried and fatty foods will only give you short bursts of energy, and won’t help you develop the nice muscle tone you need to compete at your best. The right foods will also help guard off sickness – you don’t want to miss race day because you’re sick in bed.
- Prepare your equipment: Remember the 7 x P’s….proper preparation and planning prevents piss-poor performance. This means you need to spend time the night before the race tuning your skis or snowboard so they’re speedy and sharp. If you don’t know how to do it yourself, drop your equipment to one of the many pro’s who tune for a living – but remember they’ll be flat chat this time of year so be sure to plan in advance.
- Do your research: So that you’re across all the finer details of race day, read and digest all the race information. This will include things like course locations, times for bib collection, course inspection and start times. Race day can become unnecessarily stressful if you’re not across these important logistics, and being late can result in disqualification.
- Plan ahead: Once you know all the locations and timings for the race, plan out your day ahead of time. Think about when you need to arrive and allow plenty of time as a buffer – particularly if you’re ferrying kids around. Schedule in time for toilet breaks before the race, as well as snack time.
- Get an early night: To perform at your best you’ll need to be well-rested and full of energy, so be sure to get a good nights sleep. Being well-rested will help you deal with pre-race nerves and assist in keeping stress levels down on race day. You’ll also have more energy to throw down in your winning run.
- Do course inspection, plus some warm-up runs: Course inspection is a chance for you to check out the course and plan your winning run. Have a look for any gates or obstacles that might be tricky, and keep those sections in mind when you’re racing. It’s also a good idea to allow enough time for some warm up runs – this will help to reduce pre-race nerves, increase confidence, and stay warm.
- Keep warm and energized at the top of the course: You’ll perform better if your body is warm and energized, so keep moving at the top of the race course to stay warm. Try to keep your outerwear on for as long as possible before giving it to someone to take to the bottom of the course. And because you’ve been eating all your greens lately, you can treat yourself to some chocolate or lollies to give you that burst of energy just prior to your race.
- Stay calm: While a few pre-race nerves are entirely normal and expected, staying calm will keep those unhelpful nerves at bay. Techniques to stay calm vary from person to person, but deep breathing, visualizing the course as well as mindfulness are common techniques. Some people like to keep their mind off the race for as long as possible by chatting and telling jokes – but if you fall into this category, be sure to respect other people who may not be in the chatty, joke-telling mood.
- Focus: As your bib number draws closer, it’s time to turn your focus to the race. Visualising a strong start and your approach to any trickier sections of the course will help.
- Race like you stole it! Racer ready….3, 2, 1, beeeeep. You’ve done all the hard work preparing for this race, so now it’s time to put the pedal to the metal. Race strong, calm and confident, and most importantly – remember to have fun!
Importantly, during each phase of preparing for a race, remember to respect and support your friends, coaches and parents who are all supporting you. You wouldn’t be there without them, so be kind to them. Be a good sportsperson by cheering on friends, team members as well as opponents. Be humble by congratulating the winner, and be kind by assisting those who may be injured or who may just need some help. Regardless of the race result, these things will help you win at life.
The Arc Skier Development Programs can assist junior racers to prepare for race day by providing all the tools required to race at their best across Alpine, Ski Cross, Moguls and Slopestyle. Choose from 2 or 4-week programs in Livigno, Italy or in Whistler, Canada this upcoming northern hemisphere winter and allow your child to race with confidence, style and strength throughout the Australian winter 2019.