International Water Ski Racing Online Since 1996

Running out of legs…

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had the following conversation with ski racers:

Ski racer: I need to improve my fitness?

Me: How do you know that?

Ski racer: Because I ran out of legs on the weekend.

Me: Running out of legs often does not point to an issue with fitness.

Ski racer: What do you mean? What else could it be?

Me: Technique. What have you done in the way of work on yourself technically?

Ski racer: Not much.

Water ski racing – below the surface of appearances – is technical. Skiing technique is paramount. Why do some ski racers rarely, if ever, fall? Largely because of their technique. Why do some ski racers seem to last even though they don’t appear fit? Because of their technique.

Golfers and tennis players at the top of their sport continue to work on their technique daily. The top 5% of ski racers (strong in all conditions) have done more technical training than the other 95% of ski racers combined.

Oh, it’s possible to become a force to be reckoned with and be technically weak. One ski racer almost reached legendary status with a horribly inefficient technique. He was just so tough mentally and athletic. He didn’t let skiers pass him. With the right drills on the right marathon skis (freeboard etc) he would have been unbeatable for over a decade.

“But I am doing this for fun. I don’t plan on being a champion.” Some ski racers tell me. “That’s fine, I say “You’ll have more fun if you are improving yourself technically. And be safer.” You don’t need a training boat and you don’t even need a ski. Purchase a paling from a timber yard and learn to get up on it behind a social boat. Start crossing the wash. Challenge yourself.

Unlike your race ski, your paling is very unforgiving. Learn to weight and unweight your paling when crossing the wash. If you don’t you will fall but that’s OK, you are learning. Wear a helmet. Do whatever it takes to be on the path of technical improvement.

Michael Dayes

Phone: 02 96532967
Fax: 02 96531550
Mobile: 04 1234 2114
35 Crosslands Road
Galston NSW Australia 2159
PO Box 13 Galston NSW 2159

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