American Alpine ski teams on Ground in New Zealand
The U.S. Alpine Ski Team is opening week two of on-snow camps in New Zealand this week as both men's and women's groups base their camps at Coronet Peak.
Olympic medalists Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) and Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) are on the slopes along with fellow 2010 hardware haulers Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) and Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY) as both programs take advantage of winter conditions in the Southern Hemisphere.
"Speed and tech guys are here at the same time," said men's Head Coach Sasha Rearick. "In the past we've had them there at different times with a little bit of cross over, but we wanted to take advantage of our resources and maximize cross training between the groups."
The men's tech program, including Miller, will primarily be at Coronet Peak, but they will also spend some time at Cadrona and Snow Park. Speed will also stay mainly at Coronet, however Rearick reports the guys will mix it up at Mt. Hutt mid camp.
"We're moving around a bit to improve the way the guys adapt to situational changes," he said. "We found after last season, the guys needed to improve the way they react to changes, whether it is terrain, course rhythm or different course sets over terrain. We simply need to improve how we adapt across the board."
Both groups kicked off with fundamentals for the first part of the nearly three-week camp before moving into giant slalomand slalom training for the tech team and a mix of GS and super G with the speed team.
"Team dynamics right now are incredible and that has a lot to do with our successful hockey camp in Park City, but in general, this is a strong group of athletes with an absolute commitment to being a team," said Rearick. "We had a good family vibe all last season and we're keeping that rolling. We're having fun working hard."
For Vonn, Mancuso and Co. it is the first on snow training since early spring and a chance to work on technique and balance before moving into full gate running on injected snow toward the end of the two-week camp.
"The first days of this camp are always working on basic things these athletes all know well," said women's Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser. "But they are still very important steps. It's easy to develop bad habits early and then stick with them, so it's important we make sure those don't happen."
Similar to the men's camp, Hoedlmoser says there will be some cross over between speed and tech athletes training together, but it will depend on the athlete's needs.
"This is a really cool camp for us because it's all right there for the girls," he said. "We're able to develop custom daily programs depending on what type of training they need. We'll be running everything but downhill with the goal of getting everyone strong and confident on their equipment before we move to Chile next month.
"Fitness wise, they're all looking great thanks to the hard work that Ernie [Rimer, Strength and Conditioning Trainer] has been doing with them. Now it's time to put in that hard work on the snow," added Hoedlmoser.
In addition to sharing training venues, the men's and women's programs will also share a nutrition plan with newly named Sports Dietitian Adam Korzun cooking for both teams throughout the duration of the camp.
"Having Adam with us is awesome," said Hoedlmoser. "This camp is incredibly busy and it's great to have Adam to ensure they're getting everything they need to stay healthy and to recover after each workout."