We all have our quirks and habits. Ski racers in particular seem to develop patterns around their sport. Maybe a certain approach copied from someone they looked up to, or something that "worked" once and they stuck with it out of superstition.
In the movie "Cool Runnings", the Jamaica team adopted the Swiss "ein zwei drei" countdown, simply copying what they saw the top team doing. They never reached their true potential until they saw the real key learning, a routine to get your mind focused and muscle memory firing, and applied it with their own style: Feel the rhythm!, feel the rhyme! Get on up, because it's bobsled time!
We hope you can gleam some benefits from some of these serious, slightly wacky, and very interesting habits from top racers and maybe, just maybe, there will be something you can apply to your approach.
Sam Morse: I have a few amusing quirks...
- I always double fist pump my serviceman when the guy before me kicks out of the gate.
- When my parents are at a race, they always kiss the lucky egg (sticker on top of my helmet) before my run.”
- When I am getting my boots on I ALWAYS go left liner, right liner, left boot, right boot. I don’t know why, but I've always done it like that. Anyone who puts their right on first, or worse, doesn’t have a preference is crazy person.
- On hill warm up is important to ski racers. Most of us have our routines. Mine for the very first run, every run for the last decade has been javelin turns. You better believe that I am a goddamn master of javelin turns. Tucker's Pre-run countdown:
- 10 racers out, lose the pants.
- 5 racers out, lose the jacket.
- Time to click in....
- Two hard hits boot on boot, always followed by one definitive leg kick.
- Lift boot up for coach to knock remaining snow off.
- Bring leg down for one more boot on boot hit followed by one final leg kick.
- Click into skis, followed by three to four jumps.
- THEN (this is the important part) find flat ground, click out of your binding, without lifting boot up recenter your heel, click back in. (I’ve done that part for as long as I can remember.)
- Repeat for opposite ski.
- Now you’re ready to race.
- I put my hair in a braid every time I ski.
- I never ski without a neckie.
- I put hand warmers in my sports bra and long underwear when it’s cold out.
- I don’t ski without my back protector.
- 2 free ski runs is my minimum before I get in a course, whether it’s training or racing.
- I normally don’t take more than 5 minutes to inspect...which is probably why I’ve won way more inspections than I have races.
From Garrett Driller:
- I usually wake up an hour before my teammates, to insure that my caffeine hits before I leave the room, They wake up 10 min to departure.
- I always talk to the starter while approaching the gate, at ten seconds out is when I focus on the course.
- I always smooth out the start area with my skis before I get in the gate.
- I always put my left boot on first because my right foot is about half a size bigger, so I try to limit the minutes that side has in plastic.
Do you have any habits that you can't do without? Disagree with "left, then right"? Let us know in the comments!