US Mens Alpine Team Use Go-Karts For Training During Off-Season

Posted By: The Ski Channel on July 18, 2011 11:18 am

Members of the U.S. men’s Alpine team don’t need snow to train during the off-season.

They are doing just about everything to keep their skills sharp, and build some team unity before heading to New Zealand next month.

In June, they bicycled in California from Napa Valley to the Pacific Coast and back. More recently, they were flipping tires and swinging sledgehammers, playing rugby and riding high-speed go-karts in the desert southwest of the Great Salt Lake.

While many of the activities test their conditioning, the go-karts at Miller Motorsports Park offer an opportunity to hone technical skills. It helps that their speed coach is a former professional motorcycle racer who believes lessons learned on the track transfer to the ski hill!

“We needed a break between conditioning and fitness testing tomorrow, so we came out for a little driving school and learned about the tactics in a sport that is different but has a very similar approach to ski racing,” said Rearick. “It’s always good to go and do an exercise that can transfer.”

Always on the hunt for ways to shave off a hundredth of a second, the coaches and athletes were quick studies, learning how to read the turns like pro drivers.

“One thing that is very interesting we’ve learned from Formula One racing is where to look on a turn,” said Rearick. “It was amazing after they showed us some examples, I picked my head up and started looking at those places and felt how much easier it was. So hopefully the guys can bring that back into skiing.”