On The Fly With Freestyle Aerialist, Emily Cook

The following is an excerpt from a blog post that was published at skiracing.com:

Just a week ago, each of the 144 steps to the top of the water ramps at the Utah Olympic Park were blanketed in brittle frost. Snow and hail fell from an ominous sky into the 48-degree pool and wind blew sideways, threatening to push us off the ramps. Despite a long, dynamic warm up, layers of fleece and a drysuit, my legs felt cold and a little heavy. There is a natural inclination to get out of frigid water during weather like this, but knowledge that the summer is nearing its end served as motivation to take advantage of the unique training environment provided by summer water ramping.

Early mornings such as this at the Utah Olympic Park, during private U.S. Ski Team sessions, are quiet and focused as athletes prepare for the day ahead. Mogul and aerial coaches work together, sharing secrets and techniques that will propel their athletes to the top of their game, reviewing video to find exactly what is missing that will make the difference.

Like diving or gymnastics, a clean bodyline, dynamic twisting mechanics and flawless landings are essential to performing well. Jumping into a pool allows us the opportunity to work on new tricks and make big changes while reducing the risk of injury. After a long and productive summer we have all made dramatic improvements to style, technique, and overall form, which will surely transfer into high scores this coming winter.

Our ongoing study of biomechanics and training time on the trampoline and in the bungee harness have allowed us to implement techniques that help us to improve twist speed and timing, which is an essential skill when increasing degree of difficulty. Improved performance in areas such as take-off and landing enhances the overall look of a jump and can also make transferring new tricks from water to the 37-degree snow landing hill an easier progression. After each jump, we meticulously review video with our coaches and make subtle changes to things like arm placement and head position in order to work towards precision and successful jumps.

Click here to read the entire blog post.

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