Update: 1st January, 2011
Starting the New Year on a high, I bring good news from the first World Cup competitions of the year in China.
After a long flight and delayed luggage, allowing only one day of training before the competitions, I managed to put my practice from Finland into action. Landing a very nice jump on the first day and making it into the finals, but unfortunately crashing my second jump and finishing 12th.
The next day, the second competition was cancelled due to very windy conditions which thankfully subsided the follow day. I landed my first jump and once again made it into the finals in 8th position. This time I made the most of this second opportunity and put down a huge jump in the finals, to put myself into 6th, a career best for me.
Despite missing out on a real chance to podium on both days I am very happy with the outcome, and also my own performance in less than ideal conditions.
I am currently having a break from jumping over Christmas and New Year, spending my time in Europe and will fly to Montreal on the 3rd of January for the next competitions at Mt. Gabriel.
I am very excited especially for this competition as I will start to practice my new skill that I have not performed on snow yet, giving myself two – quadruple twisting triple flips, which I believe will finally give me the edge to do some damage in the competitive field and challenge the world’s best.
As previously mentioned one of my goals this year is to place in the top 10 in the World Cup tour, and after my first competitions I am ranked #8.
Update: 1st December, 2010
And so another winter begins, bring on the 2010-2011 season.
After a good 2 months back in Australia resting from the summer training, it is time to put all of the practice into action. Although it wasn’t all rest, given we had a 3 week strength and conditioning camp at the AIS in Canberra. I really enjoyed this because I could work so hard that I wouldn’t be able to walk the next day, and not have to worry about launching myself off any jumps.
And now, thanks to a good 37 hours straight of travelling I have arrived in Ruka, Finland. The same place we trained last year, freezing cold, not much sun, but a sweet jump site and only a few people using it. I leave for China on the 11th for the first World Cup competitions, but I am in no hurry this year to rush into things, we started on the basics, (double flips with twists) and tomorrow will be moving on to triple flips.
This year I’m decked out in my new gear ready to show everyone whose boss, a big thanks to XTM for the thermal gear, especially my heater socks and Oakley for my sweet jumping glasses that everyone wants.
Training has gone very well so far and I’m landing pretty much all of my jumps, I take pride in my ability to land well and plan for this to continue through the World Cups and leading into the World Championships in Deer Valley, Utah, in February.
This year I have the tricks to be a highly competitive aerialist and as always will just to the best of my ability and hope that it’s enough when it counts.
My goals this season are to make the finals at the World Championships and place highly, as well as finish in the top 10 in the World Cup tour this year, I finished 15th last year, being my first World Cup season.
Right now is the calm before the storm, and within the next 2 weeks everything will get into gear and it will be a competition pretty much every week until the end of February, so wish me luck.
Update: 15th September, 2010
With only two weeks to go before the end of my summer training in Park City I am flying into the home stretch. Careful planning from my coach has put us exactly where we need to be going into the winter season with time to spare. I’ve spent the last month learning new skills, and can now boast three different ‘quadruple twisting triple flips’ under my belt. It is not my plan to have to compete some of the skills I can now do, but if the opportunity arises where I could podium at a major event then I will bring out the bag of tricks. I am extremely happy with where I am at the moment in my training and although it has been a long summer, it has proven highly productive.
Many athletes are taking a year off and toning down the training following the Olympics, and I plan to take advantage of that this year. I plan to come out fighting hard and show the World Cup circuit that I deserved to make the finals at the Olympics and that it wasn’t at all just luck that I was there. I predict that I will be turning a few heads this year as all of the basic skill work has dramatically improved my jumping to the point where people will have to perform very well to beat me.
Thanks to great fitness and strength training, as well as frequent physiotherapy provided for me I have managed to stay uninjured throughout the summer and as a result have been able to keep the intensity up right until the end. This includes around 2,395 flips so far, and 127,745 stairs that I’ve walked up to do my jumps.
Unfortunately I won’t get much time at home because we are attending a fitness camp a week after coming back to Australia and soon after heading to Finland to begin winter training for what I can only imagine to be an exciting World Cup season. Attached in the next email is a short video of the different jumps that I have done this summer. You will see why I am confident going into this winter season and I hope to perform to a better standard than the year before as I have always done.
Update: 2nd August, 2010
Coming to the end of our third jumping camp for the summer, with two more to go, my training has been very successful. My coach has decided to stick to a slow plan, progressing only once we have achieved what we wanted on the basics, and letting the skills transfer to the bigger tricks.
This is the first year I have had the time to work on perfecting my skills, as the Olympics are over and I have 4 years to build on what I have already, instead of starting as a beginner.
In the last two camps I have been working on double flips with up to four twists, and used the groundwork from this to move up to triple flips with three twists. Although these aren’t the hardest skills I have done, they are an improvement on what I have been able to do in the last few years, and with the World Championships coming up in January, I plan to be up there with the best in the world, as a medal contender.
The camp was topped off by an FIS water ramping competition that involved most of the Australian, US, and UK aerial teams, battling it out in a head to head knockout competition. I competed against 3 Olympians from the US team (two, ranked higher than I am), and through my good basics training from the last 3 camps, I was able to execute a new skill that I have never tried before, and when a big score was needed, I managed to put it to my feet to take the win.
A good reminder of why proper training is so important, and a nice new pair of skis for first prize is pretty sweet as well!
I look forward to increasing my degree of difficulty in skills the next two camps and finishing off the summer training ready to do some damage in the World Cup tour this year.
Update: 26th June, 2010
After a three month break from Aerials after the Vancouver Olympics, and a semester of hard work back at university, I have travelled back overseas to the USA to begin the four year cycle towards the next Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Unfortunately I will have to defer the final part of this semester at university as I will just not be around to complete the practical teaching classes. I hope that next year I will get a long enough break to finally be able to complete my teaching degree.
Our first camp has just been completed. I have spent a month back on the basics, working on perfecting the skills leading up to the bigger and harder moves. I have been practicing straight back flips and a few twists – which seem simple, but it is important to overcome any bad habits that might have found their way into my technique. I have also been doing trampoline routines and, of course, I am back in the gym getting ever stronger to ensure a safe and injury free season.
Currently I am the only member of our World Cup team jumping this year and I hope to represent Australia strongly in all competitions in the upcoming (2010/11) winter season.
My aim for this (Northern hemisphere) summer is to perfect the tricks that I can already do – given that I rushed up to them to make the last Olympics! The short term goal is to be at my best for January 2011, when the World Championship will be held here in Utah. I would like to contend for a medal and put down a solid performance.
Moving in to our second camp I will move onto the double kicker to work on double flips with twists. I have a new coach this year and look forward to new ideas and a different approach in order to help me progress to becoming the best in the world.