There are a few things that many of the Olympians competing in Sochi share in common. Take a look at Jamie Anderson, Patrick Kane, and Ted Ligety. Jamie Anderson is only 23 years old and she just won the gold medal in one of the newest Winter Olympic events, Ladies Snowboarding Slopestyle. Patrick Kane has won two Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe trophy, and played a key role in USA's silver medal against Canada in the 2010 Olympics. Ted Ligety is considered the best slalom skier in the world and is an Olympic gold medalist in the combined. Each of these athletes have at least three things in common: their young start, their training regimen, and the importance of their coaching.
Jamie Anderson learned to snowboard at age nine, and is the youngest to ever medal at the Winter X Games. There are stories of Jamie hanging around her older sisters, learning to snowboard at her development program when she was just a kid. She earned a spot in the X Games when she was only 13 years old. Patrick Kane started playing organized hockey at the mite level. He scored so many goals in one of his leagues that several parents petitioned to not allow him in the league. Patrick was 9 at the time. He became so good by the age of 14 that he moved to Detroit to play in the Midewest Elite Hockey League. Ted Ligety was competing in races at age 11. Unlike his Olympic peers though, Ligety wasn't the best at his age. He didn't make the team when he tried out for his local racing development program. He kept working hard and practicing throughout high school and eventually was invited to join the United States' development ski team at age 19.
Jamie makes sure to take care of her body and incorporates many different sports into her training. She works out with a personal trainer. She also mountain bikes, runs, hikes, and does yoga. She schedules her training seasonally so that she isn't over doing it in the spring and ramps up her activity in the fall before her season starts. Patrick puts in a lot of work during his offseason. He's been known to work out 15 out of every 17 days for three hours a day in the summer months. He's also made adjustments such as increasing the amount of skating he does in the offseason. He's said that when he's at his peak, he is practicing on the ice anywhere from three to five times a week. Ted Ligety trains year round. The only months he doesn't ski are June and July. When he is training, he's working 5-6 hours a day and works out his core every day. Similarly to Jamie, Ted incorporates other sports into his training by mountain biking as well as playing basketball and tennis.
IMPORTANCE OF COACHING
When Jamie Anderson was developing as a snowboarder, she participated in a development program and was coached by Brady Gunsch. It was under Coach Gunsch that Jamie developed her fluid yet aggressive snowboarding style. Coach Gunsch teaches athletes to snowboard in all conditions so they won't become distracted in competition. Patrick Kane has been coached by Darryl Belfry who specializes in research based hockey development. They've known each other since Kane was playing minor hockey. Belfry provides Kane with specific areas where he can improve by breaking down game tapes and offering advice on ways to skate faster and find more space. Kane will sometimes text his coach during the season just to ask for some helpful advice. Ted works out with USSA High Performance Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Alex Moore. Alex is the strength and conditioning trainer for the US ski team as well as Ted's personal trainer. Ted says that Alex does a good job of keeping him on track by bringing in a sports science component to his training. Alex makes sure that Ted works hard so that he's able to be the best in competitions, especially for the 2014 Olympics. Young athletes looking to reach the Olympics have only to look at the Olympians competing in Sochi to see the amount of hard work and determination it takes to reach such a level. If you wish to succeed, take a note out of their book and start young, work hard, and make sure you receive the proper coaching. If you want to follow in these Olympians' footsteps and book private coaching sessions, you can do so using CoachUp. Simply select your sport, enter your location, and find a coach that can bring your game to #AnotherLevel.