Good Shape?

オフシーズンの心構えとでも言いましょうか、まだ高校生のアメリカナショナルチームメンバー Keith Carroll がブログに書いた文章です。自分自身に向かって書いたとも思われますが、なかなか的を得た意見です。私も参考にしてオフシーズンを過ごしたいと思います。しかし、こんな風に理路整然と書けるアスリートが育つスケート環境がすばらしい。

しかしUSARS と言えども、まだまだ17歳のアマチュア選手をサポートほど資金に余裕が無いのでしょう。以前、彼の父親が遠征資金を捻出しするためにレース会場でバーベキューを売っている写真を見たことがあります。アメリカは広いです、家族や地域のサポート無しに活動できません。そんなこんなで、スポーツに対する選手の自覚が違うのかも知れません。

The Story of Keith Carroll

Good Shape?

by Keith Jr (Oct. 26, 2008)
What is good shape? In October when are you in good shape? Is it when you are skating a marathon a day and skating your best and then all you have to do is hold it for the next 10 months? no. I'll tell you what good shape is in October.
The signs of good shape are simple to notice, but only you can notice them. And only if you are honest to yourself. You can read them and say, "Yeah I do all of that." but you probably don't, not everyday.

1. How much are you skating?
It's October so 10 times a week is not necessary. Actually, at that rate you most likely won't make it to the end of the season. I would say 4 times a week is adequate. Two is never enough. If you only skate two times a week you cannot actually think you are going to be in good shape. 4 times a week. Nothing big. If your team doesn't get in that many well that means you need to do something on your own. It all matters on what you do at practice. You should be doing fundamentals, if you are going over about 75% at any point you probably shouldn't. I'm talking about circles. Unless you skate at my rink, your indoor rink most likely has artistic circles put down on the wood, skate on them. If you can get your ankles straight before you try and go fast you'll increase your power (in every step) tremendously.

2. What do you want?
It's only October but if you don't know what you want out of your season you are headed in the wrong direction. You are skating for no reason. You are wasting your time and your coaches. Even if you just want to lose weight, that is your purpose. At no point in a season should you not know what you are skating for. You should remember this at every practice, even away from practice. Make a season goal. But don't get carried away. Keep it reasonable. Make it tough enough that you have to work every single day for it but not something that deep down isn't realistic this season.

3. What is your mindset?
When you tie your skates for practice what are you thinking? On Tuesday are you going through your day thinking, "Today's Tuesday, I've got practice.." Are you confident in what you are doing right now? If at any point you are at practice and your coach decides to do a certain drill are you like "why are we doing this?" ask. They are doing it for a reason. Your coaches want the best for you, ask them why you are doing this or why you aren't doing this. Bring up suggestions and see what they think. If you don't like the drill, then you are wasting it. Even if you aren't skating the times or the speed or whatever you want to right now you should still be confident that what you are doing is going to make you the fastest at the end of the season: the only time that matters.

4. What are you doing besides team practice?
You have a goal, you are going to your team's practices you are confident in your coach but what are you doing on your own? For some people this step does not apply. But if you want to be a national champion, a world team member, a world champion you can't expect to get where you want to just by going to practice. Take matters into your own hands. If it is doing dry land exercises for a half hour every day, or slideboarding every day for a half hour (if you can make it that long... without standing up), or skating outdoor. You want to be a champion? If you don't become one it wasn't your coaches fault, it was yours. You can lift weights (just get the correct program), cross-train or anything.

5. What are you doing to set yourself up for success?
Ever heard of nutrition? Sleep? Right now it is October. It's is the beginning of the season which is the easiest time to get hyped up about training hard this season and eating right but you probably wont withstand that mentality every day for the next 10 months. I would say wait until at least December for your nutrition in most cases. Eat (to some extent) what you want for now. That way when it is time to buckle down you've gotten all the junk out of you and you can focus. (If you want to be a world champion or make the world team.. December may be too late) Sleep eight hours a day no matter what. Naps don't count. Go to sleep at 10, get up at 6. They say you sleep in 4 hour cycles, that's why you might wake up in the middle of the night (after about four hours). If you lift weights then take a protein bar with you or a quick protein shake. When it is cold you can leave shakes in your car and they will be cold. Within 30 minutes of your workout getting some type of protein into your body will help your body retain more of the muscle you just worked up.

6. How is your personal life?
Not to invade privacy or anything. But the less distractions you have the easier it is to achieve your goals. Better grades in school will result in better skating. Less girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband trouble will improve your skating. I'm not lying either.

7. Are you listening to your body?
The only want to know if you need a break is to listen to your body. There will be times in the year where you just shouldn't push it as hard. One way to know is your heart rate. If you take your heart rate first thing once you wake up. And I mean like literally first thing (hit your alarm and take your heart rate) that s when your heart rate is at it's lowest. Days when you see a spike you should probably only do 75%-80% of your workout.

Right now I am in perfect shape. Technically I am in the worst shape physically since the start of the 2006 season when I broke my collarbone but I am probably in better shape then I ever have been. Right now I skate 3 times a week, next week it will probably spike to six which is adequate for myself. (that includes outdoor even though we are down to the 40's already). Next week I will start my slideboarding routine and weightlifting. In about two weeks I'm starting my nutrition. And I sleep 8-9 hours every night. Every drill I do I do it the way it is suppose to be done. I can remember about 5 minutes worth of drills where I have just gone through the motion all season the rest is focused on my goals. I no what my goals are and I remind myself every single day what I want and what I need to do.

A Younger Perspective: Good Shape?
USA Roller Sports: Keith Carroll
Inline Skating Notebook: Keith Carroll