This entry comes to CSCUSA from our interview with the Spencer Nelson All-Star Athlete of the Year, Keaton McCargo of the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club. We sat down and chatted about her tips and insight now that ski season is here. And just in case you missed it, yesterday’s conversation was with Doug Sakata of Copper Mountain, CSCUSA’s Instructor of the Year.
Keaton McCargo has been skiing since she was two years old. At only 16 years old, her on- and off-slope resume has already reached impressive heights, including skiing to a bronze medal finish at the Junior Nationals during the 2010-11 season. This accomplishment placed her alongside just 10 other freestyle competitors nationally in the US Ski Team program “Young Guns.” Last season, during her second season on the Colorado All Star Team, McCargo competed in 11 regional mogul contests, achieving bronze or higher in 10 of them. Despite qualifying for the Junior World’s in Valmalenco, Italy, McCargo declined so she could instead attend the US nationals, where she achieved bronze in dual moguls. McCargo’s dedication outside of skiing also made her the top choice for Athlete of the Year. A passionate artist, she volunteers her off-hours helping to teach third and fourth graders at a local school. She also works with the ski club’s local adaptive ski program, and at Saint Michael’s school in Window Rock, AZ – a school for developmentally disabled children.
- When snowboarding/skiing, what’s the best stretch or training technique you would recommend to really maximize flexibility in your body when on the slopes? Any particular area of the body where it’s more important to target?
I think it is really good to do a warm up before going out on the hill. It is an active way to get your muscles warmed up and loose before getting into skiing. Doing a warm up is helpful in preventing injury because you are not as tight and stiff, which makes it easier to tear or break something. I always focus more on my legs because they do the most work on the slopes.
- What’s the best breakfast before a day out on the slopes when either skiing or snowboarding? What foods especially keep up your energy and strength for the day?
As a skier it is important to have a breakfast with enough calories to keep you going throughout the day. It should be a balanced breakfast with protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and antioxidants. I usually eat yogurt and granola with fruit and I drink a ton of water or fruit juice.
- What’s a good exercise for more seasoned skiers who are preparing to get back into the sport this winter and looking to maximize their power and strength?
A good exercise would be one that consists of plyometrics and weight lifting. These two combined really help your legs become more explosive on the ski hill.
- In terms of injury prevention when skiing or snowboarding, are there certain pieces of gear you would recommend over others that help? Are there certain stretches or exercises you should do before or after a ski session in order to keep your muscles loose?
It is always important to wear a helmet and use a mouth guard. Both help in preventing serious head damage. Also if you are attempting serious tricks a back protector is also a good idea. I always do a warm up before skiing and a cool down after so I can keep my muscles loose and not sore. By doing this I am also preventing injuries.