About Sean Warman:
Known in the ski industry as "Shwamy", Sean Warman’s life’s work has been a whole hearted dedication to alpine skiing. Following a degree in Geology, earth’s magnetic pull seemed to have plans that wouldn’t allow time spent in the office. With over 30 seasons of ski coaching, including 9 seasons in Porillo's (Chile) elite ski school and his rise to the elite cut of the nation’s best of the best - the PSIA Alpine National Demonstration Team, Warman’s resume reads along with a who’s who in the technical skiing world. He had worked with the US Ski Team, Junior athletes, and ski instructors aspiring to the top ranks of the profession. Whether on World Cup podiums or in the current selection of the America’s National Demo Team, Sean Warman’s knowledge and insight continue to drive success in the world of alpine skiing. Currently, Sean merges his passion of film and sport in Images and Concepts – education DVD’s and video imagery that have revolutionized how athletes learn.
Definition of METHOD
“During a day of practice, I do not care if you finish the day better, you need to finish the day different”
University of Michigan
Head football coach 69-89, considered as one of the greatest football coaches of all time.
Northstar Coaching Methodology
We have a training plan that involves more than running gates. It is a step by step progression to becoming faster in a race course.
When a ski racer only runs gates, they practice what they already know how to do. Our goal is to help our athletes do something different. We have a systemic approach to helping a ski racer become faster. Change is at the heart of this system and the foundation of this philosophy.
Methodology or coaching system:
When the skill is applied correctly, results are seen in faster times.
Every time we introduce or improve a new movement we will repeat this cycle.
The one thing in our control is the ability to teach skiing and coach tactics, thus help the skier develop new movement patterns. Not in our control; how athletic, aggressive or fast they will be.
We will focus on what is in our control.
It is important to have free ski time, this means no focus or thoughts, and the athlete needs to know the difference between free skiing and focused skiing or directed skiing.
Maximize your time with the team
As with anything we are always looking for ways we can save money. One of the biggest errors that I see parents do in trying to save money is when buying ski boots. In your attempt to be money conscious with your child’s boots you could be wasting the money you spent on our program. Our coaches can be the best in the world, but if your child is in a boot that is too big or too stiff, all of his/her work will be in vain. The ill-fitting boot can cause pain, and actually hinder the learning. Finding ski boots that fit your child’s feet properly is probably the single most important step you can take to make sure their time on skis is enjoyable and productive. Poor-fitting boots cause foot pain, fatigue and hinder learning, so make sure you find a pair of boots that fits.
Step 1: Get the right length
The boot has an angle built into it that the manufacturers have deemed optimal for skiing performance.
This angle is an approximation and can be adjusted through shimming (see below).
Maintaining this angle is essential for learning to ski and develop proper movement patterns. The problem arises when we buy the boot for them to grow into that is too big. In this situation the foot slides forward causing the ankle to straighten (green line) out and the skier loses the optimal angle (red line) we are striving for them to maintain.
Therefore DON’T just go by your shoe size! Ski boots are meant to fit more snugly than street shoes, thus most people need a smaller-sized ski boot – typically from a half to a full size smaller – than a street shoe.
More information to know:
Once you’ve measured your child’s feet, you’ll want to use the sizing chart to convert your true foot size to centimeters, which is the metric-based measurement system that all ski boot manufacturers use when building their boot shells. This is a universal scale called “Mondopoint”. For a shoe size conversion chart, check out this Mondo Point Size & Conversion Chart.
Ski boot manufacturers don’t make boot shells in every half size. The difference between these two sizes is the liner and/or insole size.
Tip: Remember that with the aid of a professional boot fitter, ski boots can always be made bigger (stretched, ground out, etc.), but there is no way to make them smaller if you end up buying boots that are too big. So consider sizing down and having the boot customized for your foot, especially if you are looking for higher performance out of your ski boots.
To truly get a good judgment of how a boot fits, professional boot fitters will pull the liner out of a boot and have the skier stick their foot in just the boot shell, with their toes just brushing the front of the boot, and then will measure the amount of space between the skier’s heel and the back of the boot shell
Step 2: Get the right flex
Flex is the action of the shin (tibia/fibula) moving toward the foot through flexion in the ankle. This action is a SKILL, and like any movement patterns must be developed through practice. This flex occurs as a result of bending the plastic. If the boot is too stiff (due to harder plastic), the skier cannot LEARN to flex. The ability to flex ankles is a fundamental element to skiing. Thus if the skier can’t flex the boot/ankles there development will be hindered. This is why it is essential for a young skier to be in a boot that allows them to flex.
Just because they can flex the boot in the in the shop at 80 degrees does not indicate they can flex it while in a turn. Be very wary of the shop employee who is trying to sell you the race boot because your child is on the race team. This becomes even more problematic when the child has not caught up to his/her feet. This is when they can fit in an adult boot yet they are still in a child’s body.
Boot stiffness is indicated by a numeric “flex index” scale, usually a number from 50 to 130, and going as low as 30 and as high as 150. The method of determining flex index is not standardized between boot manufacturers, and one company’s 100 flex boot may not exactly equal another company’s 100 flex boot, so use the numbers as a starting point but don’t get too hung up on them.
Step 3: Shimming
Very often children do not have a developed calf muscle and thus lack the ‘stuff’ behind the shin-bone that will add more angle to the lower leg. Boot manufactures assume calf muscle in the calculations when creating a ski boot. So, when a child lacks the muscle they will typically not have the optimal lower leg angle. We can add material to the area between the liner and the shell in the calf area to supplement or fine-tune the lower leg angle of any skier. This is referred to as shimming. This is of more importance when a person of any size may have a small calf.