Posts Tagged ‘barefoot training’

Sam Meredith: Pre-Training Before Going to the World Barefoot Center

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014


As I plan my next trip to train at The World Barefoot Center, I nervously wonder if the long British winter off skiing will leave my body in bits after the first couple of days of hard training in Florida. Along with trying to get some water time on the build up to the training camp, which might help prepare my feet for the long skiing sets, I have also be changing my fitness routine and making it as specific to barefooting as possible.

Conditioning your body before hard training at WBC involves high intense workouts and strength building concentrating on core, balance, back arms and legs. These can be broken up into three workouts which will help muscle fatigue due to lactic acid build up so when training your muscles are used to high intense working.

Interval circuits
I have been doing this workout circuit three times a week for approximately a month increasing the intensity each time and changing the exercises between the sprint, and found fitness, strength and endurance increased dramatically. Before commencing complete a warm up either a steady jog or cross trainer or rowing machine for 15 minutes. Each circuit takes 15-20 minutes and are as follows:
Note: in-between each exercise a 2 minute sprint on a treadmill or outside, this must be completed immediately following the circuit exercise no rest. Keep the intensity very high (15kph if possible).
1. Clean and jerk with press using 30kg+ must be completed correctly insuring good posture is maintained throughout. (20 repetitions)
2. Bent over row using 20kg+ again correct posture is a must to avoid back injury legs stay straight bending from the hips keeping the back straight. (30 repetitions)
3. Wide armed pull-ups (20 repetitions)
4. Close grip pull-ups (20 repetitions)
5. Press-ups (30 reptitions)
6. Body weight dips (20 reptitions)
7. Jump squats (50 repetitions)
8. Burpee pressup box jumps – complete a burpee pressup holding on to two 10kg dumbbells and jump up and down onto a raised platform each time (20 repetitions)
There needs to be at least 8 exercises in the circuit but varying the exercises or replacing them with an alternative exercise will help prevent your body getting used to routine.
If you have not been on the rowing machine for you warm up then I would advise adding in a rowing station.

Balance training

To help improve balance and control I complete these exercises on a bosu ball using no weight to begin with then increasing the weight as you improve. Ensure the bosu is fully inflated.
Stand on the bosu with your feet approx shoulder width apart squat keeping your back straight and bend your knees to 90®, keep the weight light you want to be completing at least 20 repetition the more your legs muscles fatigue the more your balance is tested.
The bosu can also be use for press-ups, throwing and catching exercises and for one leg stand ups.

Abdominals and Core
It is vital to have a strong core if you are serious about your waterskiing. If you can’t get consistent ski time on the water, which will naturally strengthen your core, then there are plenty of exercises you can do to improve it.
After completing my high intense training and balance work I always leave 10-20 minutes for an abs blast. My favourite way to train my core is also in the style of a circuit as I can keep my abs under constant strain trough a variety of exercises. My core routine is constantly changing as it is important to keep your body guessing however I will share a favourite workout of mine.
First I complete some wood choppers on the cables or do some TRX work to warm up, then I complete the following circuit 3 times:
-30 seconds of V-sits
-30 seconds of leg raises
-30 seconds of strait leg situps
-1 minute plank
-10 hanging leg raises (hold on to the pull up bar, keep legs straight and raise them up towards head by flexing at the hip)

Brody Meskers: My 120 Turn Challenge

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

When I went to the World Barefoot Center this summer, Swampy presented me with the 120 turn challenge. The 120 turn challenge consists of 120 turns with no more than 2 falls. That afternoon in the boat was one of the most nerve-racking times barefooting (even more so than skiing at the World Championships that I competed in the summer before). If I fail, I know that 500 turns await me the next day. I hopped in the water, gave myself a pep talk, and before I knew it I had 60 turns in with only one fall. With a glimmer of hope, I am half way there but my arms felt like they were going to fall off. Not a good way to start the next 60 turns.

A fall at 80 turns really messed with my head. Then reality hit at turn 107–I fell! I was disappointed and mad knowing what was ahead of me. Swampy, well let’s just say… he wasn’t too happy with me either. So, we headed back and I just lay down in my room, dreading 500 turns. After calling home to talk to my dad and feeling a little sorry for myself, I sucked it up and accepted that I had a new challenge ahead– and I wasn’t going to lose this one! The plan was to do 120 turns three times and then finish off with the last 140 turns. I didn’t have to worry about the number of falls this time out, but I couldn’t imagine 500 turns. My entire day consisted of turns and sleep, but I did it!

Needless to say, I am much better at doing turns and my mental strength took a little boost as well.

Brody Meskers

ABC Male and Female 2012 Athlete of the Year

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

​Early in the morning on January 24th, I boarded a flight to Winter Haven, Florida, where I would be attending the 2013 USA Waterski Awards Banquet with my parents and my younger sister. The banquet was to be held on Saturday, but since we were traveling all the way to Florida, we might as well make a vacation out of it. Upon my arrival in the Orlando airport, my family and I loaded up our rental car and went to our hotel in Disney. After checking in, we headed to the WBC where we met up with the crew to go to Hurricane’s for Ben Groen’s birthday. After dinner, I headed back to the hotel in order to get a good night’s sleep as I would be skiing for the first time in 3 months the following morning.

​The next morning, my father and I made the short commute from our hotel to the ski school. We went out to ski with Dave that morning. My dad and I basically just got out feet back on the water after our long break. I worked on turns, while my father did the basics (one foots, toe-holds, etc.). We headed in for a short lunch break. After lunch, we headed back out, this time with Ashleigh. I worked on slalom all afternoon. After my two sets, I had the privilege of watching Dave and Ben do some amazing multiple turn training.

The next day, Saturday, my father and I skied a half day with Keith. I did two sets of turns and a set of slalom, while my father worked his reverse toe-holds. After we finished skiing, we said our goodbyes to the WBC crew and headed back to our hotel to get cleaned up for the banquet.

​At the banquet, I received the ABC Male Athlete of the Year Award. I was excited to see some of three-event waterskiing’s top skiers. I was able to see skiers such as Nate Smith, Freddy Krueger, and Regina Jacquess receive various awards throughout the night. My family and I sat with fellow barefooter Teri Jones, who was receiving the ABC Female Athlete of the Year Award and the USA Waterski That’s Incredible Award. We were both called up on the stage to receive our awards. I really enjoyed being able to receive my award at such a nice venue with so many people there.

After the banquet, we packed up our belongings and went to sleep. The next morning my family and I boarded our plane back to Scranton, Pennsylvania. The trip was amazing, and it felt amazing to be back on the water after three months.

-Johnathan Martines

How WBC Changed My Life

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

There are many ways the World Barefoot Center changed my life. The first time I went to WBC in December 2009, I just came as a simple skier.  2009 was my first year competiting in the Open Men division. There, I met the two bests skiers  in the world and the best coach I ever had (Swampy). When I arrived in Florida, it was my first clinic out of Europe and also the first time I had to train in such great conditions for December month compare to the French winter.

In 2009, I already had couple Europeans titles in Junior and Open, so throught that my progression was close to the maximum. But when training really started with Swampy, I realized that I was far from the skiing I could expect for myself! At that point, I just felt like a beginner instead of practicing barefooting for over ten years, and that feeling is “digusting”! By pushing me so hard in trainings and making me fall on basics, Swampy just broke all the self confidence I had in my skiing. (And he almost made me cry.)

After that, my goals in this sport totally changed and I wanted to learn– and learn as much as possible in the short time I was spending in WBC. So Swampy started to build a totally different skier and a new person in myself! In a short leap of time, I transformed into a coachable skier.  I had new goals to reach and new steps to overcome to be the skier that they expected me to be: “a world class skier” like the poeple I met at the WBC.

A couple weeks later back home, I received an email from WBC and they wanted me to be a part of the team! I could not refuse the offer, so it has been a great pleasure to accept it! Accepting it was the first commitment I was doing in the sport, and it motivated me more to be a good skier  with everything that engage… so I choose to go back there to spend a bit of summer time at WBC!

At the WBC, I became involved in the sport like I never did before and trained the hardest that I could do every day. Spending a full month training in Florida made me more mature in my way of training for events and preparing myself to reach the goals that I set. Life is a challenge that you train yourself everyday to succeed in!

Shortly after leaving WBC, I faced new steps to overcome: the end ofsummer time means studies are coming back, so I had to deal with my main two activities that are barefooting and studying. The easy way  would be to stop one of those, but I could not do it! So I choose to apply the way of thinking I learnt in WBC and decided to overcome the difficulties that face me. Now my success in both just depends of the work that I  give in each.  The hardest thing has been sharing my time between my passion and my studies. My desire of being a champion is the same of being the best student that I can!

So whatever happens to you, just work the hardest you can to reach it and overcome it, never turn back!

Clement Maillard

Featured Footer: Adin Daneker

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Adin Daneker loves to sleep.  The guy is known for sleeping everywhere– in the boat, on the dock, or at the dinner table.  In fact, at the World Barefoot Center, the joke is… Adin only stays awake long enough to barefoot.

“Hey, I’m a fireman!” Adin grins.  “I don’t have a consistent sleep schedule, so I sleep when I can.”

All ribbing aside, the guy really does eat, breathe and sleep barefooting.  He fully admits to the addiction.  He started water skiing at the age of  four and got  his first taste of barefooting as a teen.  He wasn’t quite bitten with the barefooting bug, instead, he dove into water ski competitions during high school.  After he graduated, he took off for college and then started working as a fireman.

The barefoot bug finally bit him when he watched some guys rocket off a ramp at the Worlds on Lake Silverado in 1996.  Adin began barefooting with Doug Jordan, Chris Sternagel and Sherry Blackmore.  “The early years were painful,” Adin recalls.  “I remember being dragged through the water all day while learning to barefoot backwards. But as I progressed, I fell in love with barefooting– and I picked up the skills quickly.”

When Adin says he picked it up quickly, he isn’t kidding.  The following year, he entered  his first tournament and accomplished his first backward deep water start behind the boat.  He met Keith St. Onge for the first time and was blown away by his skills on the water. “I had just started, and Keith treated me the same as everyone else,” said Adin.  “I was really impressed with his skiing.”

During the spring, Adin went to Florida for two weeks and trained with Lane Bowers.  He focused on improving his jumping skills.  That summer, he entered his first Regionals.  “I tore my MCL during a traditional jump,” said Adin.  “My foot went through the water when I landed.  I was pulled sideways.”   The injury didn’t sidetrack him, as soon as healed up, he was back into the sport.  Adin went down to Florida again, this time he trained with Keith one week and Lane the other week, working on inverted jumping.  The training paid off– just two years after he started, Adin broke into the Open in tricks– and skied in his first Nationals.  His high-paying tricks were three flips on the water and two surface turns.

“I was standing on the dock with the big boys– Keith, Jon Kretchman, Ryan Boyd, Ron Scarpa and Lane Bowers,” Adin recalled. “Jon looked over at me– I was so excited as he was one of my idols.   He asked Lane, ‘Who is this guy?'”  Adin gave them a tournament to remember– one of his worse.  He fell on both trick runs and missed all of his jumps.  He managed to salvage his slalom run with a decent score.

Adin didn’t give up.  He continued to rack up tournament experience and skied in his first Worlds in 2006 as an independent skier.  He had just closed on a new house a month before the Worlds and invited Keith, Ryan, Eugene Sam and Heinrich Sam to train with him for three weeks.  “We had a blast– we were hanging out,  skiing all day, and then out to dinner.  Those guys helped me shop for furniture–  I had nothing in the house– just my bed  I think Ryan slept on the floor the whole time!”  The training paid off for Adin, he landed in the semi-finals and placed eighth.  At the 2010 Worlds in Germany, Adin took the silver Overall in the Senior division.  He was also selected as the Male Athlete of the Year for 2010.

Today, Adin is a sponsored athlete at the World Barefoot Center.  “I go to the WBC for a month and whatever Swampy tells me to do, I do it.  I work on… not crying,” Adin chuckles.  “Swampy is my psychologist on the water.  He knows when to push you and when to encourage you.  What I learned from Swampy is that skiing is 90 percent mental.”

Indeed, two of the toughest challenges for Adin are to maintain consistency on the water and to manage the mind games that go on in his head.  “During training, I can manage the head games, but in a tournament, it is hard. I have confidence issues–I get frustrated and then I start to doubt myself.  One thing that Swampy has taught me is– to go out and have fun.  One bad set doesn’t mean that you’re a bad skier.”  The most difficult trick for Adin has been the one foot turns.  “It’s a scary trick– I try not to think of the end result if it’s bad–it’s a trick that is easy to catch a toe and go down.”

Keith has been skiing with Adin for many years and the two have become good friends.  “Adin has a tremendous amount of commitment for someone who has a full time job– and that has always impressed me,” says Keith.  “He puts in more effort than most, and it reflects his passion for the sport.”

Adin’s daily mantra is a simple one: live each day to the fullest.  He plans to keep on skiing, training and improving.  “Once you get to a certain level, it’s all too easy to back off and fall off that level,” says Adin.  “This reminds me of a saying that I saw on a t-shirt in the movie, American Flyers:  ‘Once you’ve got  it up, keep it up.’

“And I’m talking about the skiing,” he grins.