Posts Tagged ‘clement maillard’

Recovering After a Barefoot Injury

Thursday, May 16th, 2013
As you might know last August I dislocated my shoulder on jumping, it happened in Texas during the the team training, 2 days before the world’s began. Such a frustration after months of getting ready for the biggest competition of the next 2 years, travelling that far from my country to be injured on the first set. Even if I could not plan what would happen, that would have to be the worst experience as a skier, so much invested time for nothing. Instead of pain what’s kills me more was seeing all those peoples that you met all along your trainings and travels skiing and enjoying there tournament as a skier, and I was just beside them couldn’t do anything but watching.

Back home many poeples were sorry for me. But after that I just had to wait for things to get better.. 6 weeks later I was able to start a physiotherapy to recover, 4 times a week I used to go to get back in a good shape for 3 months. When the physiotherapy  had finished, the skiing season was already done so I couldn’t “test” my shoulder for a while. So far my goal was to get back in shape and make my shoulder stronger but what could I do until the season began? I used to practice in winter times as rugby and gymnastic where forbidden. But I couldn’t wait anymore, I just needed to move so I chose to go back on gym to keep a descent physical activity and it would permit me to find my limits.
After a couple training sessions I was still feeling pain on my shoulder and gymnastic crave a lot on this, but the more I was going and the more I practice I was feeling better and better so I keep going and looked forward to barefoot. Then I enforced the training and started to work out more and more meanwhile the barefoot season started.

I’m in Florida for two weeks now and I didn’t have the opportunity to ski before I come here because of the very long winter we had in Europe.  I feel so good to ski after an eight-month break, even if I keep having pains sometimes. I don’t give up and manage with it, the most important thing now is I focus on for this year and next Worlds that I don’t want to miss this time!

Clement Maillard

Clement Maillard: How I Started Barefooting

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013



Boating is a tradition in my family that goes back to my grandparents, and as far as I can remember my family always had a boat.
Once, when I was a young boy (almost 6) in a family meeting, we were looking at old pictures and I saw that my dad and uncle use to waterski behind a small boat in the 70’s. I asked my dad why he never talked about waterskiing before and he told me that he wasn’t in shape to do those stunts anymore. But I learned he had a boat stored in a roof up to the country and none knew about it before.
Next spring, I asked him to put back that boat on the water. After many times of asking, he finally said okay. As soon as we could, we picked up that boat and went for a ride. After a couple of rides, it was finally warm enough–and my dad asked us (me and my brothers) if we wanted to waterski, I had never seen it before, so first my dad showed us the way to do it.
My brothers tried first and succeeded after couple attempts. I wasn’t big enough to wear the wetsuits and the skis, so I didn’t even try to do it. My father promised me that he would teach me in a waterski club that a friend of him own so I could try it in proper conditions.
Two weeks later we were there. I was really impatient to try waterskiing. As soon as I got ready, we jumped into the boat and go!
But what I didn’t know is that this guy who was suppose to pull me was one of the best barefooters in France, a senior team member and a senior European champion, Patrick Whyte. I was 6 years old and I never heard about barefooting before, so I thought that I was just going for a simple waterski attempt but it wasn’t the case. At the first try they put me on the boom with two skis linked together, and as we could expect I lost those once the boat go. Lazy to pick up the skis and fit it back, Patrick asked me if I wanted to try without, it seemed me incredible but he convinced me and told me that’s was exactly and that nothing changes! So I answered OK!
He run the Boat and I was ready to live the Best experience of my life that is to barefoot waterski, but I didn’t know that it is totally sick to ski right on your feet. On the first try I succeeded and ski on 100meters/300 feet. I did it again a couple times. After that day, I wanted to come back to try as soon as possible, and the next week we came back did it again and again. Fifteen years later, I’m still going and barefooting is still the thing that I love more in my life!
I became more and more involved in the sport, skiing with a small team of young skiers in this waterski club between the ages of 6 and 10, so we trained all together every weekend, pushing each other further in barefooting. I started competing one year later in 1999. Then I never stopped competing!




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