Posts Tagged ‘sam meredith’

Sam Meredith: World Barefoot Center Visit Oct/Nov 2015

Monday, November 30th, 2015

This year my trip to WBC was for 3 main reasons; to ski, go on Smallz stag and to be there for Tabbs & Smallz Wedding Day. Before I arrived at the WBC I set myself a couple of targets for my trip. I wanted to successfully complete back toe holds on my feet and to also get more comfortable skiing backwards. I had a quiet summer season skiing in the UK, so this was only the third time to be back on the water this year.

The first week was a really tough week which consisted of a lot of slaps and face-plants, mainly trying to ride one foots backwards. Every time I lifted my one foot up especially on the reverse, I would get defensive and start to dive away by pushing on my toes. Two of the most important things I learnt during the first week which helped me the most was to SLOW everything down and to push straight down on my standing foot rather than ploughing through the water and pushing out. After a few failed attempts I relaxed, slowed everything down and the one foots became so much easier and less painful. I even managed to ride a few passes without falling.

After three full days of skiing I was ready for a break as my body was not ski fit. One thing I learnt is you can’t really get ski fit in a gym, nothing can prepare your body on the water more then simply skiing a lot. Before the boys headed off for the weekend stag break, a group of us at the school all went out for a night ski. I have always wanted to night ski, it was a wicked night.
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After Las Vegas I couldn’t wait to get back on the water! With my main goal still in mind, I was on a mission to complete a few back toe holds before I went back to the UK. After the 3 day stag break I started getting much more comfortable skiing backwards. I even surprised myself by successfully completing backwards slalom both on the shoe skis and on my feet for the first time. Doing backwards longline and mixing it up with slalom helped me a lot. On one of my last mornings when I was out with Dave Small he had me doing a pass of back ones and back toe holds on my feet. I was concentrating on not diving away and keeping flat on my foot and I managed to do two or three back toes. It felt AWESOME! The last few days I worked on my slalom and jump. The whole trip and the training made me think about how much I need to start training more in the UK.

– By Sam Meredith

Sam Meredith – YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT! EAT TO SKI FITNESS

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

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Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. It doesn’t have to be difficult either. Eat the right amount of calories for how active you are, so that you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use. If you eat or drink too much, you’ll put on weight. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight. It is recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). Women should have around 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kilojoules). Most adults are eating more calories than they need, and should eat fewer calories.  Eat a wide range of foods to ensure that you’re getting a balanced diet and that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.

 

Starchy foods should make up around one third of the foods you eat, potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread. Most of us should eat more starchy foods: try to include at least one starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the calories of fat.

It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of fruit and veg. It’s easier than it sounds. A glass of unsweetened 100% fruit juice (150ml) can count as one portion, and vegetables cooked into dishes also count. I try to mount my plate with lean meat and fill up on green vegetables not too many root vegetables if you want to lean up.

 

Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, including at least one portion of oily fish. Oily fish contains omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease. You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned: but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt. Oily fish include salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, sardines and pilchards. Non-oily fish include haddock, plaice, coley, cod, tinned tuna, skate and hake. If you regularly eat a lot of fish, try to choose as wide a variety as possible. We all need some fat in our diet. But it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat we’re eating. There are two main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease. Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as hard cheese, cakes, biscuits, sausages, cream, butter, lard and pies. Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake, and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados. For a healthier choice, use just a small amount of vegetable oil or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee. When you’re having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat.

fresh salmon steak on white background

Sugary foods and drinks, including alcoholic drinks, are often high in energy (measured in kilojoules or calories), and if eaten too often, can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals. Cut down on sugary fizzy drinks, alcoholic drinks, sugary breakfast cereals, cakes, biscuits and pastries, which contain added sugars: this is the kind of sugar we should be cutting down on, rather than sugars that are found in things such as fruit and milk.

 

Food labels can help: use them to check how much sugar foods contain. More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means that the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means that the food is low in sugar. Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt. Adults and children over 11 should eat no more than 6g of salt a day. Younger children should have even less. Eat less salt, eating excessive amounts of salt has been proven to increase the risk of heart disease.

 

Eating a healthy, balanced diet plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy weight, which is an important part of overall good health. Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke.  Most adults need to lose, and need to eat fewer calories to do this. If you’re trying to lose weight, aim to eat less and be more active. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help: aim to cut down on foods that are high in fat and sugar, and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Don’t forget that alcohol is also high in calories, so cutting down can help you to control your weight.

 

Physical activity can help you to maintain weight loss or be a healthy weight. Being active doesn’t have to mean hours at the gym: you can find ways to fit more activity into your daily life. For example, try getting off the bus one stop early on the way home from work, and walking. Being physically active may help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.  After getting active, remember not to reward yourself with a treat that is high in energy. If you feel hungry after activity, choose foods or drinks that are lower in calories, but still filling.

 

We need to drink about 2 litres to stop us getting dehydrated. This is in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water and lower-fat milk are healthier choices. Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks that are high in added sugars and calories, and are also bad for teeth. Even unsweetened fruit juice is sugary, so try to limit how much you drink to no more than one glass (about 150ml) of fruit juice each day.

 

Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. In fact, research shows that eating breakfast can help people control their weight. A healthy breakfast is an important part of a balanced diet, and provides some of the vitamins and minerals we need for good health. A whole grain cereal with fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and nutritious breakfast. Eating healthy makes you feel a lot better in yourself and can make you train harder and give you increased mental focus which is a key factor for barefoot skiing.

 

– Sam Meredith

Sam Meredith: Barefoot Clinic with David Small

Monday, November 17th, 2014

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I booked in for a ski clinic with David Small in September in sunny England. I was looking to improve my backwards position on both feet and one foot. Having spent 3 weeks in June at the World Barefoot Center, I did about 50% of my training skiing backwards and became quite confident on two feet by the end of my stay, but when it came to doing one foots, my technique and body position slipped making me very unstable.

I arrived at the lake in Cambridge and I was cold as soon as I stepped out the car. My first ski pass was a front pass working on my toe holds and tumble turns which were a little shakey and slow at first but managed to get them all in, in the short pass. Dave had me repeat this for another couple of passes then had me trying to complete as many toe holds in my pass he set me a target of 10 which I missed a few times by 1 or 2 then on my last run just about got.

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For my second set of the morning Dave had me skiing backwards. I did a few passes and he made some adjustments to my ski position to stop me skiing too clean on my feet and arching my shoulders more which felt a lot less sketchy. At the end of my set, he had me doing my one foots which I didn’t really struggle with too much. Before I started, he just said, “don’t dive away too much when you pick your foot up” which stuck in my head and made it a lot easier and managed a pass of some good steady one foots. For the end of my set in the morning I tried a couple of passes at a back toe hold which I managed to get my foot up and in the toe strap but as soon as I let go I fell off my standing foot by leaning the wrong way Dave said my leg was far too bent and I needed body position to be far more upright to make it easier.

After an hour long hot shower and lunch, I did my second half of the day just working my backwards one foots on shoe skis again trying to complete as many as I could in one pass my target was 20 which took my a couple of passes but then once I got the hand of transferring my weight onto the standing foot, I managed it. For my second set, I worked on back toe holds on shoe skis both basic and reverse, concentrating on standing more upright in the toe hold position which made me much more stable. By the end of the set, I managed to get two in the pass.

Sam Meredith

Sam Meredith, My Summer at the World Barefoot Center

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

This was my 2nd trip to the World Barefoot Center and certainly the warmest ski conditions I’ve experienced where there is no temperature difference between being in or out of the water. I had little ski time over the last year due to bad weather and logistics but managed to keep up a daily workout in the gym for strength endurance and fitness. Xmas 2012 at the World Barefoot Center got me from just about standing on the water to consistent front toe holds, tumbles and stand up to one foots and getting up backwards behind the boat. I was a little nervous it would take me a while to get back to where I was after a year with a small amount of ski practice.

The first few days worked on my front toe holds, slalom and backwards getting more and more confident. After the 5 days training I worked on backwards one foots on the 10 foot line working up to a toe hold which I managed to nail once after some work, although my one foot position needed much work for consistency.

During the second week of my visit I worked on consistency doing back deeps which took some time to get the hang of again. Ashleigh helped me become more consistent with this by gliding for long passes then eventually getting up backwards and then back down to the glide at the end of the pass. From getting the hang of that I moved it to behind the boat and rarely missed a start and practised getting out of the wake then managing a wake crossing. I also worked on my front trick pass consisting of toe holds and tumbles to one foots. As I became stronger in my toe hold position I started to learn the toe up starting from a negative which after at least 30 attempts managed to complete on the 10 foot.

Also a big part of my stay included fitness training for the team Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. The training was mainly body weight circuits but involved sprints, swimming and some weighted exercises every workout involved almost every muscle group and lasted approx. 90 minutes. The fitness training was orientated around skiing and interval style sprints or swims this is similar to the way a ski set is achieved by doing a series of intense passes.

Sam Meredith: Summer at the World Barefoot Center

Monday, July 21st, 2014

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This was my 2nd trip to the World Barefoot Center and certainly the warmest ski conditions I’ve experienced where there is no temperature difference between being in or out of the water. I had little ski time over the last year due to bad weather and logistics, but managed to keep up a daily workout in the gym for strength endurance and fitness. Christmas 2012 at the World Barefoot Center got me from just about standing on the water to consistent front toe holds, tumbles and stand up to one foots and getting up backwards behind the boat. I was a little nervous it would take me a while to get back to where I was after a year with a small amount of ski practice.

The first few days worked on my front toe holds, slalom and backwards getting more and more confident. After the 5 days training, I worked on backwards one foots on the 10 foot line working up to a toe hold which I managed to nail once after some work, although my one foot position needed much work for consistency.

During the second week of my visit I worked on consistency doing back deeps which took some time to get the hang of again. Ashleigh helped me become more consistent with this by gliding for long passes then eventually getting up backwards and then back down to the glide at the end of the pass. From getting the hang of that, I moved it to behind the boat and rarely missed a start and practised getting out of the wake then managing a wake crossing. I also worked on my front trick pass consisting of toe holds and tumbles to one foots. As I became stronger in my toe hold position I started to learn the toe up starting from a negative which after at least 30 attempts managed to complete on the 10 foot.

Also a big part of my stay included fitness training for the team Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. The training was mainly body weight circuits but involved sprints, swimming and some weighted exercises every workout involved almost every muscle group and lasted approx. 90 minutes. The fitness training was orientated around skiing and interval style sprints or swims this is similar to the way a ski set is achieved by doing a series of intense passes.

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

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

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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)

Sam Meredith, Confidence

Friday, March 28th, 2014

It is fast approaching that time of year when I will be climbing aboard that big air bus in the sky for a short 9 hour flight to visit team WBC in Winter haven Florida… and I can’t wait! After a long winter of nothing but dry land training and ski videos, it is safe to say I am feeling both excited and nervous. I know that I have conditioned my body well but surely no amount of gym training can truly make you ski fit and prepare you enough mentally for that first set!? As this is my first season of training I have also experienced my first ‘off season’ and I have heard that the first set of the season is always a bit sketchy. Could this partly be down to confidence??

There are many things that I learnt at the World Barefoot Center both on and off the water. I feel that by sitting in the boat and watching the coaches work their magic I picked up both training tips and gained a greater understanding of how to get the best out of a performer. I watched Ben, Ash, Keith and Dave each push the students in a variety of different ways, which all gave them the same intention of giving each student the confidence they need to achieve their goals. I observed the coaches use an array of techniques to push the students out of their comfort zones whilst giving each of them achievable targets to allow for lots of success on their way to achieving a much bigger goal. A person’s perception of their own ability is said to be unstable and thus changeable. Therefore, these achievable tasks are good for confidence which in turn have a positive effect on performance. People with high self confidence tend to seek challenges and preserve with tasks. The psychology of feeling confident means that you contribute success to internal factors such as ability and effort. These attributions in turn elevate confidence and increase the expectation of success. Self confidence can, therefore, exert a powerful influence on performance by raising the expectation of success.

Whilst thinking about my pending trip across the pond I remind myself that I need to arrive there in the right frame of mind to maximise my own performance. I need to remain confident that I will reach my goals and believe that I have the ability to achieve anything I set my mind to. Confidence influences motivation and is therefore a factor that determines the decision to give your best in a particular skill/trick. For this reason I intend on attacking every challenge given to me at WBC with the belief that I will be successful in one form or another. You become competent in specific skills when you develop a positive self belief that you can excel in that specific skill/trick.

‘They can do all because they think they can’ – virgil

By: Sam Meredith

Sam Meredith: Using Mental Rehearsal in Barefooting

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Sam Meredith

Being relatively new to the sport of barefoot waterskiing and constantly battling to get time on the water it is easy to get frustrated when I see video’s and pictures of others skiing in near perfect conditions on a daily basis. Now, I have considered blocking these bastards on facebook and during the winter months I’ve even been tempted to set my eyeballs on fire and smash the laptop into tiny little pieces with a baseball bat……however, I have come to realize these are my friends and however frustrating watching them train during the British winter is, I can learn a lot from observing them whilst mentally rehearsing and dry landing my own skills. Watching video’s of others doing a skill or trick correctly has really helped me visualize my own water-ski technique.

I believe the art of mental rehearsal is hugely underestimated and can be a huge benefit during off season, training and competition time. According to sports psychologists, the idea of visualizing and mentally rehearsing is nothing new. Some coaches even go as far as saying that sports are 90% mental and only 10% physical, and it’s no secret that seasoned athletes employ mental techniques. World champion golfer Jack Nicholas quoted “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in focus picture of it in my head”. Mental imagery involves the athlete imagining themselves in an environment performing a specific activity using all of their senses (sight, hearing, touch and smell). The images should have the skier performing successfully and feeling satisfied with their performance.

To write this blog, I have researched ways that mental rehearsal can improve both training and competition. During training, mental rehearsal is a valuable tool in helping you to perfect skills, techniques and tricks. Mental imagery should not focus on the outcome but on the actions to achieve the desired outcome. Mental rehearsal can also help motivate you by recalling images of goals for the session or of success in a past competition.
With regard to competition, mental imagery can be used to familiarise yourself with a new competition site. It may also help you to reduce negative thoughts by focusing on positive outcomes. You can use techniques to refocus yourself when the need arises e.g. if performance on the water feels sluggish imagery of a previous best performance or previous best event focus can help get things back on track. You should try to see success where you see yourself performing skills correctly with the desired outcomes. By dry landing your trick run and mentally rehearsing it prior to competing you can set the stage for performance. A complete mental run through of the key elements can generate the desired pre-competition feelings and focus.
Psychologist Jeff Simons developed a routine that would allow an athlete to achieve an appropriate mental arousal in the last 30 seconds before a competition. The “Quick Set” routine, which involves physical, emotional and focus cues, can also be used as a means of refocusing quickly following a distraction. This could be a valuable tool when you are stood on the doc with some idiot distracting you and breaking your concentration.

An example of this “Quick set” routine for a waterskier could be:

Close your eyes, clear your mind and maintain deep rhythmical breathing, in through your nose and out through your mouth (physical cue)
Imagine a previous trick run, and see yourself performing each trick slowly with perfect technique and recreate those emotional feelings of success (emotional cue)

Return your focus to the start dock, think of your start trick and shout your command for the driver to take off (focus cue).

Sam Meredith: Barefooting, Fitness, and Diet

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

I think a key aspect to barefoot waterskiing is to be light and agile with a good power to weight ratio. In the off season many skiers tend to gain weight and lose their ski fitness. It it is easy to stop exercising all together and therefore consume more calories than you burn which ultimately leads to a positive energy balance and will cause weight gain. Maintaining the same body weight is as simple as balancing the amount of calories consumed to the amount you expend. This means that if you eat a lot of foods that are high in empty calories (simple sugars) or saturated fats you will need to expend more energy through exercise to prevent yourself storing all you extra food energy as fat. Without changing your diet too drastically you can address your energy balance through exercise and avoid starting your season with those extra pounds to carry on the water.

On top of your strength training, I would recommend that you use cardiovascular training to help maintain fitness and burn the calories you would usually burn when skiing. Three common types of cardiovascular training you might use are continuous, interval and fartlek. Continues training is keeping your body at a steady heart rate for a long period of time without going into anaerobic exercise and producing lactic acid. Interval training is high intensity exercise for a short periods of time where your body may in fact go into anerobic exercise (which would be impossible to sustain) before you rest and then go again repeatedly. I believe this kind of training is more beneficial and more like the type of cardiovascular training you would experience when barefoot waterskiing. Fartlek training involves you changing the speed and intensity in which you work at. In terms of running this may constitute to a steady run to a short sprint, then reverting back to a steady run. Another example of this type of training might be a steady jog down a hill then sprinting to the top without rest breaks as you are playing with the intensity at which you work.

Sam Meredith

Sam Meredith: The FITT Principle

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
As with many sports sometimes the best way to maintain ski fitness is putting in the hard hours on the water, however I am a firm believer having a fitness programme off the water is essential in maximizing your success.
It’s easy to understand why some people feel overwhelmed about beginning a new fitness routine. With so much information (and misinformation), it can be hard to decipher what fitness regimen will really deliver results. But truthfully, it’s not difficult at all to determine the basic theory that should underpin every fitness programme.
An easy way to get started is utilizing the F.I.T.T. principle. This acronym stands for Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type.
Frequency: As you might expect, this refers to how often you will exercise. After any form of exercise is performed your body completes a process of rebuilding and repairing. So, determining the frequency of exercise is important in order to find a balance that provides just enough stress for the body to adapt and also allows enough rest time for healing. I would suggest if your not sking an an awful lot and would like to maintain fitness you should be undertaking skiing specific fitness exercises at least three timer per week to prevent muscular atrophy. A skier who is physically fit may exercise most days but the type of activity and level of intensity may differ to prevent overload and allow recovery.
Intensity: Defined as the amount of effort or work that must be invested in a specific exerciseworkout. This too requires a good balance to ensure that the intensity is hard enough to overload the body but not so difficult that it results in overtraining, injury or burnout. I would suggest you train at high intensity with regular rest intervals to try and simiulate a set of ski passes.
Time: Again, this is rather self-explanatory. Time is simply how long each individual session should last. This will vary based on the intensity and type and your current level of fitness.

Type: What type of exercise will you be doing? Will an exercise session be primarily cardiovascular, resistance training or a combination of both? And, what specific exercises will you perform. To train properly off the water you will need to target all areas of fitness. These areas can easily be split in to
separate sessions and performed on different days during the week.

By:  Sam Meredith