Life as a Student-Athlete
US Performance Performance
Students on the Road
You could say my day is like no other teenager. When my alarm goes off I don’t hop into typical school clothes with collared shirts and Khaki pants, I usually dress in sport shorts and a thin T-shirt. I also wake up each morning in a dorm room at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center. I live with my roommate, and my ten other teammates across the hall and next door. We wake up each morning at about 8:00 and make our way separately to the cafeteria to eat breakfast before morning warm-up. To start, we bike for ten minutes on the stationary bikes before we do our cardio, basic tumbling, trampoline, stretching, and adaptation workouts. Once we are finished with all this it is about 9:45 am. This gives me some time to grab a drink and relax before our morning water ramping session.
Water ramping is not something most people are familiar with. To put it into simple terms, water ramping is the act of skiing down a synthetic snow ramp into a jump, and landing in water. To make the constant ramping easier on our legs the water’s surface is broken by bubbles being released from the bottom of the pool. In the summer we have two sessions of ramping each day. Our morning session starts at 10:15 am, thirty minutes after the end of morning warm-up. Each session lasts an hour and a half or about ninety minutes. We start with our simpler tricks to warm-up. My routine usually starts with two straight airs, which is just going off the jump straight. Then I usually move onto the aerial aspect of my sport, flips. After straight airs I move onto, back tucks which are a backwards flip rotation with tucked knees. After back tucks I move onto back pikes which are much like back tucks only instead of tucking my knees to my chest I fold my body and bring my straight legs towards my torso as i’m flipping. Then Finally back layouts, which is a backwards flip rotation with a completely straight body.
After our morning ramping session comes to a close we dry off and meet at the van where our coach will drive us back to the OTC (Olympic Training Center) for lunch. I usually spend about twenty-five minutes at the cafeteria eating, and talking with my teammates. Then I walk back up to my room where I take a nap to re-energize for our afternoon ramping session. After the morning we have about two hours of down time before we have to go ramp again. We usually just hang out with each other, do school, or sleep. After our much needed break is over we head back to the ramps.
Our Afternoon ramping session starts at 2:15 pm. Once we get to the ramps we have a small warm-up because we haven’t been active in over to hours. We get to choose to either run to the top of the biggest jump at the pool, the triple, or you can do fifty jumping jacks. Then we stretch for about ten minutes before we get ready to hit the ramps. As soon as I climb all fifty-three steps up to the top of the jump, I pick up right where I left off. I start on back layouts again and continue to improve those. After about six or seven back lays I move onto back-fulls. A back-full is a back layout with a full spin rotation. We achieve this by dropping our arms throughout our flip to spin us around. In my opinion, a back-full is the hardest basic trick to learn. After I have reached about twelve jumps we start to end our session and head back to the OTC for our afternoon workout.
Once we get back to the OTC we have about twenty minutes before our afternoon workout begins. We start on the bikes once again before we do our cardio, stretches, tumbling, and trampoline. After we are finished with all that we can begin on our conditioning. Each day has its own region of the body to exercise. Monday is always arms, and then for the rest of the week we rotate legs and core. Since today is Wednesday we will do legs. For legs we do a ladder of squats. That means I keep increasing the weight on the squat bar until I reach my body weight or above. Before I go back down the ladder I do two sets of my own body weight. After we finish squats we quickly do our three sets of hamstring exercises so we can go to dinner. Once we finish our workout and dinner it is already about 5:45 pm. That means it’s almost time for school at 6:00-9:00 pm. It is only after school do we finally get to relax, but only before our curfew at 10:00 pm.
My day is not like any other teenagers, it is much more fun than that. Even though everyday is hard work and tiresome, I always seem to enjoy it. Aerial skiing is a sport that requires many things. It requires hard work, dedication, and patience. Not everything comes as quickly as some would like it to, but it helps to look towards the future.
A Typical day of a Student-Athlete
By USPA Student, Michael
Even though everyday is hard work and tiresome, I always seem to enjoy it.
Changes the Brain
Tips from Harvard Health
There are plenty of good reasons to be physically active. Big ones include reducing the odds of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Maybe you want to lose weight, lower your blood pressure, prevent depression, or just look better. Here’s another one, exercise changes the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills.
In a study done at the University of British Columbia, researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. Resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not have the same results.
The finding comes at a critical time. Researchers say one new case of dementia is detected every four seconds globally. They estimate that by the year 2050, more than 115 million people will have dementia worldwide.
Exercise and the brain
Exercise helps memory and thinking through both direct and indirect means. The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.
Indirectly, exercise improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety. Problems in these areas frequently cause or contribute to cognitive impairment.
Many studies have suggested that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory (the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex) have greater volume in people who exercise versus people who don’t. “Even more exciting is the finding that engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions,” says Dr. Scott McGinnis, a neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School.
Ria won the ECA junior cup race in Solkan in the U16 category. Congrats Ria!
Nikki is headed to Worlds for synchro in Budapest. Congrats Nikki!
This past weekend, Ria won the ECA junior cup race in Solkan in the U16 category! Congrats Ria!
1 small bundle of Russian Red Kale1 small butternut squash or 2 cups of cubed butternut squash1/2 pear/ 1 cup diced or the whole thing if you prefer1/4 cup dried cranberries2 tablespoons sesame seeds2 ounces crumbled goat cheese1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard1 clove of garlic, minced1/2 shallot, minced3 tablespoons olive oilpinch of salt
Turn your oven on 375F. Dice the butternut squash. Toss with olive oil and some salt on a baking pan. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.While the butternut squash is cooking, get the rest of salad ingredients together. Take the ribs out of the kale and chop. Dice the pear to your liking. Also make the salad dressing by combining maple syrup, balsamic, mustard, garlic and shallot in a small bowl. Mix together and then slowly pour in olive oil. Add a pinch of salt.Once the butternut squash is soft, pull from the oven and let cool ever so slightly.Now combine all the ingredients.Serves 2 as a main salad or 4 as an appetizer.
Kale & Butternut Squash Salad
USPA Students, Juan and Juri, on the Road
US Performance Academy