Developing the Next Generation with Protern.io

Protern.io might be making waves on the World Cup circuit but is not just for the World’s elite athletes. We connected with two development team coaches to find out how junior racing teams are using Protern.io to help develop their athletes. We had the chance to talk with Frederick Thomas, head coach of Schneesport Mittelland – Nordwestschweiz regional program in Switzerland and former Whistler Mountain Ski Club coach Mark Tilston, now the head coach of the men’s Canadian Alpine Ski Team.

Tilston and Protern.io's Alastair Smith comparing skier lines in a quantriq.

One of the main features of Protern.io is the capacity to build and measure quantriqs, a term Protern.io uses to refer to a quantifiable metrics or specific segments created within a run.  At all levels this feature helps athletes and coaches make adjustments in order to improve. More specifically at the junior level where athletes are still learning how to analyse their runs, Protern.io has the potential to help them clearly see where they have skied well and where they can make improvements.

Thomas reviewing a run with his athletes.

 “One thing I have noticed is how engaged the athletes were with the data Protern.io gave them access to. They would change their strategies in order to see how this would affect their performance,” stated Thomas. “This is important in maintaining a high level of motivation for the athletes.”

 

 “I’m keen to explore scenarios in which athletes try out different tactics and try to predict how each tactic will affect their speed or section time,” Thomas added. “I am hoping this will help them develop a better understanding of which tactics to adapt in different situations depending on pitch and course setting for instance.”

Talking tactics for the next run.

From a coaching perspective, Protern.io has benefits beyond the data analysis. It offers a straightforward easy to use timing system. “The ease of use of such a light and simple system for many trainers who don’t have the same resources as at elite level seems very useful to me,” says Thomas.

 

Tilston shared many of Thomas’ sentiments about Protern.io “The total time is very interesting; however, it is the ability to see where speed and time are lost.”

Tilston further explained that for his older development racers Protern.io could serve as a valuable tool for tracking volume and if paired with other metrics could be used to indicate workload.

 

“Were they to become commonplace it would make an incredible opportunity to actually monitor the tasks performed on snow and compare to development in the medium to long term,” says Tilston.

 

Like in any sport, there are different views and theories about how much skiing is the right amount of skiing. An exciting prospective use for Protern.io is to use its data to help determine more accurate ski specific training time for different age groups.

On the hill in Whistler.

Racing teams are looking forward to exploring these big picture possibilities with Protern.io as the new training season gets underway.

 

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