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Make Starts Faster with Protern’s Wearable Timing Equipment for Ski Racing

women alpine skiing team

If you’re an alpine ski coach, you understand that every tenth of a second counts. And you know that from the start of the race to the first gate is a critical interval.

The problem is, this “race within a race” is often overlooked. Most coaches fail to run enough start-specific training sessions, finding it too slow and tedious to set up traditional alpine ski racing timing equipment for such a brief interval.

Coaches are under considerable time pressure, ensuring they use as much of their expensive lane space booking slots as possible for their athletes’ development.

But by ignoring this vital part of every race, coaches are leaving precious tenths of a second on the mountain.

Why you should add start-specific training into your repertoire

The value added by including start-specific training sessions cannot be overstated. There is just so much intricacy involved in the movement sequence at every start.

At the start of a race, the athlete’s goal is to generate as much momentum as possible through the optimal blend of kicking, pushing, and skating. Because no two courses are the same, the ratio between these three during the start needs to be adapted to each new starting environment.

Ski racing technique is never a one-size-fits-all situation. Each athlete must learn the cause-and-effect relationship between their unique ski movements and the resulting speed.

Where Protern.io comes into the picture

Traditional alpine skiing timing equipment doesn’t easily allow for start-specific training sessions. But Protern.io does.

Protern.io empowers athletes with deep insights for every segment and lap of a course, available immediately without any fiddling.

The system differs from traditional timing equipment in that it makes the relationship between action and outcome explicit and immediately available to both the athlete and coach.

Seeing the cause-and-effect between specific strategies allows athletes to make minute adjustments to every part of the race—including the start.

How it works

It’s effortless to use Protern.io to test start strategies during training:

  1. Change the setting from “moving start” to “standing start.” Once the athlete begins moving faster than 3 km/h, timing will automatically begin.
  2. Set your splits. Protern allows you to set as many splits as you want, wherever you want, with the click of a button. For a start-specific training session, we recommend using the first three gates and the finish line. (Visit Ski Racing for further ideas on how to structure a start-specific training session.)
  3. Set up your camera in a stable location where the start and the first three gates are visible.
  4. Run your athletes through the course with their Protern.io sensor on and the camera rolling.
  5. At the end of the session, export your Protern.io data and overlay it onto the video. Here’s how to overlay Protern.io speed data onto your training video.
  6. To reveal which start strategy produced the fastest result, compare max speeds from the start through the first gates. It’s that easy!

Protern.io is designed for professional ski racers, and anyone serious about advancing their skills. It’s a powerful tool that athletes and coaches can use to dramatically accelerate their performance.

But start-specific training is just the beginning. Protern.io is changing the game in competitive alpine ski racing in dozens of ways. Learn how the tool allows coaches to provide personalized feedback.

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