Train. With Purpose.

Training with a World Champion is an incredible opportunity. To train with his team even better. A chance to watch, learn and improve.

Deep down, we know what the fundamentals are to be successful in ski racing. At the core, it’s just hard work. The challenge is to put this necessary effort into action.

With nearly 40 years as an observer of high performance, I’ve seen many who talk the talk, but are not prepared to invest the time, dedication or objective perspective required to be successful. Those who do, move the athlete forward. It works at every level from ski club to regional teams to the highest level. This is what makes the difference.

It has been so refreshing to work with a Team that lives a daily commitment to excellence. Through this focus, a small team has been able to take on the juggernauts of our sport.

It’s just not radical, excessive or unusual. Just a 100% commitment to fundamentals:

  • Be dedicated: first on the lift, first on the hill, last off the hill
  • Pay attention to detail in the training environment
  • Constantly evaluate
  • Challenge conventional thinking
  • Be efficient
  • Be tactical
  • Be deliberate. Train, with purpose.

Every athlete in Team Croatia works hard (and there were athletes here from U16 right to Olympic medalists). The familiar red & white checkerboard from their National Coat of Arms on their jackets and speed suits was evident on the hill from the beginning to the end of every day. Through warm-up, to specific training sessions, to free-skiing and working on fundamentals at the end of the five-hour day on the glacier. They were on the hill early for the hard snow, and stayed late even when the summer sun had turned the slopes soft.

The culture is to be adaptable. Accept change. Learn to live with it and thrive. It’s not rocket science. Ski racing is change: soft snow, hard snow, sun, wind, rain, altitude, snow surface, downhill, slalom, giant slalom, superG, alpine combined, nations team event, parallel events – every day, every run, every moment … is change. So it’s quite logical to focus on thriving in an environment of change.

This is hard work. For everyone. It takes commitment. Real commitment. Goals are clear and with it, action. And with it, comes real results.

I’m not going any deeper into what we did on the hill, as I want to respect the privilege of being invited to train with such a dedicated group of athletes and coaches. But we all know, fundamentally, what is needed for success. It just takes an open mind, a will to question convention and a relentless commitment to excellence.

Thank you Ivo, Ante and your entire Team: athletes, coaches, service support and cook. It has been an honour. Let’s do it again soon!


A shout out to those who are supporting CanuckOne.  @Fischersports @uvexsports @Leki @AlbertaAlpine @DU_Skiing

#VoteOfConfidence #ThePursuitOfExcellence #aimforthetop


About Ken Read

Tough, Informed, engaged. Athlete centred, committed to good governance.
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