While listening the Coach Glass’s Podcast (episode #43 Season Training Pt1) he posed a question “What are the power/strength requirements of your sport?” As he started to go into details of the importance of understanding this, I asked myself this question toward water skiing. With water skiing being a very skilled sport I wondered, “Can I really answer this question to help develop the right off season training without getting out on the water?” So I reached out to the water ski community to ask their thoughts with this question on Facebook. Here are the main things people replied:
Tension and Relaxation
I have been told water skiing is similar to golf simply because it is such a mental sport. With golf and water skiing being both more of a mental sports, I have found there are many other similarities. Even though I do not play golf as a movement coach I can see the similar movement patterns between both sports which are rotation and power.
Coach Jason Glass is one of the world’s top Golf Strength & Conditioning Specialist, and he uses the kettlebell swing for many of his golfer’s exercise programing. Both golf and water ski are very skilled and technical sports demanding a lot of mental strength while at the same time can be very taxing physically (at least water skiing sorry golfers). Learning the kettlebell swing is a very technical skilled and strength exercise. The basic movement of the kettlebell swing requires the same aspects of water skiing.
It is all about improving your mental awareness, producing the right body position and finding the correct timing for tension and relaxation.
When I was first learning the proper way to swing a kettlebell, all three aspects I had to own. The skill has to be learned in order to build strength from the swing. Training a skilled exercise like the Kettlebell swing can only produced a larger mental awareness to be able to own the skill of any sport. If we can’t learn how to develop mental awareness on land how are we suppose to develop this on water?
As I learned the (and still learn) the correct position to swing, I started to see and feel how position is key to produce the power from a swing. Similar to water skiing, if not in the right position we will not be able to generate the power from the boat through our body to the ski (still learning the correct position for water skiing as well). While at the same time the position of the swing requires different movement (bottom of the swing and top of the swing) and timing starts to take a major aspect to the skill.
Like April Coble has said water skiing is like a dance, it is rhythmic. Part the swing and water skiing is understanding the timing. When is the perfect time is to create the tension and relaxation? How to manage both is key. Whitney McClintock says “You don’t have to be the strongest person, you just need to have the right power at the right hand gate ball…” I enjoy the kettlebell swing simply because it forces me to create the right tension at the right time. When you don’t the kettlebell is out of control doing it’s own dance.
From my experience when creating to much tension at the wrong time while water skiing, I have find myself in the water verses on top of the water. I hope one day to be able to learn from Whitney how to create the right power at the right time.
For now I will continue to practice my swing this winter and listen to Coach Glass for more tips. As Coach Glass would say Dream Big and Over Deliver and as I like to say live with passion!
There are many physical benefits from the Kettlebell Swing
Leg power and strength
Grip Strength and endurance
See my previous post Kettlebell Quickie for more benefits of the Kettlebell Swing!