AST 2020 Athlete Journal: Devin Mittertreiner

This is my first athlete posting as a new member of the Alberta Ski Team.

Throughout the summer we were provided with some exceptional dryland training and I was to get back onto snow in Chile. Two days before departure I sustained a fairly severe concussion and all options for skiing in Chile were out. I spent the following four weeks laying fairly low. In my time off I was instructed to start to return to daily normality. That meant going for walks and doing things I would normally do in a day, and eventually progressing to low impact activities or sports. I found myself learning to refine a retirement game. I had picked up golf and was quite enjoying it. It was a nice way to be able to get out and feel like I’m doing something again, have the challenge of learning something for the first time and the reward you get when you start to figure it out. It reminded me a lot of the challenges I face with skiing and why I love my sport so much. 

                During my time off I watched a movie by the name of “In Search of Greatness”. It explores the role that creativity played in the careers of some of the greatest athletes. The group of athletes suggest that all the practice in the world can only go so far for those who don’t love what they’re doing. The movie introduces the idea of “implicit learning” which happens when young children aren’t being taught in obvious ways; language and speaking, for instance, is learned simply by living around adults as they speak. Compared to a child whose parents make her practice piano three hours a day becomes a different kind of player than one who casually starts playing in a room, aimlessly playing while life goes on around them. If the learning isn’t natural and fun, it’s hard to become a genius. Amongst many other things I learned from the movie it highlighted the importance of free-skiing and play as a natural and important part of developing into becoming a world-class skier. I highly recommend the movie. (Watch it on iTunes)

This week we are off to Austria. We are well prepared, having invested lots of time off snow and many hours spent visualizing and in the gym. I’m more than excited for what’s coming.

On this Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, I’m thankful for the joy that skiing brings to my life and I’m very grateful to be part of the Alberta Ski Team for this upcoming season. 

 – Devin