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Gearing Up For Another Season

by Travis Ganong, professional athlete, member of the US Ski Team, and Tahoe Local.

The snow has long ago melted, the hot summer days are coming to an end (there was ice on my deck this morning), and if you can believe it, ski season is right around the corner. As a US Ski Team Athlete, I spend my summer training my body so that when I compete against the best skiers in the world, I will be strong and competitive. My body will be fit and able to recover from the demands of skiing icy world cup hills. Even though summer erases thoughts of skiing for most people, for me summer is the best time to make improvements physically. If you take advantage of this time, you can prepare your body and be a better skier when the snow returns. I recommend that every ski enthusiast in Tahoe take a few hours a week to train for the upcoming ski season.
As a professional athlete, I chase the snow year-round. I just spent the month of August skiing and training in New Zealand. Earlier this summer we had a ski camp at Mammoth and next week I will be returning to New Zealand for more skiing. Right now the snow in New Zealand is awesome, and while skiing there my body felt great. I spent many grueling, tiresome hours in the gym this summer, but after I took my first run on snow at Coronet Peak I knew that it paid off! I learned more and really progressed. I was in better shape, able to take more runs, and at a higher intensity.
This week I arrived home to Tahoe for a nice 10-day break before I return to New Zealand to train DH at Mt. Hutt. I see these 10 days as a great opportunity to recharge my body and take advantage of the training facilities at the Tahoe Center for Health and Sports Performance in Truckee. I can make huge strides physically in these 10 days by spending time in the gym and mountain biking, so that when I return to snow in New Zealand I can ski at a higher level. It is a really great feeling being strong and healthy!
As a US Ski Team athlete my body is my most important tool, so I invest lots of time keeping it in shape. It is great to live in a place like Tahoe where I have the natural environment and resources like the Tahoe Center for Health and Sports Performance to train at the intensity and level I need. Also, having the amazing physical therapy staff at the sports performance center, right where I train is an amazing asset. If my body is feeling a little off, or if I have an injury, the physical therapists can help me out, try and fix the problem and I can get right back to my training.
Ladd Williams, PT, CSCS has helped me out tremendously over the last two years as I have progressed from the development team of the US Ski Team to the World Cup team. I couldn’t have accomplished what I have with out his physical therapy guidance. I also look forward to working again with Darcy Norman, PT, ATC, CSCS. Darcy just arrived back in town after a two-year stint working with the European soccer power, Bayern Munich in Germany. He helped me a few years ago in coming back from a meniscus repair and it will be great to work with him again. The expertise that he already has, plus the new skills that he picked up while working with Bayern Munich makes Darcy a great asset to have here in Tahoe.
Training is not just beneficial for an athlete like myself. Anyone who loves the outdoors and who loves to play in the amazing Tahoe mountains should invest some time getting strong. Not only will training help you perform better on the snow, on the mountain bike, or paddle boarding our clear blue lakes, but it will also help you stay injury free. I have had some injuries in the past, but ever since I started training hard and with a purpose two years ago, I have been injury free. The stronger I am, the more capable I am in making recoveries on snow. When I am flying down a steep bumpy downhill course at 80 miles per hour, that ability to make recoveries through my physical strength could save my ski career. For anyone who loves to ski, it is amazing how much better you will feel on the snow if you train a little and increase your strength.
So my recommendation to all Tahoe outdoor enthusiasts is: invest some time now, get strong, become more fit and enjoy the sports you love. Use great facilities like the Tahoe Center for Health and Sports Performance and you will see results.

My first World Cup race of the season is only two months away, the downhill in Lake Louise, Canada. These next two months are very important. I need to maximize my strength so that come race day I can ski how I want to and surprise a lot of people by being right at the top of the results. For all you Tahoe locals, there is about two and a half months before the first KT-22 chair departs on the first big powder day at Squaw. I hope to see you all charging down the mountain strong and ready to go on day one. Invest some valuable time on your physical well being now and you might surprise yourself on the mountain this winter when you are still charging run after run at 3:30 in the afternoon!


Tahoe Forest Physical Therapy uses a team approach to sports performance and physical therapy. For information about physical therapy evaluations and athletic consultations, please call (530) 587-1062. Physical Therapy offices are located in Truckee, Tahoe City and Incline Village


The Tahoe Center for Health and Sports Performance is located at 10710 Donner Pass Road in Truckee. For more information on all the services and programs offered at TCHSP please call (530) 587-3769.



Tahoe Forest Hospital District, 10121 Pine Avenue, PO Box 759, Truckee, CA 96160, (530) 587-6011

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