Friday, January 15, 2010

Only 2 Hours

Welcome to Europe Team Night Train…

Right now we are in Germany preparing for our second race on European soil. It’s always harder to compete over here than it is in the States and it’s not because of jetlag. One reason, a big reason, is that 3 of 5 races are on German tracks. There is no other sport (well, outside of the sliding sports bobsled, skeleton, and luge) in the world where the home team has such an advantage. No track in the world is the same, each one is completely different and the only way to figure out how to go fast is by practicing on each one.

Think about this for a second. Bobsledding is no different than any other sport. If you want to get better you have to practice, the more you practice the better you’ll get. If you want to be a better basketball player what do you do? You go out to the gym and practice shooting the basketball for a couple hours a day. After a week of that your shooting percentage is going to be much better than when you started, seems pretty straight forward.

Here’s the catch. I only get to practice bobsledding for just over 2 hours a year. How is that you ask? Well, each run down the track takes around a minute depending on which track you are at. Let’s make it simple and average it at 60 seconds per run. The World Cup Circuit rules only allow for 2 runs a day in practice, and 3 days of practice; 6 minutes total. There are 2 days of racing which adds another 4 minutes. So I get to practice bobsledding 10 minutes a week. After an 8 week circuit I’ll that’s a whopping hour and 20 minutes of practice before the Olympics. Throw in 4 weeks of training before the competitive season starts and it comes out to just over 2 hours. What would happen if the USA Basketball team practiced for only 2 hours before the Olympics?

So, back to what I was saying about home track advantage. I mentioned that no track in the world is the same, each one is completely different. I’m preparing to go down a bobsled track in Germany that the Germans have had hours of training on during this season alone….I have 6 minutes. It’s going to be a tough weekend.


Nada Vergili said...

Hi guys!! Wow, just 2 hours a year.. gee, I could to that!! Sorry, I'm just messing around! ;)
I just wanted to wish you all the best in the upcoming competition!! I very much enjoyed watching you on the Colbert Report and have definitely learned more about your sport since then - by the way I agree, it's NOT a gay sport.. 2-men luge is definitely worse until someone comes up with male-to-male figure skaters.. ha ha. ;) Anyway, keep me (and the rest of us reading) posted with your blog!

whabbear said...

Nada: Was there some discussion of bobsledding being a gay sport on the Colbert Report? LOL! Nothing to do with bobsledding, but IMHO, Steve, you are a gorgeous bear icon!

whabbear said...

OMG! Congratulations, Steven! You guys did a fantastic job in Vancouver!

bbzachariah4 said...

Hello! I recently heard that you were diagnosed with Keratoconus. I was diagnosed with the same degenerative condition a year ago. Most ophthalmologists have said that there's nothing I can do. I miss being able to read normally. I hate having to see everything in double and triple vision or not being able to take the stairs without help. I would love to hear more about where I could go to learn more about the treatment you underwent as well as if I can find a more affordable solution. Thanks!

What results should our funding be based on?

Who is the US Bobsled Team?

During the season Bobsledders and Skeleton-ers are paid for the races that take place each weekend. Skeleton athletes get paid $1000 for their 1 race. Since bobsledders race twice in a weekend should they be paid twice?

How much equipment should be given to the #1 team