Focus on the Focus

I was in the reading room earlier today. I opened the drawer and pulled out a fairly new addition to my library and that is an older copy of ESPN the Magazine the issue dated February 22, 2010. So, it is now nearly two months old.

I never really looked at it but did so today and I am glad I did.

On pages 42 and 43 is a photo of Lyndsey Vonn and accompanying bar of side text. That photo is smoking hot. Not in the sense that she became famous for in the Sport’s Illustrated swimsuit edition, but the overall quality of the photo. The photo, has her eyes in sharp focus and those eyes are focused downhill. Both skis are on edge bigtime, snow is splaying out from her skis (not a lot of snow which is good), and every bit of the photo is in sharp focus.

No clouds in the sky, nothing at all to distract from the subject (and yes, the advertising on her race suit).

The only drawback is her mouth is open and there is something wrong, I can not quite put my finger on it, I don’t know, maybe a mouthpiece or a Photoshop artifact? However, the overall photo is very strong and conveys action and speed very well. That photo appeals to me as a photographer and as a skier.

The accompanying text is interesting and talks of how her and her husband work together to win. He advises on strategy, tactics, and equipment and she skis. The most interesting point was, he counsels her that she does not have to be the fastest on every gate to win. She admits when she started to take that advice and put it into practice she started winning a lot more races.

Consistency is the key. Maybe you don’t reach your goal as quick as you could, but sometimes going too fast can make it harder to change your course to meet the next goal. This notion is a theme one often sees in Warren Witherall’s book How the Racers Ski, but he talk of not always taking the direct route to the next gate.

We all know the shortest distance between any two gates is a straight line, but Warren notes the shortest and tightest lines may slow you down especially if you have to skid to hold that line and also of course the terrain. The short line may be over flatter terrain whereas if you take a slightly longer line you maybe harvesting more gravitational energy.

Fast and straight may not always be the best strategy.

Good Stuff!

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