Austrian Ski Federation (ÖSV) freestyle coach Dominik Hasibeder, 24, provides Mogasi Magazin with an exciting insight into the work of an ÖSV Halfpipe and Slopestyle coach. The Stubaital native, who now lives and studies in Innsbruck, shares some helpful tips for newcomers to the sport.
Mogasi: Please tell us a little bit about yourself
Dominik Hasibeder: Most people know me as ‘Hasi’. I have been working for a few years as a coach for various organisations. I currently work for the Tirolean Ski Association as a development coach along with studying mechatronics at MCI.
Mogasi: What is your current profession?
Dominik Hasibeder: Student and when I have time, I coach.
Mogasi: How did you get into your current profession?
Dominik Hasibeder: I was an avid skier myself and was able to compete at some Halfpipe World Cups. However, after several injuries, I decided I would be happier working behind the scenes. I completed my coaching certifications whilst I was still in High School and also worked with youth at various freestyle workshops.
Mogasi: What does an ÖSV coach get and what do they earn?
Dominik: Working for the ÖSV provides you with an exciting and versatile working life. You get to know people of different nationalities and get the opportunity to travel to ski resorts all over the world. Of course you are paid as well.
Mogasi: Which well-known athletes have you coached?
Dominik Hasibeder: At the ÖSV coach I was responsible for the Halfpipe athletes. This allowed me to work with Marco Ladner and Andreas Gohl.
Mogasi: Which muscle groups are essential for skiers?
Dominik: For Slopestyle and Halfpipe, the leg and trunk muscles are very important. A smooth run during competition requires a balanced combination of strength, endurance and coordination.
“A lot of trampolining is recommended for freestyle athletes.” Dominik Hasibeder
Mogasi: What does a typical training plan look like for an ÖSV athlete? What are the building blocks of said plans?
Dominik: A large part of training is performed on snow. Not only in winter but also in summer on glaciers or in New Zealand and Australia. This in done in combination with trampolining, practicing tricks, coordination exercises, strength training, as well as interval training.
Mogasi: Where do you get the exercises and training methods you use from?
Dominik: A lot I learnt during my time as an athlete. Every now and then the exercises come from spontaneous ideas. At the same time I try to use tranditional training methods and exercises to make the ‘boring’ strength components more fun for younger athletes.
Mogasi: Which exercises do you recommend?
Dominik: Physical fitness is important. Therefore, I recommend strength training with a focus on leg and trunk muscles along with interval training to compliment these two. A lot of trampoling is recommended for freestlyle athletes. You can practice tricks whilst trampolining as well as get a feel for what is going on in the air. Moreover, it is a good fitness training.
Mogasi: How do athletes learn new tricks?
Dominik: They usually start with some pre-exercises on the trampoline where only part of the trick is completed. For example, a somersault with subsequent back landings. To make the whole process as safe as possible, a mat is pushed onto the trampoline before landing. Once the pre-exercise is mastered, the second phase of the progression or the complete trick is attempted. After practicing on the trampoline, the trick would be tried next on water jumps. Sometimes a trick will be tried for the first time on a water jump. Once the trick has been successfully landed several times, it’s time to try it on snow. This must be done on a day with appropriate conditions i.e. when the landing is soft and the kicker is in good condition.
“First of all, beginners should ensure that they master the newly learned tricks in both directions.” Dominik Hasibeder
Mogasi: Where do you train your athletes and why?
Dominik: This depends on where the best park is at the given time. Normally we train everywhere in Tirol and Austria. In Tirol, we are currently training mainly in St. Anton and Serfaus. These ski resorts offer a cool set-up for training and are very responsive to the Tirolean Ski Association.
Mogasi: What tips do you have for beginner freestylers?
Dominik Hasibeder: Above all, beginners should ensure that they master the newly learned tricks in both directions. If you start this early then you won’t have a weak rotation direction later. You can practice this best on a trampoline.
Mogasi: What are the basics that everyone should be able to do when doing freestyle?
Dominik: The fun of freestyle and skiing should be at the forefront. Therefore, there is nothing that one MUST be able to do. The only thing people should be able to do is stand in an appropriate place in the park. Often inexperienced skiers stand in the middle of the landing, which is not only annoying for the people who want to jump, but can also lead to dangerous situations.