OnTrak Spring 2018


WHEN KATIE HENSIEN was 3 years old, her parents took her to a ski school at Whistler on a

family vacation. When they left, she was crying. When they came back, she was still crying—

this time because the chairlifts had shut down for the day and she would have to wait until

the next day to ski again.

After that fateful vacation, Katie became a ski racer as a 6-year-old, competing with the

Crystal Mountain Alpine Club in Washington before her family picked up and moved to Utah

so she could attend Rowmark Ski Academy, a college-prep school that balances education

and elite-level skiing. She earned a U16 national championship in slalom, was named to the

U.S. Ski Team in 2017, and represented the United States at the 2018 World Junior Alpine Ski

Championships, finishing fourth in the slalom.

The future’s so bright, she’s gotta wear goggles.

Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Seems like you’re knocking off goals left and

right. What’s next for you?

My biggest goal is to become a skier on the World

Cup and in the Olympics. With every goal there is a

lot of work, learning and progressing. My approach

toward achieving my goals is straightforward—I try

every day to learn, improve and ski the best I can in

every competition. My dreams are what drives me

to work every day in training to get better.

I’m not top 30 in the world yet, but with my first

two World Cup starts under my belt, it helps me

see what I have to do to get there. Knowing I have

the ability to ski at that level motivates me to put in

the work needed to achieve that goal. Putting in the

time and effort is what makes achieving each goal

memorable and rewarding.

How do you handle the mental side of the sport?

This sport requires you to have a strong mental focus

and outlook. Most important is to remember what

you can control and what you can’t. I can control

how I plan, prepare and decide to ski the course. I

cannot control the weather, my start position, or the

snow conditions.

On race day here is what keeps me calm—first,

as I ski down to the start from the chair, I usually

do my three favorite drills. Then, when I am waiting

for my turn, I take time to warm up with leg swings,

sprints and scorpions (a back exercise). I also take

time at the top to do one more visualization of the

course. When I am in the gate, I stomp my feet, take

three breaths, poles over the wand and push out as

hard as I can.

During competitions to help my nerves, I usually

listen to music before my run. It blocks all the

distractions in my head and I get to listen to my

favorite songs—I usually listen to country or rap.

When I’m having a bad day and because I’m a

student athlete, I go do my homework. Maybe it’s

because I go to a challenging school, but I’ve noticed

that I don’t stay frustrated for as long. Lastly, it really

helps that one of my Rowmark coaches has a degree

in psychology, so I usually text her or one of my

other coaches, and they usually know what to say

to help me keep a positive and productive mindset.

How much do you travel and how do you stay

healthy when you’re on the road so much?

This year has been especially challenging from a

travel perspective. From November through April,

I am on the road three out of four weeks a month.

When you are gone that much, you have to make a

plan to eat healthy and stay active.

This past summer, I had the opportunity to work

closely with the high-performance chef at the U.S.

Ski & Snowboard Center of Excellence in Park City.

Megan Chacosky, MS, RD, really helped me learn

about the food my body needs so I can make the

right choices to ensure I’m ready for a day of gatetraining

on the hill. She also encouraged me to

design a game plan to ensure maximum energy to

fuel success on race day. I will usually eat salads and

lean protein for my meals and always try to have a

snack in my coat pocket to keep me full while I am

on the hill.

ontrakmag.com SPRING 2018 | 25

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