Joey Mantia Camp Recap

Posted: June 8, 2014 by Admin in Inline

Caption This Photo From Saturday:

Uh . . . how old will you guys be in 2018?

Here is the photo gallery from Saturday.

Mantia Camp:

On Saturday June 6th, the Mantia camp was to take place at the friendly confines of Roseville’s Oval, but a 5:30 AM thunderstorm rattled skaters out of bed. At 6:30 AM on the oval cam the grounds crew could be seen squeegeeing the 400 meter oval and the track appeared to be drying, but an hour later torrential rains sealed our fate. The Central Park Community Gym, near Dale and County Road B2 in Roseville, became our home for the day. It was the first time many Minnesota skaters had skated on a wood floor. Black Tracks, left over from the Dome, gripped very well, others on outdoor wheels slipped a little more. Despite the unfamiliar surface there were only a few falls and none resulted in any injury. The only injuries on the day would be to skaters egos.

Roughly thirty skaters, of various skills levels, took part in the training camp with ages ranging from young Jessie Peterson to 72 year old Mike Miller. Skaters started with dryland drills designed to engage the core and get the body in the “C” position to “support your structure.” Then we put on the skates to perform the very same static drills with the added difficulty of wheels. “Leading with the hip” is easier in shoes than in skates. Drills with skates on included one legged glides, skating with all 8 wheels in one line, and the crowd favorite “lava hops”. I am told many of these drills are routine among the ice skating crowd, but seem a bit foreign to the trail loving Minnesota skater.

After lunch we warmed up with some of the original basic drills and jumped back into skates for some very difficult and advanced double push drills. Drills designed to get skaters comfortable on their inner and outer edges included slalom drills on two skates, then one skate designed to train the legs to perform the underpush necessary to have both skates pushing the same direction at the same time.

A notable concept from this section of the program was the pendulum analogy. Rather than having the hips or the head being the pendulum from which the body moves, skaters should have their skates be the focal point of the pendulum. The long mop handle made for an effective visual. This concept may be one that helps a skater (i.e. me) better understand the concept of transferring weight from one side to the other, rather than pushing from one side to the other.

The drills were followed by a lengthy Q&A session in which Mantia was peppered with questions ranging from his Olympic experience (which he answered very diplomatically), to diet (read Paleo for Athletes), to slideboard training (do it), to training techniques (he doesn’t lift weights – but jumps a lot).

Mantia was a patient, engaging, and approachable instructor. At lunch on Friday I asked him what he would be doing if skating hadn’t worked out for him. He responded that he would probably be an electrical engineer and had graduated 8th in his high school class. How many of the Vikings draft picks would give an answer like that about their life without football? Mantia might have had legs like tree trunks, and stories of world travel, but in many ways he fit right in with our little inline community. It was a physically challenging and mentally rigorous day, but one that will improve the technique of many local skaters.

Here is the photo gallery from Saturday.

Our inline community owes a giant thank you to Chris Lomen. Chris, nearly single-handedly, arranged for Joey to come to town, for his fee to be paid, for the Oval as the primary site location, for the school as a rain location, rented audio equipment, promoted the event, arranged sponsors, and handled logistics for Joey while he was in town, including room and board. Check out Chris’s Skatelove Project, which seeks to promote the sport of inline.

Thank you to Adam Bradley of Adam’s Inline for the photography and video segments. Thank you to EZ Fit for the door prizes and water bottles. Thank you to Joey Mantia.

A skater noticed that only three of his brand new 110mm wheels touch the skating surface. Adam Bradley deduced that the spinning wheel was actually a 105mm wheel that was incorrectly stamped a 110mm wheel. I smell a clearance sale in the near future.


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