Getting involved in the sport of bobsledding...

How does one go about getting involved in a sport like bobsledding? Its not like other sports where you just drive a few miles to the local track, gym, or ice rink. Ever since I was a kid I’ve wanted to become an Olympic bobsledder for the USA. However, living in a southern state, I don’t think there is any way to get involved in the sport (hell, we only have a few hockey rinks). So can someone please shed some light for me on how I may one day reach my dream?

Any contacts, information, or links are GREATLY appreciated.

I am also thinking of traveling to a tryout this year. Go to the information is there regarding the Verizon nation wide tour.

they are looking for athletes with explosive strength. They ask for documentation of your best:

30m sprint
30m fly
5 consecutive hops
power clean
back squat

James Smith

j/w what James what are your numbers in those categories?


Nice post, I’m sure you’ll sooner than later get the info you need. If this thread works we’ll move it into a dedicated thread for the sport of bobsledding.

I used to wonder the same thing about how to become involved in the Boblsed and I found the Skeleton which is more suited for me. Bobsled and Skeleton have weights that they would like their ideal athlete to weigh. Bobsled each participant needs to weight 200+lbs to beable to balance out the Sled and in the Skeleton they would like you to weigh 160lbs, your weight in the Skeleton will determine how much your sled in that will weigh.

I am going to Skeleton school on January 27th - February 3 where I’ll test out for the event. I am also going to stay out there until February 23 for domestic training so I can slide everyday and if I qualify for Nationals I will be out there until March 8th.

What are your stats? If you don’t know your best 30m etc, just list your track and field stats.

Hope to get info and more on the beautiful sport of bobsledding, and the best way to prepare for it…sounds like there is not a definite way to train, since most of the athletes come from different sports and are not developed since young age to push a sled…

I have just finished up a year of rehab for a torn achillies, so I haven’t tested in over a year. Yesterday, I received my “OK” from my therapist and doctors that I can start training like I used to. I’ve lost a pretty good bit of muscle and weight over the past year, but starting January 5 I hope to change all of that.

Give me a few months and I’ll get my stats up. My goal is to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

living in a southern state will not hamper you from reaching your goal. in 1998 6 of the 13 usa olympic bobsledders were living training in georgia. most of the training is done on dry land,(sprinting, lifting, jumping) then if you perform well enough at a tryout and do well in the push championships (bobsled on rails) you may get invited to try out on the ice.

bottom line, if this is your goal, go for it, no matter where you live or what anyone may say…

So, does my workout program need to be based around squats, power cleans, and other olympic lifts?

I believe so. I have a training journal posted with the lifts I have done in preparation for my Skeleton tryout. Use many variations of olympic lifts. Also work on your standing long jump, 3 hop and 5 hop each week. When I return from Lake Placid in March I can give you an idea of how they train and the type of lifts that they do.

That type of information would be great. I really appreciate the offer.

Numba, ironically, thus far, I have only tested myself in the vert and squat, and neither test procedures were very well planned for. I tested my vert at the end of a bench workout one day just out of curiosity, and not warmed up, and it was somewhere around 33". I just made a mark against the wall, standing flat footed with maximum reach, then jumped and made another mark, then measured the distance between the two.

I squatted 550, just below parallel.

I am 6’1" 230.

I am confident that after a six week prepatory period that I can jump over 36". As far as the other tests go, I have yet to test. I never ran track. Yet I feel that my sprinting speed is at it’s best to date.

I never do powercleans as my wrist flexibility is poor. And I have no interest in working them into my program. So a high pull will be the best that I can offer.

If I decide go through with the application to tryout I will post all of my scores.

James Smith

Is this still a valid thread… as I think I might be able to help.

yes, i am interested still…

What do you want to know?

well im only in highschool, so how do I go about training for it, getting into the sport, tryouts, learning what I need to learn, etc…? Thanks

slideonice…from the nick…I guess you have something to do with bobsledding.:slight_smile:

I think Martin Rooney, who writes for , was a very competitive bobsledder. You can visit the site and ask him in the Q&A, they are very responsive.

I still check this thread daily for updates; after all, I did start the thread. I would like to know some more in-depth information on the training that bobsledders and skeleton drivers take part in. Weight training, speed training, agilitly training, etc…

Cod…torn achilles? How old are you?

Qualities of a good push athlete would be in no particular order:

  1. Tremendous lower body power and strength.
  2. BW in 190 -210 range. Maybe 220.
  3. Close-grip BP 275lb or better. Strong lock-out strength.
  4. Athleticism (Got to get in the sled.)
  5. Elite to sub-elite 0-30m times.
  6. Courage
  7. Must work as a team.
  8. Strong trunk.
  9. Like sitting in a cold sled wearing only tights in frigid weather going over 70 mph.

Generally speaking, an overall high level of body strength and power is required. Much of the power is developed by pushing the sled itself during training. Lake Placid has a dry push track. Not sure about Park City.
I know in Germany they have an ice house where they practice their starts. Also a large warehouse to store all their gold medals.

Obviously overcoming the weight of the sled at the start is crucial. Once the sled is moving, it is virtually weightless and, depending on what track you are racing on, the sled will accelerate away from you into the first turn.

Well, actually the sled will always accelerate away from you since you are running downhill, it just happens sooner on some and later on other tracks. But the difference is only in a few meters.

Front and back squats are the foundation of training. Clean pulls from blocks and variations of this movement as well as close-grip benching.

Depending on the type of start your team uses there will be some minor changes on these exercises as well as where you are in the yearly cycle.

However, I would say that pushing the sled prepares you nothing else.