Communication and cooperation are key words for the New Norwegian wax team that are taking shape these days according to the new Chief of waxing, Terje Langli.
Fasterskier.com covered in several articles this spring the Norwegian wax team’s struggles, in-fighting, firings and pull-outs by key personnel. Some, based upon this, will claim that neither communication nor cooperation has been the strength of the wax team the last season(s).
The new chief wants to do something about this. In order to become the World’s leading wax team Langli wants to start with the following:
– Improve the relationship to the suppliers
– The waxers need to learn from each other
– The wax team need to improve their communication
– The wax team need to improve corporation with each other and with the suppliers
– Find and use the best stone grinders
Some of the team’s suppliers were very dissatisfied with the way they got information from the team. The national team staff felt that this was one area where the former chief had failed.
– We have to become better in reporting and giving feedback, what we are using and how it’s functioning. We also want input from the wax and ski suppliers, we want to absorb knowledge from those who are making the products says Terje Langli.
Learning from each other
One of the wax team’s problems last season was miss-trust among the waxers. This affected especially Swedish waxer Perry Olsson. Several (Norwegian) waxers on the XC team and waxers on the biathlon team were afraid that Olsson was going to disappear with the team’s knowledge before the 2006 Olympics in Torino. All the waxers have now got two-year contracts that last until after Torino. Langli also want all the waxers to become more team players than in the past.
– We have to move the knowledge better inside the team. Each individual is very good in their area, and now we need to become better at learning from each other. We have to improve the strength of the team.
Possibly the biggest frustration by the old wax team was (lack of) communication with the national team leaders. Langli want to make the waxers an important part of the Ski Federation.
– The waxers have been somewhat on the “outside” of the Ski Federation, and I want to change this by making them more involved in the daily operation of the Ski Federation. The overall communication with the National team leaders, coaches, press and media needs to improve, says Langli.
Both the Biathlon and the Nordic Combined team’s waxers expressed during last winter’s wax controversy that they had problems dealing with the cross country waxers. Langli wants to focus on getting all Norwegian staff members to pull in the same direction
– I have gone a couple rounds with the Biathlon skiers and we have agreed that we are going to cooperate. I believe that will give results. I also hope to convince the Combined team to do the same. It’s a big strength for us if we can benefit from each others work, says Langli
Langli want to continue to cooperate with the Olympic Committee’s glide project, but doesn’t want to get tied up with certain stone grinders if he is not convinced that they are the best.
As of today what we are working with those involved with the glide project, but we are also working on categorization of all stone grinders which possibly could be considered and want to use the very best.
Langli confirms that he would send skis abroad if he finds good grinders outside Norway’s borders.
Succeeding in this job is a big challenge for the former National team skier and 1991 10-K classic World Champion. Few jobs are as unforgiving and greatly in the middle of the media frenzy as this. The sports media follows and analyzes every race and result. Finding yourself on the front page (with a bad photo) if the skiers are not on the podium is common.
Langli has been a part of the team twice before and feels that he knows what’s needed.
– I know its strength and weakness. I was on the outside the last two years and saw clearly what was needed.
The last chief of wax Terje Smedvold was in addition to being the wax chief also responsible for each individual racer. That was too much of a burden and Terje is not going to put himself in that trap.
– I’m not going to be responsible for each individual. I’m responsible for coordination, kick wax and will be one of the kick wax testers.