The 2005 National Cross Country Ski Coaches Conference began Friday morning at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York. Over eighty coaches are in attendance from all around, including California, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Wisconsin, and much of the east. A star studded list of presenters includes US Ski Team Coaches, Physiologists, Industry representatives, and athletes including Kris Freeman and Torin Koos.
Nathan Schultz, organizer of the conference opened the meeting this afternoon with a few words about the “state of the sport”, and the goals for the conference. The energy in the room is contagious, everyone feels like it is a time to build on the momentum, a time to come togather as a ski community and make positive change in our sport.
Jon Engen, representing USSA spoke about the recent success of the US Cross Country Ski Team, stating that we are in “Podium striking position”. Yet, with budget cuts, and the rising level of competition, we as a ski nation need to take a stronger role in participating.
Peter Vordenberg, Assistant Coach of the US Ski Team mentioned that the budget cuts that the team recieved this spring, were actually a good thing. “They lit a fire underneath me”, he said. It made me realize that we need to create a “culture of preparation”, thus the creation of the new National Development System. This new system stresses involvement and participation from coaches and clubs at the grassroots level. “This is just the beginning” said Vordenberg.
Stay tuned for more highlights from the conference over the weekend.
Nordic Race Service Director