Soccer Makes Great Training

FasterSkierAugust 14, 2008

Bjorn Daehlie believes young skiers should combine Nordic skiing with other sports for as long as possible. “Soccer is a very good form of training for young ski racers in the summer. It’s like doing intervals all the time,” said Bjorn Daehlie at a recent presentation.

Soccer has become a year round sport in Norway and many other countries, and therefore combining ski racing and soccer can be difficult. Track and Field is easier to combine with skiing. Track is goal oriented and gives clear results to competitors. It is also healthy to compete in the summer months, continues Daehlie.

As part of the “Elite Sports Week” in Aure, Norway, Bjorn Daehlie was invited to Hemnehallen to give a presentation entitled “The Winner’s Will.”

Training Environment:

During the presentation, the audience first enjoyed a film highlighting Daehlie’s illustrious ski career. It was quite an inspiring scene, especially for the youth in attendance.

“My father always said that my success came from good genes,” remarked Daehlie after the presentation was finished.

“But personally, I’m extremely fortunate that I was part of a unique training environment in Bjerke from my very first days. It was a healthy and beneficial place to develop all the way to the top. And I mean especially that the environment was healthy in other ways than training. I had great teammates and friends. You have to find good friends to develop and train with.”

Daehlie is probably a little grayer and carries a little more around his waist than ten years ago, but his comments and history rest just as clearly in people’s memories.

Absolute Priorities

“With a good training environment and good coaches, there is a still a lot to be done to reach the top,” said Daehlie.

“Dreams and goals are important. One must take these along on training sessions, but one must also think about how to reach these goals and dreams. I had a wish to become better all the time. It was a square for me: goals, consequences, process, and results each in their own place but all connected. In the end, one must prioritize ski racing. Skiing and training must always be the most important.”

This is perhaps one of the reasons why Daehlie won 8 Olympic Gold medals and 9 World Championship Golds before he hung up his skis.


Daehlie presented so energetically he had to stop several times to wipe the sweat from his brow. Among other things, the audience listened to different ideas from his own training. He was clear to indicate that these were really only examples.

“This is how I did it. But there are many ways to reach the top. What is important that each has the patience to find their own boundaries, and their own methods. To be better one must push these limits. The fact is that all training philosophies do not necessarily work for everybody.”

“It is also equally important not to place too much emphasis on the mental aspects. One must have what the Swedes call “winner’s desire.” I have taken this from sport and into my regular life. There are many similarities between the athletic and professional life, and athletes are therefore often better at dedication and preparation. In the real world, it is also all about competition,” concluded Daehlie.



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