XCFeedsSeason’s End: A Coach’s Perspective

Avatar scott johnstonApril 2, 2009

The fat lady just finished singing. For this season at least. I am trying to take stock of the racing season just past and look forward to the beginning of what I know is going to be an even more productive training period through the next summer and fall. All three MOD skiers will see substantial improvements in results again next year.br /br /I am excited at the prospects of building on the lessons learned from this successful season Our novel training methods will continue to evolve and I already have some progressive plans to develop more speed and a stronger finishing kick to our skiers.br /br /My personal high point this season was to attend the World Junior Championships in France in February. My last first hand experience with elite international ski racing was during my final World Cup races in the winter of 1987. My WC career was brief and unremarkable except in its mediocrity and consistency (consistent 40th places). But the fact that it had been 22 years since I had had my nose buried in it (albeit now vicariously) made this experience all the more meaningful to me in my coaching role.br /br /Up until now I have felt very confident in preparing these three skiers for the races they have been involved in thus far in their racing careers. Results bear out that our training has been effective and development of the skiers has been right on the money. As they move through the national ranks and try to scratch their way on to podiums in international events a new standard needs to be applied. The bar has been raised for them of course,but also for me as the coach who needs to be at least a step ahead of them in anticipation of their need for speed.br /Watching Sadie get out doublepoled in her sprint heats; watching the depth of the Norwegian girls’ team in the relay and finally seeing the top Russian boy put over a minute on the field during the last 2.5km of his lead off relay leg left indelible impressions on my otherwise add’led mind.br /br /I consider this year’s results by Erik, Sam and Sadie to have been a complete validation of our training practices. Nonetheless, I came away from my time in France with more questions than answers about my training ideas. Not in the sort of undermining or self doubting way that would lead one to discard the baby with the bath water. No, it was more a series of AHAH moments that lasted for the next month as I absorbed what I saw during those great races. I saw how what we had done was working well but I also saw how we can improve what we do to make our skiers competitive at the next level.br /br /As the racers evolve the training must evolve to keep pace with them.br /br /This is going to be fun!br /br /Scottdiv class=”blogger-post-footer”img width=’1′ height=’1′ src=’https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/2910103639238326543-7821215610405167014?l=methowolympicdevelopment.blogspot.com’//div

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