I am pleased to announce that Mansfield Nordic Club, in partnership with NENSA, will offer two “Learn to Rollerski” days this summer for kids in the greater-Burlington area:
- June 30th (1-3pm); Jericho, VT. Details on the NENSA calendar.
- July 21 (1-3pm); Hinesburg, VT. Details for the event at NENSA.
Above is a photo from training yesterday at the Range. Bill, Henry, Liam, Parker and Forrest are working on some basic agility, balance, and body positioning drills. At this time of year my goal is to lead training sessions that address basic athletic skills in a fun way. Through the course of the year, we will transition from general fitness and skills, to more specific fitness and skills.
As I mentioned last week, we are using soccer balls as a key component of our weekly training sessions. We are doing warm-up runs while dribbling a ball, as well as playing some soccer and speed ball. Rather than running in a straight line at a steady velocity, running with a soccer ball demands lots of acceleration/deceleration, changing stride length and changing direction. The idea is that this will help strengthen the small stabilizer muscle groups that are not used when running/skiing/biking in a straight line. Strengthening the small muscle groups will, in theory, stave off injuries later in the season and in their careers.
The spring is a challenging time for coaching and training. The athletes are generally very motivated, because the prior race season is so fresh in their mind. Naturally, skiers think they can get ahead of their competition by doing a lot of training during May — especially if they train daily and start rollerskiing! I find this a tough spot to be in: it is great to see motivated athletes, but do J2’s and J1’s really need to rollerski in May? Do they need 6 workouts/week? I think both are far from necessary for skiers on a year-round program. Is it my job to tell a kid to do less?! I don’t know.
We are ever in a cycle between quality and quantity. While some see May as a time to get a leg up on the competition, I see it as a time to build a base for the summer training and to address deficiencies. When the weather is nice, get on a bike and put in a few hours of training. When it rains, get out for a run or take a day off. Play some ball sports and field sports. It seems so simple…