Highlands Trailblazers Seeks Junior Comp Coach

Alex KochonSeptember 21, 2017

Lead Coach (Part Time)

Nordic/Biathlon Junior COMPetitive Program 

(Job posting)

The Highlands Trailblazers seeks an experienced competitive skier with strong coaching skills to manage the training program for this Junior Competitive (“Jr. Comp”) racing program the Club is adding for the 2017/2018 season. This new program is being formed in response to the rapid growth the Club has experienced over the last few years.

About Highlands Trailblazers Ski Club

The Highlands Trailblazers Ski Club is a nonprofit component of Highlands Nordic Inc. It operates year round, helping skiers build new skills, race and enjoy a social, friendly, team atmosphere. The club operates out of Highlands Nordic in Duntroon, just minutes south of Collingwood. The Trailblazers consistently rank among the top 5 ski clubs in Ontario and are only one of three clubs to offer an on-premise biathlon program. The Club has produced skiers that have competed at the national and international level. It’s training programs follow the Cross Country/Biathlon Canada Long Term Athlete Development principles, with programs ranging from Biathlon Bears and Jackrabbits through to the Train to Compete “Comp” and “Comp 0.22” teams. A Board of Directors manages the Club, with the racing program lead by Head Coach Rick Dickey.

The Program

The “Jr. Comp” program was developed to focus on athletes at the “Train to Train” LTAD level when they progress through their peak growth period. It provides opportunities for the continual progression of technical skills and physical capacities. It is a high-energy program, which includes both Nordic and Biathlon air rifle athletes. The program places heavy emphasis on team building, group interaction and confidence while working to reach common goals.

Athletes have learned how to train as part of a Track Attack or equivalent program with an expectation that they are independently driven to be active every day. They have at least one year of experience racing in cross-country or biathlon at a provincially recognized event (Midget Champs, Paraffin Series, etc)

Key features of the program include:

Application Details

Lead Coach Position Overview

This individual will be responsible for delivering the program to the athletes during dryland training, at camps and at races. Their focus is on guiding the athletes as they develop their physical and mental sport specific and sport general skills based on very frequent contact with them so that their progress can be observed regularly. The Lead Coach will be responsible for setting weekly training plans and directing volunteer parent-coaches assisting in the delivery of programming.

I) Specific Coaching Expectations

  • Coach the team:
    • Twice per week from July to November
    • Wednesday(1), Saturday & Sunday(2), December to the end of March
    • At training camps and ski races
  • Communicate with athletes regarding program specifics and individual questions
  • Work with the coaching team:
    • Attend coaches meetings as requested
    • Work closely with the lead biathlon coach to coordinate athlete training programs
  • Provide weekly guidance to the squad’s parent-volunteer team

II) Desired Skills

A. Be a good technical ski racer and passionate adventurer; biathlon background an asset

B. Experience coaching athletes, preferably at the younger level (19 and under)

C. Certified, at a minimum, as Community Coaching (NCCP Cross-Country OR BiCan Community Gold) or equivalent training, and ideally hold Learn to Train certification

D. Demonstrated Coaching, Cross-Country/Biathlon and Leadership skills such as:

i) Coaching Skills

  • Ability to translate a seasonal training plan developed by the club’s coaching team, into a daily training plan that the athletes follow
  • Ability to regularly solicit feedback and translate it into clear direction for the team

ii) Cross-Country/Biathlon Skills

  • Experience training with recognized ski club or training center related to cross-country skiing/biathlon
  • Competed at the provincial or university level, or higher
  • Committed to a “win” attitude based on demonstrated racing or coaching results

iii) Leadership Skills

  • Ability to work collaboratively with the team based on good communication & organization
  • Ability to take a leadership role driven by initiative and need for minimal supervision.
  • Ability to motivate, and gain the confidence of athletes in an ethical, positive environment


  • $27,000 based on 155 annual coaching days(3); adjusted to reflect employment start date and negotiable based on successful candidate’s availability and experience.
  • Gas, food and accommodation remuneration for travel to races and camps
  • 50% discount at Pro Shop and free annual trail pass
  • Compensation for coach certification courses


1) Wednesdays: 5:00-6:30 pm

2) Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am to 12:30 pm which may include dry land, roller-skiing and on-snow training

3) including preparation time and non training time; contact time with parents, athletes and coaches

Alex Kochon

Alex Kochon (alex@fasterskier.com) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.

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