Ski Games for Kids of All Ages

Gerry FursethNovember 20, 2019
Start of Mousetrap game video
“We want to see the sport thrive, we want to see more people on skis. The collection of youth game videos, those are like a gift to the cross country ski community.” — Kim McKenney, XC Ski Nation

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XC Ski Nation and Nordiq Canada recently created a series of ski game videos for kids. While these games teach many skills, the primary goal is to have fun on snow, which keeps the kids coming back. These games are freely available on the internet in both English and French

Stephen Novosad, [Nordiq Canada’s] Technical Coordinator, Coach Development, was my partner on the project. He’s the brains behind the games. As you can see in the videos, he has a wonderful sense of fun and is exceptionally creative when it comes to inventing games. He’s very much a kid at heart!” — Kim McKenney, XC Ski Nation

XC Ski Nation’s core business is providing online video coaching and support to their subscribers. For $33US/year, skiers get access to a large collection of technique video featuring national team skiers and elite coaches. Many of the subscribers posting on the forum are coaches looking for new ways to teach.

In 2017, Nordic Canada partnered with XCSN to create a series of technique and coaching videos which are available exclusively to NCCP-certified coaches in Canada.

“The partnership was facilitated by the fact that one of the founders/owners of XC Ski Nation is Chris Jeffries, long time head coach of the Alberta World Cup Academy and coach of several NST members. It allows us to work collaboratively on producing videos for which NC controls the content but getting a professional editing service while complementing these joint productions with many more from XCSN’s own library.” — Stéphane Barrette, NC’s Directeur du développement des athlètes et entraîneurs

We commonly hear that games are for kids, fun is for kids, games are just a way to teach kids without them complaining. We should also admit that masters can learn a lot from games: mobility and balance are useful to any skier, even if the goal is just to reduce skiing time lost to injury.

One of the coaches who has influenced me most used to say to adult skiers “You are not going to the Olympics. You need to enjoy your training.” The phrasing changed, the number of short anglo-saxon words used for emphasis changed to suit the audience, but the message was always the same: you need to have fun. 

Games like these may take your masters group way out of their comfort zone, but rapid improvement in your skiing while laughing at your peer group is never a bad thing.

“What do we live for, but to make sport for our neighbours and laugh at them in our turn?” — Mr Bennet


Gerry Furseth

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