CENTRAL CROSS COUNTRY SKI ASSOCIATION WRAPS UP THE ANNUAL TECHNIQUE DEVELOPMENT CAMP
CXC kicked off the 12th annual Technique Development Camp at Telemark Resort on Monday, July 28. The camp is sponsored by the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation and included participants ranging from beginning J3-J4 skiers to master skiers and a coaches education block. The majority of the skiers were high school age.
Meals, lodging and most training was provided by the excellent staff and facilities at Telemark. Sessions were led with a solid coach-athlete ratio by CXC coaches including Elite Team coach Bryan Fish, Junior Development Program coach Bill Pierce, Youth Program Director Everett Myers, as well as Scott Wilson and Yuriy Gusev. Guest coaches for the camp were Sarah Willis, CXC physiologist, Garrott Kuzzy of the US Ski Team and CXC Elite Team and Jay Tapper, personal trainer. CXC past President Dennis Kruse acted as camp co-director.
The goal of the camp was to offer skiers as much exposure to good technique habits as possible in a fun, positive environment. With this in mind, the majority of workouts were done on rollerskis, with a few dryland drills to practice different concepts. Skiers typically spent two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon rollerskiing and working on technique drills and games.
During the camp, there were a variety of fun activities involving the group. The first evening, Garrott Kuzzy gave a presentation on the "Pipeline" from youth skiing to the US Ski Team. The athletes had an interesting question/answer session and really benefited from his wisdom.
Pre breakfast morning exercises were led by Jay Tapper, personal trainer and owner of ActivEdge (www.activedgewi.com). Jay led warm up and stretching sessions focusing on how to get the edge over the competition by initiating movement from the core and always keeping good posture. He followed up later in the day with a core strength presentation.
In the second evening session, Kuzzy inspired the group with recap of his 9th Place World Cup finish through race coverage video clips. This helped the athletes envision the future and get a first-hand version of the excitement of international competition. Athletes were impressed with the ability to learn and train with a World Cup athlete during the day, and listen in the evening while he recapped some of his winter's escapades. Afterwards, Gusev and Fish unveiled the new CXCACADEMY (www.cxcacademy.com) to the athletes, offering them the opportunity to get on line/on demand coaching support with training plans, videos, and extras. This website is a great new resource for athletes and coaches of all abilities. It should be especially valuable for those without year-round coaching and training programs.
During their down time, the campers were able to take advantage of Telemark's pool to cool off during the hot and humid north woods camp. The final evening, the group went to Lake Owen for a long ski and ended the afternoon with a barbeque, water skiing, and some agility/strength games. It was a great way for the athletes to get to know each other and create and strengthen friendships they made throughout the camp. This camp was a valuable learning experience for all. Many athletes made huge improvements with breakthrough technique tips and by learning what it takes to become a top skier!