Junior Skiing

By Aubrey Smith

Development: Athleticism ABC’s

ABC’s: Agility, Balance, Coordination

Do not encourage single-sport

Promote year-around skill and coordination activities ie soccer and ultimate frisbee (running= good for phys and mental, but not optimal for ABC’s)


Keep racing to a minimum, reward all

Keep very short: promote quick movement

Emphasis on skills mastered vs time/place result can set up race course with time bonuses, subtractions based on skills completed on course.


Seeing and Doing (vs Listening)

Young kids are kinesthetic learners, can only hold 2-3 things in working memory.

Auditory memory and discrimination reach maturity after motor skills

– Are you telling or showing?

Coaching: Language

– keep it positive

– keep distractions to minimum

– try to use simple words/same words across coaches.

– have kids echo back directions/skills

– engage kids in the knowledge of sport – do not just preach, explain and have them try (ie having them experience broad jump w/ and w/o arms.)


New skiers: teach to put on skis inside (less cold, frustration, etc.)

Waiting skiers: teach dances, moves (practice to “unglue” feet)

hokey pokey

chicken dance/macarena

marching/jumping in circles

Development: Make it Fun

Emphasis on FUN

Help them fall in love with the sport and the outdoors


Games, challenges

ie drills in game format, silly names for drills , etc

Drills and Games

Games w/o poles:

Frisbee,* hand soccer*, keep-away, capture the flag, tunnel tag, object (ie rubber chicken) tag

Alternate girls and boys passing, object goes to every team member before score

Games w/ Poles: Sharks and Minnows

NENSA games

Drills and Games

Even Drills Can Be Fun

– stations on field or small loop

– section of hill: uphill drill, slalom or jump on way down

Drills and Games

Classic: herringbone, one ski (scooter), small step, run-and-drive

Skate: double hop/push

Both: no pole, slalom, corners, downhill, side-step, 360 turning/jumping/hopping

Motivation/Future Development

Visual images and motivation: show clips of World Cup, have older athletes come ski with them, etc.

Skill Sets

Simple to Complex

Reward skill completion or mastery

Focus on skills vs speed

Active Skiing

Workout “Mission”:

Active skiing skills to combat passive skiing/standing on skis

– over tops of uphills

– Field skate slight downs

– track change/in-and-out

– poling and pushing to change direction on corners

ABC’s : Agility, Balance, Coordination

Balance Body Position Power Speed

Speed comes from Power

Can’t get power w/o BP

Can’t get BP w/o Balance

Body Position

Athletic Stance (all sport)

loose, flexible, bend at ankles and knees, elbows out

Fluid motions: arm swing

Technique/Body Position

For Both Skate and Classic:

Athletic Stance

“Power to glide” vs cyclical stroke

Weight on balls of feet, do not stand straight or sit back on hills

Upper and Lower Body working together

Follow through with poles: swing motion instead of grab-and-lift.

Technique/Body Position
Classic: Upper Body

– shoulder swing

– elbows: 90 degrees, outside poles, space

between elbow and body

– do not fold at waist

– poles parallel, not tepee

– hands at shoulder width

– Fall on poles in dbl pole

– energize/speed at beginning phase

Technique/Body Position

Classic: Lower Body

– flexible in shins

– rotate hips (result of driving foot forward with complete weight transfer)

– Driving foot THROUGH, not down

Technique/Body Position


Upper and Lower together

– pendulum/scissor effect in diagonal

– shin angle = back angle

– “All up together” ie standing broad jump

No-Pole skiing

Skate: hands in front or on hips to combat “twist”

Not for speed

Shin angles, forward on skis

Power to glide, forward push/drive

All terrain

Uphill: increase frequency vs trying to “step” up slope


Active feet, athletic and low position

Start low on a downhill and work your way to top

Take corners wide


Compare to Uphill Running:

Body upright

Short, quick, light movements

Keep feet underneath in classical, wide in skating

Shift weight well in classical, shift less in skating steeps


Uphill skating

Uphill V1 slow-mo

V1 and no-pole in training with USST ladies

V2 Skating, explained

V1 explained (warning: this is a World Cup sprint video, so there is some jump-skate done here that would never be replicated by junior or high school skiers!)

Womens classic stride and double pole on rollerskis

Mens Classic stride and double pole on snow, World Cup


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