Snow may have long disappeared, but training for young Georgian Nordic skiiers is ongoing with roller blading and pole running throughout the off-season.
Training as a team year-round.
Coach Peter, Jason Greer, Kate Beirnes, Noah Thompson, and Lauren Nawroth double poling on classic roller skis.
On Saturday morning, April 28 at Kinsmen Park, the Georgian Nordic Ski Club held an open session to introduce youth to year-round training for cross country skiing.
Youth aged 14 and up, looking for something different with lots of fun checked out the session and considered joining the Georgian Nordic Ski Team.
“From roller skiing to pole running, strength and agility sessions to soccer and much more,” says Peter Wiltmann who coaches the team with Katja Mathys. “Your goals can be just to ski faster at our local loppet the famous Sounder tour or competing at the Ontario Cups and beyond.”
The team will be training once a week starting early May, then twice a week starting in September.
Local all day training camps will be added in June and September.
They will also attend a late fall training camp – usually a three-day event in northern Ontario – that has been held in North Bay for the last two years. On snow they run two sessions a week.
Training consists of endurance, speed, technique, strength, and tactical racing preparation, as well as mental training, time management, 11 months of the year.
In short, during the dry land season they roller ski, run with poles, drag tires, use medicine balls and weights for lifting and balance drills.
“We ski on sand, grass, rocks, anything really,” says Wiltmann. “Consistent dry land or 'off season' training is required to reach a high level of aerobic capacity, aerobic power, ski specific strength, balance, and required high level of speed in both skiing styles.
“We noticed individual improvements, not only physical, but as well in their mental capacities,” he adds. “Our skiers are continually evaluated throughout the year in all their skills not only by us but also by Pavlina Sudrich, the Ontario coach.”
Success, he believes, is easily measured in ranking, but that is forgotten quickly and means little in the long term development of a skier.
“The real pay off comes when a skier demonstrates leadership, confidence, and just pure passion for performance,” explains Wiltmann.
“Goals are set individually, but not always reached. For example, Shayna and Claire came within 11 points of qualifying for the Ontario team.
“For me as a coach, success is to watch our athletes setting goals for the season, on paper, making it known to the coach without fear,” he says. “Make the necessary improvements in technique, speed or whatever was prioritized. Evaluate, talk about their disappointments, conflicts, make the required changes, and loving it all. I now know we have some fine skiers, simply because they show strong signs enjoying this whole process. They are now supporting each other as athletes and friends. The team thing, it works well.”
The club will be acquiring safety jackets for team members, but drivers are urged to be alert for athlete biking and skiing area paved shoulders.
Contact Peter Wiltmann 705-342-9397 for more information.