Training hard has made Nickel Plate junior racers better athletes.
Under the watchful eye of coach Jerome Jang, 13 developmental and competitive skiers began dryland training in mid-September twice a week to ready themselves for a new season.
“Every year the athletes get stronger, faster, fitter and mature as young adults,” said Jang.
Running, biking, hiking, stretching, strength training and learning about nutrition are all part of the training said Kathryn Golbeck, who handles communications and marketing for Nickel Plate Junior Racers.
“Skiers are setting their goals for the season, both for competition and in their technique and physical fitness,” she added.
Jang said the overall goals are to always have fun, build friendships and teamwork, improve, master new skills and to become faster and fitter. Jang said each workout has specific goals of what they want to achieve as a team and individuals. “Because there is such a big difference in age (eight to 16), skill and amount of time each has to devote to train, each athlete has individual goals they set for themselves,” he said. “These include immediate goals (such as results for each workout), medium length goals (such as number of races that they wish to attend this season) to longer term goals (making the B.C. Winter Games, development team improving from last year, etc.)”
Healthy living is emphasized and the club brought in a professional sports nutritionist to speak to the racers, which touched on goal setting and mental training.
The group’s first day on snow was Nov. 16.
This weekend several club members are attending a weekend camp at Sovereign Lake Nordic in Vernon from Nov. 22 to 24. While there, they will be exposed to other coaches and cross-country ski athletes from the region. The first race of the season is at the end of December for some of the skiers. Nordic Plate skiers will compete in four to eight events this season, depending on the age of the skier.
For more information about the Nickel Plate Nordic Junior Racers, visit: http://www.nickelplatenordic.org/Junior%20Racing/junior.htm.