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CXC Team visits four sites in the Twin Cities for free clinics

Thu, Aug  2, 2007 - By CXC Skiing

CXC Team members Johanna Winters, Matt Liebsch, and Garrott Kuzzy led several Get Your Nordic On! clinics in the Twin Cities recently. The CXC Team skiers were able to work with a number of summer training programs for both Junior and Master skiers, including the Wayzata Ski Club, Go! Training, FinnSisu skiers, and Nordic Werks. 

The series of Get Your Nordic On! clinics began on Wednesday evening at Baker Park with the Wayzata ski club. Over 25 skiers junior high age and older braved the pockets of thunderstorms and attended what turned out to be a beautiful night for rollerskiing at Baker. The group began the evening with a brief warm-up, and then worked on rollerski drills, both with and without poles, going up and down one of the steeper hills at Baker. By the end of the evening, the whole group was skiing with a strong V2 up the climbs and doing so very efficiently. Wayzata ski club parents and clinic organizers Gene Kay and Greg Engel commented afterwards on how “the kids learned some valuable new skills and also had lots of fun in the process.” It was very evident at the clinic that the Wayzata skiers have been working hard this summer and surely be strong on snow this winter!

Piotr Bednarski’s junior summer program “Go! Training” meets almost daily in the summer and sometimes twice per day. The CXC Team caught up with Go! Training on Thursday morning at Elm Creek Park. The morning began with an intense warm-up that included running everyone through a challenging obstacle course, waking everyone up and getting them ready to work hard. The CXC Team then took the 30 junior skiers through a series of technique progression drills before breaking into smaller groups. Johanna, Matt, and Garrott each led smaller groups of skiers in rollerski drills. Head coach Piotr Bednarski was especially impressed by the power that could be generated by getting skier’s hands higher and opening the angle between the elbow and lat muscles before poling. The group ended the morning with a game of ultimate frisbee on rollerskis, improving everyone’s rollerski handling skills and having lots of fun in the process!

One of the United States’ largest summer training groups is organized by FinnSisu and meets every Thursday at Battle Creek Park in St. Paul. Over 50 master skiers were in attendance at the weekly practice that was run in conjunction with a CXC Get Your Nordic On! clinic. The CXC Team’s Matt Liebsch led the masters on a warm-up jog and through a series of dryland technique progressions. The skiers then broke into smaller groups, which were led by Johanna, Matt, and Garrott. Everyone seemed eager to improve their skate technique in order to ski more efficiently when the snow flies this winter. The skiers worked on applying a fast, powerful pole plant and ski push-off followed by a relaxation and glide phase between every push-off. The skiers practiced a number of different progression drills in the short evening session, which are all included on CXC’s new training DVD “Wake Up: It’s Time To Train!” Skiers were able to get personal technique attention at the end of the session and were able to ask questions about the many aspects of cross country ski training. Several FinnSisu skiers commented afterwards how much they had learned in the 90 minute Get Your Nordic On! clinic and look forward to incorporating the drills into their regular training program. Everyone enjoyed having guest coaches with a different perspective.

Deno Johnson’s Nordic Werks program meets in Forest Lake several times per week. Many skiers from East side high schools including Forest Lake, Stillwater, and Roseville do their summer training with Nordic Werks, as well as an impressive group of college skiers from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, U of New Hampshire, Williams College, and U of Utah. The practice started with a long warm-up, then broke into smaller groups, working on specific aspects of their technique. As skiers became comfortable with their technique changes, the group moved to a near-by hill for a specific strength workout. The whole group also practiced their downhill tuck technique on the long downhill – an important aspect of technique that is often overlooked. The skiers all focused and worked hard during their three hour morning workout. Their summer training will surely pay off once the snow starts falling!

For more info, contact:
Yuriy Gusev, yuriy.gusev@cxcskiing.org or 608.385.8864