It's the annual Springer Tournee in Park City. That means a full town with most of the Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined community from around the nation here for the week.
On Tuesday we had our third round of yearly testing for the junior athletes. A healthy dose of chaos ensued as each national team member found their group of skiers for the day. Soon, however, we were leading them through a quality warm-up and heading up to the jumps as coaches and athletes.
I coached a group of boys on the 20 meter and 40 meter, most of whom I didn't know before Tuesday. I enjoyed seeing the challenge of ski jumping from the coach's perspective. Hopefully I had some new insights to offer to them. I noticed that as a group they were just happy to be out jumping.
After the morning of jumping, we went indoors to test our athletes physical capabilities: speed, agility, power and quickness. By now, the coaches should have some good data from the three years of testing the younger athletes. Also, I hope this motivates these athletes to train hard and improve their scores.
Although this is a busy week of events and competitions, it was 100% worthwhile to spend the day helping our younger athletes. It wasn't long ago that I was in their shoes, and I know that it's the little things that add up to a local skier turning into a National team athlete.
Back from another successful NoCo week in Steamboat. This was my seventh straight Independence Day spent in Steamboat. It's always a great week of Nordic Combined and summer atmosphere.
We kicked things off with the annual Fish Creek Time Trial. It's pretty much all uphill; maybe not the most fun but a great way to measure fitness. Here's Brett Denney leading Michael Ward, with Sommer Schrock and Ben Loomis trying to hang on in the background. We had a good mix of junior athletes that raced in the TT with us.
A few of the braver (or dumber) of us sped back down after.
The day after the TT we sat down as a big group and looked at videos from the race. Our coach, DJ, gave a great talk to the juniors and then we went out to make the changes. This was definitely a highlight of the week. We paired up younger athletes with national team members and made some great improvements in a short time.
Friday was the annual main street sprint race. After a good jump comp the day before, I put down a solid race to finish third overall. Taylor Fletcher screamed by me early on to take an easy win, and Brett Denney took second.
After the roller ski race, we went straight to the jump hill for the Elimination jump competition. I made it through all 4 rounds to the final 6, but didn't have the distance in the end to crack the podium. Jake Locke (one of the younger "dark horses" from PC) through down some long jumps and took the well deserved win. Not surprisingly, my brother, Ben, put down the long jump of the day in round two, but touched on the landing and was thus eliminate early.
Finally, towards the end of the competition, they announced the newly structured national team. The A-team consists of Taylor Fletcher, Bryan Fletcher and Bill Demong. The B-team members are Brett Denney, Michael Ward, me and (new to the B-team) Ben Berend. They also named a new development team, the C-team. Jasper Good, Aleck Gantick, Nicholas Madden, Erik Lynch and Ben Loomis were named to the C-team.
I want to throw out a congrats to all the guys rounding out this strong team, especially new members Ben Berend and Ben Loomis. I hope they're excited as I am to have them on board!
Until next time!
Where am I?