The following lesson plans were developed to progress new skiers through both classic and skate techniques. They are roughly designed for all age groups and varying abilities meaning each one should be adapted and individualized for each unique group. Additionally, each lesson plan has a number of options of activities for each day. It will take more than one day to learn any given technique so it is a good idea to use the same basic lesson plan for a number of days (not necessarily consecutive days), switching up the activities for each day, but keeping the technical focus. The “Games” tab has many more options that can be used as well to keep things fun and exciting.
The basic layout of each plan is the same. Of course this is adaptable, but it is a good idea to keep some sort of routine to ski practice. This ensures that kids will learn what to do when and will have more focus on the skiing part instead of the directions part. Within the structure, it is a good idea to adapt lessons to be culturally relevant to each village, keeping in mind village values, local traditions and knowledge, and Native languages.
All the lessons follows this pattern:
Goals: There are three levels of goals listed for most lessons. (-) first set of goals for all students (+) second level of goals to reach for once first level is accomplished (*) third level of goals. This allows many different abilities to train at the same time and to use the same basic lesson plan as kids improve.
Get the Jitters out: something to let kids burn some energy so they can focus on the instructional section
Instructional Piece: Use video of elite skiers to demonstrate what skiing looks like. Point out the motions of a specific technique that will be used that day.
Modeling: Run through the motions of that technique on feet in the gym. As kids become more advanced, ski practice can begin outside on skis and this can be done on skis.
Guided Practice: Let kids try the motions on feet, working through various drills. Again, this can be done on snow once kids get a grasp of skiing.
Once on skis, kids should be given 10 or so minutes to warm up and explore moving on skis. This also allows for everyone to get their skis on and be ready for instruction.
Run through different drills with the group on snow
Independent Practice: Next, set up different stations for different abilities. Keep the different goals in mind that the skiers in your group are working on to set up appropriate stations. You can assign kids to groups or you can let them decide themselves. Let them run through different skills at the stations.
Group Game: Kids have short attention spans so 10-15 minutes is all the time they can spend on an activity before they need to move on. A game that all kids can participate in and use the skills they were working on is a good way to finish up ski practice.
Wrap Up: It is good to ask kids some questions about technique they were working on or different things they learned. Also give time for kids to record progress towards goals and their daily activity.
Standards: Possible standards that can be worked on for each lesson are listed.
Given bad weather, there is always an indoor option as well. The instructional sections should remain the same. All the techniques can be practiced on feet in the gym. After some time is spent practicing body positions and timing for a specific technique, develop stations, a game, or a relay that incorporates that technique as well as any other that have already been taught. In the end, cross country skiing requires a lot of fitness so reverting to some sort of game of tag is always a good choice to get kids moving! Adding in strength exercises, balance drills, power activities, and stretching are all good indoor activities as well.
- Body weight strength circuits: core exercises like sit ups, push ups, one legged squats, lunges
- Balance: any type of balance board, dyna disc, bosu balls, one legged hops, balance beam work
- Power: jumps (two legged/one legged for height/distance), jumping onto boxes