Monday, October 26, 2009

A Fast Track to FAST

The FAST era begins. I am excited to have this unexpected opportunity to work with FAST (Fairbanks Alaska Ski Team) for the 2009-10 ski season.

For a refresher here is a link to a post I made last November about all the different options for young skiers in this Nordic mad community.

I was expecting to send one kid off to high school while coaching the other with the club's Competition Group (Comp Group). After rounds of negotiations with the club about the future of the "Comp Group" that extended through the summer I was feeling burnt out on coaching.

Keep it simple. Focus on the kids and skiing, not so much about organizational structure, mission, and vision.

Meanwhile late last month, FAST coach and founder Bill McDonnell casually asked if I'd be interested in working with the team this year. A few days later we talked a little more and here we are!

I'll mostly be working with the "betas," young skiers at the J2 (14-15 year olds). A small group but loaded with talent. FAST's philosophy is very simple. The program is mostly athlete driven. Bill provides the training schedule and much of the rest is up to the skiers.

With just a few highly focused skiers, FAST has had huge success in recent years at local, regional, and national events (including numerous medals at Junior Olympics and some high placings at Senior Nationals and SuperTour races).

In the few dryland workouts that I've attended it's been quite impressive to see not only with the work ethic and skill of these youngsters, but also to witness their energy and ability to take on the rigorous training with resolve and a smile.

I'll be stretched, with allegiance to my own kids and their respective programs and of course as an assitant with FAST--not to mention to preparing for March marathon madness. But I can tell it's going to be a good season.


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