The NSCF-FXC Comp Team is for high school and post-graduate skiers who are looking for a full-service junior ski program. The program provides year-round training opportunities for skiers with goals that range from making the varsity team at their high school, to success on a world stage. The program is designed to work in conjunction with local high school ski programs, so skiers are provided with year-round continuity in their training and also able to a be an intrinsic part of the local skiing community. Regular workouts throughout the year provide the opportunity to develop fitness and improve technique. In addition, ancillary aspects of skiing, such as individual goal-setting, training planning and review, physical testing, and assistance with ski selection and preparation are all part of the program. Various opportunities for training camps and competition trips are provided during both the summer and winter season.
There is an organizational meeting for parents at the beginning of each winter season.
Training Times and Locations
Training times and locations for the Comp Team vary widely through the year, but we endeavor to provide a wide-range of opportunities to fit the diverse needs and goals of skiers involved in this program.
Training opportunities occur on varying schedules for most of the year.
It is exceedingly rare that we cancel a practice due to weather. However, it is not uncommon that we will alter practice plans – sometimes on very short notice – due to conditions such as extreme cold, smoke, or anything else that could affect safety or long-term health. It is essential that skiers are prepared for changes (i.e. bring running shoes) each day to practice.
It is no secret that consistent practice is essential to improving technique, fitness and knowledge in skiing. However, we recognize the value in maintaining balance in life and that skiers will have to miss practice at times due to school work, music lessons, family commitments, etc. We believe it is up to each skier and their family to decide what is the right amount of skiing. As such, the NSCF-FXC race teams do not have a required attendance policy.
The Comp Team is coached by the NSCF’s certified professional coaches.
Pete Leonard is the Head Coach of NSCF-FXC and the Director of Skier Development for the NSCF. He has been in Fairbanks since the program’s inception and is entering his sixth winter here. Prior to that he spent two years coaching in Lake Placid, NY after graduating from Williams College where he was captain of the ski team. He has been a member of the Junior National coaching staff for Alaska since 2007, head serviceman for the US J1 Scandinavian Cup Trip in 2011, a coach for the US Team and the 2012 World Junior and U23 Championships, is a USSA L100 technique instructor, a member of the Cross Country Alaska Competition Committee, a board member of the Alaska Ski Education Foundation, and serves on the USSA Junior Committee.
Nick Grimmer is the Assistant Coach of NSCF-FXC, working with the Prep and Comp Teams. He is also the Head Coach for Lathrop High School. Nick is in his first year in Fairbanks after recently finishing 8 years on the Australian National Ski Team. He has raced at World Juniors, on the World Cup and at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships. He recently finished a degree in teaching, and alongside racing spent some time coaching a pair of Australian junior athletes toward the World Juniors last winter.
- Skiers are expected to abide by the Comp Team code of conduct which is signed by both the skier and parent before training with the team.
- Skiers must have the skiing skills, physical fitness and desire to keep up with the group or a subgroup during training in order to assure safety of all members, and prevent an excessive burden on the coaches.
Skis: Skiers should have at least two pairs of skate and two pairs of classic skis. One pair of each technique should be for games or marginal conditions where damage could occur to the ski, and at least one better pair in each technique should be reserved for races. Some skiers, particularly those that are later in this stage might have multiple pairs of racing skis that are optimized for certain snow conditions.
Boots: Skiers should have one pair of classic and one pair of skate boots.
Poles: Skiers should have one pair of poles for classic and one pair of poles for skate technique, as well as a pair of dryland poles for ski-walking and bounding. Skate poles should come up to the lips, classic poles should come up to the tip of the shoulder, and dryland poles should ideally come up to the middle of the chest.
Clothing: Skiers should come to practice with appropriate clothing for training in the days conditions. In winter time this means adequate clothing for skiing in
Other: Skiers should bring a training bag with them to practice which should always include running shoes, water, and a snack and change of clothing for after practice. Skiers should also obtain roller skis, ideally one pair each of skate and classic. A team rollerski order is organized each May.
The NSCF’s junior racing programs view competition as an opportunity to apply the skills one has learned during training, much like a test in school or a recital for a dance class or a concert for a music group
At this level, we feel 15-30 races is an appropriate number over the course of a season.
The Comp Team provides waxing support at Besh Cups, Senior Nationals and other local races where skiers are not competing for high school teams.
Special Events and Activities
Training Camps – Traditionally, we run team training camps in southcentral Alaska each July and Christmas Break. These provide an opportunity for skiers to learn to live and function in a group of their peers, while devoting themselves to their ski training for a week.
Racing Trips – We organize various racing trips during the winter, depending on schedules and interest. Frequently this is a trip to Senior Nationals, but may also include other options depending on the year.
How Can Parents Help?
Approximately 50% of the funding for the Prep and Comp Teams comes from tuition and the other half comes from fundraising efforts. As such, we ask all families in the program to volunteer for our various fundraising efforts when they are available, and we ask each family that has been involved in the program for a year or more to take a leadership role in a fundraiser or other task that helps the program. Further details are available at annual meetings.
Cost and Refund Policy
For current costs, please see the current season's sign-up form. Further details on seasonal options and payment plans can also be found on the sign-up sheet.
The refund policy for the Comp Team is as follows: If an athlete ends his or her membership in the program prior to its ending date, he/she will be refunded a daily, pro-rated amount minus a $300 charge. The prorated amount will be calculated from the date of receipt of written notification (email or otherwise).