Age Group Development
A comprehensive Web-manual on building 21st century XC Programs, Skiers, and Coaches.
Written by J.D. Downing, xcskiworld.com Editor
Junior Development Part One
A comprehensive look at major issues for individual development and programs throughout the life of a XC Skier.
NOTE: Currently the Development section is undergoing a "second edition". The parts focusing on Youth skiing are currently available with other parts available soon.
Foreward: I am proud to offer this comprehensive Development Model for XC skiing within the pages of xcskiworld.com. Here you will find a wide assortment of subjects ranging from the major organizational components of successful XC programs to how these components fit in with fundamental stages in human development. This model will, hopefully, act as a resource and reference for athletes, coaches, parents, and ski leaders the world over. I would like to dedicate this section to my father, Charles Jerry Downing (1933-1996), a great teacher and a great coach.
Various claims and opinions stated in this model have been constructed from the author's three decades in skiing as an athlete, coach, and administrator. Where possible, relevant supporting data and/or research is used. Regardless, the author acknowledges that the conclusions drawn are purely opinion and open to critique. In addition, although this model is biased heavily towards U.S. programs, examples are offered from Canadian, South Pacific, and European programs.
Imagine a mythical town called Klistertown with a population anywhere from 1000 to 100,000. Klistertown lies in snow most of the winter and/or within 30 minutes of reliable snow with a consistent 3-5 month ski season. Now, let's pretend that you want to start a brand new XC program of some kind in Klistertown.
What are your priorities? What are your goals? What age groups are you targeting? Do you want to emphasize performance, recreation, or a combination of both? Where do you get started?