Anchorage Jr. Nordic: General Coaching Information


What is Junior Nordic?


Junior Nordic provides an opportunity for children ages 6-14 to enjoy the Anchorage winter while learning to cross country ski. The emphasis is on having fun and learning proper technique. Skiers are split into four groups based on skill level – our beginner group is called Polar Cubs, the skiers then become Otters, who are taught skate skiing, and then Wolverines, and finally Hawks.  Polar Cubs are taught classic technique; the other three groups alternate between classic and skating.


Skiers come to three practices per week: two weekday evenings, either the afterschool time 4:30-5:30pm or 6:30-7:30pm and Saturday morning from 10-11:30am or 10:15-11:45am, depending on the location. They can sign up or register for either Mon/Weds/Sat or Tues/Thurs/Sat at one of three locations:  Kincaid Park, Hillside or Russian Jack Springs Park (Russian Jack offers only M/W/Sat schedule for first session). There are two sessions, the first is 6 weeks and the second session is 8 weeks long.


Each ski location has a Site Director, who is in charge of coordinating activities at that site. That Site Director lines up a Head Coach for each of the groups (Polar Cubs through Hawks), who is in charge of finding coaches for their group.  The Junior Nordic Director collects coaching applications and sends the information to the Site Directors and Head Coaches.


What are the responsibilities of a Junior Nordic Coach?


Coaches will generally coach 3 times a week, for the same group of kids – so they’ll sign up to coach either M/W/Sat or T/Th/Sat at one of the ski locations, either afterschool or at the regular time.  Coaches can also sign-up to be substitute coaches. If you are a regular coach and cannot make it to practice, it is YOUR responsibility to line up a substitute.


Coaches must arrive at least 15 minutes before practice starts (6:15 pm on weeknights; 9:45 am on Saturday at Hillside and Russian Jack; 10:00 am on Saturday at Kincaid) so that they can be ready to help skiers wax their skis and get out skiing on time. We have had coaches who work out a schedule where they don’t coach 3 times a week, but they have worked this out with their head coach.


There is a general coaches meeting (see website for date) before the season starts where basics on coaching, first aid and ideas for coaching kids are covered. Coaches who have not coached with Jr. Nordic before are required to ski with an experienced Jr. Nordic coach for 2 practices before taking a group of kids on their own.  We also ask that parents volunteer to ski along with the various groups, so often the coach has another adult helper, but Jr. Nordic asks that parents not ski with their child’s group.


We require regular coaches who are over the age of 18 to have a background check.  This will be done through NCSI and will be confidential. Coaches are required to make themselves familiar with all the information on the website. A good Jr. Nordic coach enjoys working with kids and loves to ski.


What does it pay?

Coaches must be at least 15 years of age – as of December 31st.

Starting pay rate $18/hour with no prior coaching experience; additional $1/hour per year of coaching experience, up to $23/hour.

Additional compensation possible with PSIA/comparable training, up to $26/hour.

Head Coach stipend: $220/session; Site Director stipend: $364/session

Required paperwork:

To be paid for coaching, you need to be hired by a head coach (verbal or written agreement) and turn in the following forms. You also need to sign-up for a background check. Forms filled out and signed:

  • W4 form
  • I-9 form (this form requires specific types of ID, please check the form and bring to the coaches’ meeting or the NSAA office)
  • Direct deposit form
  • Employee Handbook Acknowledgement
  • Post-Hire Health Questionnaire.


All forms are available on the website:


Who to contact:


Junior Nordic Director:

Shannon Donley,

Site Directors, Hillside:

M/W/S After School Group: Holly Rinehart,

M/W/S: Dave Ward,

T/Th/S: After School Group: Sabrina Farmer,

T/Th/S: Dan Bosch,

Site Directors, Kincaid:

M/W/S After School Group: John Hemmeter,

M/W/S: Geoff Wright, Hemmeter,

T/Th/S: After School Group: Martin Hansen,

T/Th/S: Tyler Henegan,

Site Director, Russian Jack: 

M/W/S: Art Harmon,

NSAA Office:

907-276-7609,  203 W. 15th Ave #204. Open M-F 10am-5pm


Safety Plan for Jr. Nordic Coaches:


  1. Cover first aid at coaches meeting – refresher on cold weather injury prevention.
  2. Urge coaches to use a warm up and stretching exercise at the beginning of every practice to get themselves and their skiers warmed up.
  3. Coaches are to carry cell phones if they have them; we have radios available to carry at Kincaid.
  4. Head coaches are to carry first aid fanny pack.  All others are urged to carry hand warmers, neck warmers, extra mittens, a small roll of duct tape and some gauze bandages.
  5. Coaches are to report any injury, to skier or to coach, within 24 hours of the injury happening.
  6. Rescue sled, with warm-up sleeping bag or blanket, is available at all venues.


First Aid Fanny Pack Contains:

hand warmers

Ziploc for snow

space blanket

4-inch ace bandage

2-inch ace bandage

micro shield

triangular bandage / sling

splint:  either aluminum or SAM



gauze pads, 4×4 and 2×2

latex gloves


emergency whistle