Junior Nordic Coaches

The Program Director oversees the program and interacts with site directors, head coaches, coaching staff, children in the program, the parents of the children and Parks & Rec. staff. Site directors are responsible for the day-to-day responsibilities for the M/W or T/Th groups at Kincaid, Hillside and Russian Jack (Russian Jack only meets on M/W during the first session). Each group has a head coach, who coordinates and leads all the assistant coaches for that group. An effort is made to keep the same coach with the same group of kids, but this is not always possible, given variations in group size and attendance.

Please note: Assistant coaches are hired by Head Coaches, if you want to coach for Junior Nordic, either fill out the Application form below (Program Director will submit a list of all applicants to all Head Coaches), or if you have coached previously, let a Head Coach or Site Director know you are interested. Head Coaches are hired by Site Directors, if you are interested in being a Head Coach, please notify your site director (or ask the Program Director who the current Site Directors are). Site Directors are hired by the Program Director, if you are interested in being a Site Director, please notify the Program Director via email.

The Coaches Orientation was November 19, 2020 5:30-7pm via Zoom. Click here to see the recording. 

Becoming a Junior Nordic Coach

To volunteer or become a paid coach, please submit the following Coaching Application using the button below.  Junior Nordic Program Director, Shannon Donley will review applications.

Practice Times

PLEASE NOTE THIS HAS CHANGED FOR THE 2020-21 SEASON. In an effort to decrease the normal Saturday group size, the site day/times have been split into two time allotments on Saturday.

All Coaches & Skiers must complete the Daily COVID Assessment (DCA) every day prior to practice starting. 

Choose Location/Days: Weeknight Time Saturday Time
Russian Jack (M/W/S) M/W: 6:30-7:30pm Sat: 9:00am-10:15am
Russian Jack (T/R/S) T/R: 4:30-5:30pm* Sat: 9:00am-10:15am
Russian Jack (T/R/S) T/R: 6:30-7:30pm Sat: 11:00am-12:15pm
Kincaid (M/W/S) M/W: 4:30-5:30pm* Sat: 11:00am-12:15pm
Kincaid (M/W/S) M/W: 6:30-7:30pm Sat: 9:00am-10:15am
Kincaid (T/R/S) T/R: 4:30-5:30pm* Sat: 9:00am-10:15am
Kincaid (T/R/S) T/R: 6:30-7:30pm Sat: 11:00am-12:15pm
Hillside (M/W/S) M/W: 4:30-5:30pm* Sat: 11:00am-12:15pm
Hillside (M/W/S) M/W: 6:30-7:30pm Sat: 9:00am-10:15am
Hillside (T/R/S) T/R: 4:30-5:30pm* Sat: 9:00am-10:15am
Hillside (T/R/S) T/R: 6:30-7:30pm Sat: 11:00am-12:15pm

COVID Mitigation for the 2020-21 Season

All Parents, Coaches and Volunteers must read the COVID-19 Mitigation Plan for the NSAA Junior Nordic program.

Junior Nordic Mitigation Plan – Updated 9/30/2020.

Summary of Changes for this season:

  • Face Coverings are required by all.
  • Social distancing of at least 6ft is required.
  • All skiers must complete the Daily COVID Assessment prior to each practice.
  • Waxing will be done by one person per group to limit touch points.
  • No indoor facilities will be used.
  • Saturday practice times have changed to decrease number of skiers grouped at one practice time.
  • No shared food or beverage.
  • See the complete Mitigation Guide for the remaining mandates.

Things Coaches Need to Know:

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.

As a coach, you are responsible to be familiar with the following:

Coach Rules and Responsibilities
Head Coach Responsibilities
Site Director Responsibilities
Games – print out on cards
Junior Nordic Skill Requirements by Group
How to coach Polar Cubs

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

Hiring Paperwork

Once hired by a Head Coach or Site Director:

Please submit the following documents to Haley, NSAA Business Specialist

New Employee Packet
Employee Handbook Acknowledgement
Direct Deposit Form
Confidentiality Agreement

All coaches must complete the NSAA approved background check (if over the age of 18).

All coaches must complete SafeSport training.

Applicants have rights under Federal Employment Laws.  NSAA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA – https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/eppac.pdf)

Who to contact:

Junior Nordic Director:

Shannon Donley, jrnordic@anchoragenordicski.com

Site Directors, Hillside:

M/W/S After School Group: Holly Rinehart, Rinehart_Holly@asdk12.org

M/W/S: Dave Ward, dbward3e10@gmail.com

T/Th/S: After School Group: Tyler Henegan, tyler.henegan@gmail.com

T/Th/S: Josh Bablonka, jbablonka@gmail.com

Site Directors, Kincaid:

M/W/S After School Group: John Hemmeter, johnevc@yahoo.com

M/W/S: Geoff Wright, glw907@gmail.com/John Hemmeter, johnevc@yahoo.com

T/Th/S: After School Group: Sam Cason, samcason@hotmail.com

T/Th/S: Tyler Henegan, tyler.henegan@gmail.com

Site Director, Russian Jack: 

M/W/S: Art Harmon, harmonA23@aol.com

NSAA Office:

907-276-7609, program@anchoragenordicski.com  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
  • tape
  • Band-Aids
  • gauze pads, 4×4 and 2×2
  • latex gloves
  • betadine
  • emergency whistle