Junior Nordic Coaches
Interested in coaching for NSAA’S Junior Nordic Program? If so, you’ve come to the right place!
We’re always looking for three categories of coaches:
“Full Time” Regular Coaches
A regular Junior Nordic coach attends three practices per week. Possible times are as follows:
- Monday & Wednesday from 4:30-5:30PM, Saturday from 11:15AM-12:30PM
- Monday & Wednesday from 6:30-7:30PM, Saturday from 9:30AM-10:45AM
- Tuesday & Thursday from 4:30-5:30PM, Saturday from 9:30AM-10:45AM
- Tuesday & Thursday from 6:30-7:30PM, Saturday from 11:15AM-12:30PM
And note that our practice times are organized so that a person can work as a regular coach for both an afternoon (4:30-5:30PM) and an evening (6:30-7:30PM) session. We teach sessions at Hillside, Kincaid Park, and Russian Jack Park.
Substitute coaches step in when our regular coaches can’t make practice for any reason. If you sign up as a sub, you’ll be added to the list of people who can help with a practice when a regular coach can’t attend. During the sign-up process you can indicate both days and sites that you’re available to help.
“High School Buddy” Coaches
We have many wonderful high school skiers who aren’t able to coach for Junior Nordic because Saturday practices conflict with their racing schedule. “High School Buddies” are paired with a high school coach in order to cover race-day practices and create a “complete” coaching team. If you sign up as a “High School Buddy”, you’ll also be expected to ski with “your”skier and their group for three weekday practices prior to covering Saturdays so that you have a chance to develop rapport with the group.
All you need in order to coach for Junior Nordic is a pair of skies, a fun-loving attitude, and the ability to wrangle a group of kids! We teach kids ages 6 to 14, and skill levels range from kids who are on skis for the first time, to middle school kids that are beginning to race at a more competitive level. We certainly need some coaches who are experienced skiers who can help kids refine and improve both classic and skate technique. However, we also need coaches who can with with complete beginners. So don’t worry if you’re not an “expert” skier. If you love spending time on trails with kids, then there’s a place for you as a a Junior Nordic coach!
We also love to teach! We’ll work with you to help develop your coaching skills, through day-to-day mentoring and through formal certifications with organizations such as PSIA.
All you need to do now is fill out the coach application. The same form is used for regular, substitute, and “High School Buddy” coaches. And remember that you can work as both a regular coach and a sub! Once we have your application, one of our site directors will reach out to talk to you about coaching for Junior Nordic! In the meantime you can read more details about Junior Nordic coaching down below.
COVID Mitigation for the 2021-22 Season
All Parents, Coaches and Volunteers must read the COVID-19 Mitigation Plan for the NSAA Junior Nordic program.
Junior Nordic Mitigation Plan – Coming soon!
Summary of Changes for this season:
- Face Coverings are required by all.
- Social distancing of at least 6ft is required.
- All skiers must review 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:
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
Once hired by a Head Coach or Site Director:
Please submit the following documents to Haley, NSAA Business Specialist
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.
Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA – https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/eppac.pdf)
Who to contact:
Junior Nordic Director:
Geoffrey Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org
Site Directors, Hillside:
M/W/S After School Group: Holly Rinehart, Rinehart_Holly@asdk12.org
M/W/S: Dave Ward, email@example.com
T/Th/S: After School Group: Tyler Henegan, firstname.lastname@example.org
T/Th/S: Josh Bablonka, email@example.com
Site Directors, Kincaid:
M/W/S After School Group: John Hemmeter, firstname.lastname@example.org
T/Th/S: After School Group: Sam Cason, email@example.com
T/Th/S: Tyler Henegan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Site Director, Russian Jack:
M/W/S: Art Harmon, harmonA23@aol.com
907-276-7609, email@example.com 203 W. 15th Ave #204. Open M-F 10am-5pm
Safety Plan for Jr. Nordic Coaches:
- Cover first aid at coaches meeting – refresher on cold weather injury prevention.
- Urge coaches to use a warm up and stretching exercise at the beginning of every practice to get themselves and their skiers warmed up.
- Coaches are to carry cell phones if they have them; we have radios available to carry at Kincaid.
- 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.
- Coaches are to report any injury, to skier or to coach, within 24 hours of the injury happening.
- 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