Coaching Corner

Lesson Plans  Equipment & Waxing Guides Technique Resources  Leader Development Courses

Lesson Plans

Many of our club leaders create written lesson plans and other tools throughout the season and are happy to share them. It’s nice to have something to start with! Some plans contains links to useful videos on the Internet (YouTube is a great resource for that). Check back here for more plans as the season progresses. We will label them for the various group levels, though games and activities for one level are often well suited to other levels as well.

Connecting Ontario Youth materials to enhance your lessons and engage young skiers in the sport:

Jackrabbit Level 1 (all files are Microsoft Word); from Greg Watt:

JR1 Ski Lesson 1 – Jan 3, 2009 / JR1 Ski Lesson 2 – Jan 10, 2009 / JR1 Ski Lesson 3 – Jan 17, 2009 / JR1 Ski Lesson 4 – Jan 24, 2009JR1 Ski Lesson 5 – Jan 31, 2009JR1 Ski Lesson 6 – Feb 7, 2009 / JR1 Ski Lesson 8 – Feb 21, 2009

Jackrabbit Level 4 (all files are Microsoft Word); from Marlene Alt:
classic technique 1 / 2 / 3

skate technique 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 /

Bunnyrabbit Materials
An example of an introductory letter any leader might use (Word file): Bunny welcome letter

A full season of lesson plans with details and games (Excel file): Bunny lesson plans

Skills By Lesson & Level (from Greg Watt)
Excel file:  skill_breakdown_jr3_4

To use, open in Excel, click on the “Skills By Lesson & Level Pivot” tab then click on the “Level” dropdown at the top of the worksheet to select level (this equates to JR Level). The pivot table is based on lessons listed in the Community Coaching (CC) manual (minus the games and special events). I’ve indicated whether a skill is being introduced for the first time or a re-introduction (review). If you need to find the skill in the CC manual, I’ve also included the original lesson number from the CC manual. Double clicking on a cell in the “Skills By Lesson & Level Pivot” worksheet will give you the lesson # from the manual (it also creates a new worksheet).

I find this a useful tool because it gives me an idea of when to introduce skills and also, based on the grand total line at the bottom of the worksheet (line 20), the relative importance Cross Country Canada has placed on a skill; the higher the number, the greater the importance. The other thing that became obvious once I had created the worksheet was that it was going to take 2+ years to complete JR3 and JR4, based on the # of lessons and skills.

Equipment & Waxing Tips

Waxing Guide
Our coaches have put together this waxing guide, with advice on what you’ll need to buy and how to apply the waxes. You can purchase the tools over several seasons and the waxes themselves usually last a few years as well.

Choosing Ski Equipment
Some good basic information on how to choose ski equipment.

Technique Resources

Free Skate 
The free skate technique is the basis for most skating techniques. This short video does a great job of pointing out the most common errors that learners make. Have a look:

One Skate, a a low-gear technique for power on an incline:

Instructional Videos on YouTube

You can find a number of videos on to help you teach your skiers various techniques. Here is a series of instructional videos from an Eastern Massachusetts ski club that covers a range of progressions. Note that the American terminology is sometimes different — for example, V1 and V2 for them is One Skate and Two Skate for us. Here’s another video on how to apply glide wax. You can find a video on just about any topic so do a search on YouTube for whatever you need! Remember that the videos are not necessarily what Cross Country Canada recommends and for that you should refer to the manuals you received from the coaching courses.

Leader Development

Upcoming Coaching Courses

View upcoming courses here. 

Coaching Certification Process

Cross Country Canada introduced a new competency based coaching certification program several years ago. Details of the program, certification levels, and a program flow chart may be found at:

These courses are specific to cross country skiing and are packed with valuable material for leaders and assistants alike.

Local coaching courses are typically posted on the Cross Country Ontario webpage:

All coaches must complete the Making Ethical Decisions on-line survey:


In 2009 Cross Country Canada introduced a revised Competition Model, to align nordic ski competitions in Canada with the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model.