Coaching Resources for Athlete Development

Nordiq Canada is proud to provide the development tools coaches need to create lifelong skiers and future world champions. In addition to pathway benchmarks and development standards, you have access to thousands of activities, videos, tutorials, testing protocols and more. You can even borrow equipment.

Our Athlete Development Matrix

The Athlete Development Matrix provides guidance on how to build performance factors at every stage of development. It includes specific benchmarks and standards, as well as additional resources.

The Matrix also includes recommendations for additional factors affecting performance, such as the supporting role of parents, good coaching, balance with academics and/or part-time work, financial considerations, accessible training facilities and equipment.

Ski Playground

Nordiq Canada, Biathlon Canada, Nordic Combined Ski Canada, and Ski Jumping Canada have created the nordic snowsports ski playground where aspiring young athletes from all the nordic sports can develop and learn common skills together. The following resources are intended to be used anywhere there is snow and a bit of space, adaptable to your local surroundings, needs and imagination.

As coaches, instructors, learning facilitators, etc., the key is to let the environment teach. Set up the challenges so that young skiers are challenged to explore and discover the possibilities. The information contained in the following document is intended to help coaches cue in on key developmental benchmarks and to adapt the challenges and environment to bring these forward, not to have the skiers think or become self-conscious of “doing it right”. The environment will do the teaching. So step back, ensure that the space is safe, encourage exploration and watch the skiers progress!


Nordic Ski Lab

Nordic Ski Lab is your online Nordic Ski School, with instructional videos that teach skate and classic cross-country ski techniques. Nordic Ski Lab videos include expert demos by World Cup and Olympic athletes, creative drills for skate and classic skiing, step by step beginner lessons and more! You will find free resources, like roller ski drills, balance drills and dryland training resources. The cost of a membership is very affordable and gets you access to hundreds of beautiful videos, filmed with Canada’s top skiers.

Dryland Training and Testing

Dryland Training and Testing
The Athlete Development Matrix and Nordic Ski Lab include many dryland resources. Be sure to check the Document Centre for Nordiq Canada Field Testing Manual and roller ski resources.

The Nordiq Canada Field Testing Manual is a very simple set of dryland tests to measure athlete fitness. The program gives athletes a set of straightforward goals to work to improve.

Roller sking is fantastic sport-specific training for the off-season. Rollerski training can be introduced as early as Learning to Train (9-12 years).

Learning to Train (9-12 years old)

Roller skiing can be introduced at the end of this stage.

Training to Train Part 1 (12-14 years old)

Introduce athletes to roller skiing (skating to start with) by the beginning of this stage and give them enough opportunities to develop and refine their ski-specific skills in the off-season.

Training to Train Part 2 (14-16 years old)

In addition to ski striding, athletes are significantly increasing their time on roller skis during the off-season.

Learning to Compete (16-20 years old)

By now, athletes will need to roller ski a few times per week throughout the off-season and progressively increase training volume throughout the stage. By the end of the Learning to Compete stage, athletes should have acquired a High Performance level of technical skills at high intensity in all conditions.

Free Equipment Fleet

Nordiq Canada has purchased and will ship 50 pairs of SWENOR skate roller skis anywhere in the country for standardized testing and sanctioned roller ski events.

Visit the Document Centre for more on roller skiing, including an equipment guide, event technical package and ski fleet rental agreement.