Youth Programs

Skill Development Programs for Children

Cross Country Canada has developed a modern, state-of-the-art progression of skill development programs for children. This exciting program conforms to the Canadian LTAD model and provides a vertically integrated continuum of development opportunities for children in the first stages of skier development

The Skill Development Program (SDP) is comprised of three levels or stages, Bunnyrabbit, Jackrabbit and Track Attack. The overall objective of the program is to assist children in the development of a love of the outdoors, a healthy lifestyle, excellent technical skills and a good level of physical fitness within a sport environment.

The Bunnyrabbit Program (five and under) is directed at children in the ‘Active Start’ stage of development. This is the first level of the program. The objective is to introduce cross-country skiing and a healthy lifestyle associated with organized activity and active play. The program is designed to develop fundamental movement skills (with a focus on balance and agility),  coordination, self confidence, imagination and social skills. It encourages children to be active and helps them develop an awareness and appreciation of our natural environment. Coaches are trained to meet the needs of children at this stage of development by taking the Intro to Community Coaching NCCP workshop.

The Jackrabbit Program (six-nine years) is directed at children in the ‘FUNdamentals’ stage of development. This is the second level of the program. The objective is for children to learn basic cross-country ski skills (both classic and skating) and to instill a lifelong interest in the sport, thereby enhancing their quality of life and health. The program is designed to develop fundamental movement skills, build overall motor skills, confidence and social skills, and encourage fun and participation.  Low-key competitions are introduced, as are inter-club social, skill and fitness oriented ski activities (e.g. on-snow ski camps). Coaches are trained to meet the needs of athletes at this stage of development by taking the Community Coaching NCCP workshop.

The Track Attack Program (ten -12 years) is directed at children in the ‘Learning to Train’ stage of development. This is the third level of the program. The objective is for the participants to become technically competent cross-country skiers and to utilize those skills to explore a wide range of cross-country ski activities, from back country excursions to Ski Tournaments. The program is designed to further develop and refine all the cross-country ski skills. Develop skills, speed, power and aerobic fitness, develop strength and flexibility as well as good ski habits, building adventure based activities into the seasonal plan e.g camps on and off snow. Coaches are trained to meet the needs of athletes at this stage of development by taking the Competition Introduction NCCP Workshop.