For this series, USA Nordic will be checking in with coaches of each discipline, to get a pulse on Summer training. Today we talk to Anders Johnson, who is enjoying his first season as the women’s ski jumping coach.
Anders, what are your biggest initial takeaways from the first half of Summer training?
I think overall the summer has been positive so far. For the past month we’ve had both the national and junior national teams together for training, so it’s been great to have a larger training group working together this summer.
What’s the atmosphere on the team like right now?
The atmosphere has been really good so far. Like I said, having a large group of younger athletes mix together with our veterans has created a great team atmosphere.
Who are the standout jumpers so far this Summer?
So far I have been really impressed with some of our junior athletes. They have been working really hard over the past few weeks and their hard work is starting to show with big improvements on the ski jump. I have also been impressed with Annika Belshaw and her willingness to try new things both on and off the jump.
If you were to give out a “Most Improved over the Summer Award” right now, who gets that?
That’s a tough one… But if I had to pick one athlete I would say Adeline Swanson.
How has the athletes’ training changed with you being around? Are you putting an emphasis on certain areas? If so, what areas?
We have definitely put a bigger emphasis on our general fitness and technique this summer. After last season we evaluated what our strengths and weaknesses were and have adapted our training programs and training sessions to try and correct them.
How do you and Blake work together on and off the jump hill to get the most out of your athletes?
Blake I have worked together for the past several seasons, so there hasn’t been much of an adjustment period for us in terms of working together. For me, I see the biggest change in how we’re able to work better together on the hill. We’ve been able to focus more on the flying technique this summer and we’ve seen some really positive changes from the girls especially over the past two weeks on the large hill here in Park City.
What’s one thing you have learned from Blake this summer?
Blake has been really helpful for me in getting to know the athletes a little better. Most of the team I’ve worked with in the past, but a few of them I haven’t spent much time around. So In that regard Blake has been very helpful.
What does the plan look like for the rest of the summer for the women’s ski jumping team?
Well, it’s kinda hard to say at the moment. With the ongoing challenges that COVID has presented to us it’s been challenging to make any concrete plans for the remainder of the summer. At the moment, we are planning on going over for the Summer Grand Prix events in Kazakhstan and Russia in September, but at the moment we are still waiting to see if they are going to happen or not. For the time being, we are continuing to work hard and stay prepared for when traveling and competition happens.