The nordic combined national team spent 12 days in Bend, Oregon at the end of May. This was the team’s first training camp of the 2019-2020 season. In addition to being the first training camp of the season, it was also the first camp conducted under newly acquired head coach Nick Hendrickson.
Hendrickson’s presence is already being felt by the athletes. “He has brought a new excitement to the team,” says Jared Shumate. This excitement is due to his ability to support the athletes individually and as a team. “Nick has been great, he’s super engaging and definitely tries to look at everyone’s needs individually as well as the group as a whole,” says Stephen Schumann.
Every morning the team would ski for 2-3 hours and the afternoons were spent biking, running, or rock climbing. “The skiing conditions were great,” says Hendrickson. In 12 days, the team had over 20 hours skiing on snow, five afternoons of biking, multiple strength/plyo sessions, and a few runs.
It was a busy camp for the team and after such long days of training, nutrition is critical. During the camp, the athletes were split into groups of two and tasked with shopping and cooking for the entire team. Apart from this being a great opportunity for team building, Hendrickson enjoyed the meals, “I was actually impressed, the food was good all around.”
The US cross country national team was also in Bend during the end of May. Hendrickson made a point of trying to integrate the two teams out on the trails. This included the nordic combined skiers joining the cross-country team for a speed session. This was an eye opener for the nordic combined athletes, “I was surprised to see how close we actually are to each other,” says Shumate. Hendrickson adds to this, “It was really cool to see Jared dropping in between Simi Hamilton and Kevin Bolger (two of the faster sprinters in the world).”
On the 23rd of May, the team held a fundraiser and athlete meet and greet in Bend. “It was a good community builder,” says Hendrickson. “We’re going to build on that next year.” This spring training camp has become a staple for the nordic combined team, having traveled to Bend three years in a row now. The coaches and athletes look forward to continuing this tradition in the future.
After the Bend camp, ski jumping coach Jan Matura came into town and the team took their first ski jumps of the 2019-2020 season. Hendrickson is content with the first jumps, “Overall I think people have been doing a good job of picking up where they left off.”
From here, the team will spend a few weeks training in Park City and focusing on ski jumping before attending a team camp in Minneapolis, Minnesota with our partner Mayo Clinic. After Mayo Clinic testing, the team will head to Steamboat Springs, Colorado for the annual 4th of July competitions.