Cross Country Regional Elite Group
Regional Elite Group (REG) ALASKAN, WESTERN, CENTRAL, EASTERN
The Regional Elite Group is a camp project held in the summer in each respective region. The purpose of this camp is to provide these regionally selected junior athletes with an experience similar to the standards and expectations of a junior National Training Group camp. This week-long camp is intended to provide technical coaching to improve skills and strategies. Athletes can then bring these methods back to their routine summer club training and share with their local club. This camp includes level-appropriate training, time trial competitions, and educational presentations from national and regional coaches. The presentations and time trials conducted at REG’s direct attention and awareness toward relevant cross country skill sets including physical, technical, tactical, mental, and emotional talents.
An example of REG camp testing is as follows:
Uphill run (10-15minutes in duration) – the purpose of test = aerobic capacity, endurance leg strength, running efficiency, pacing, and mental readiness
Uphill double pole test (approximately 800 meters at 6% grade) – the purpose of test = ski-specific upper body strength, technique, pacing, and mental readiness
Skate Agility sprint (approximately 3:00 in duration with numerous skill-rich features) – the purpose of test = ski-specific coordination, ski technique, multi-directional acceleration, agility, and mental readiness
We encourage athletes not to specifically train for these summer time trials, for well-balanced training within their clubs will result in positive outcomes. Each test assists athletes in determining personal strengths and opportunities to help direct their attention for the rest of their summer preparation.
Each region sets its own selection criteria for the camps based on results from the prior season.
National Elite Group (NEG)
The National Elite Group is a camp project held in the fall in conjunction with the fall U.S. Ski Team (USST) and fall National Training Group (NTG) camp. Selected NEG athletes are directly embedded and immersed for one week of the two-week USST fall camp allowing them to experience firsthand how USST and NTG athletes live and train. NEG athletes follow an abbreviated training plan of the USST and a very similar training plan to the NTG athletes. NEG athletes, live, eat, train, partake in presentations and compete in time trials with USST and NTG athletes. This is a second opportunity to qualify for a National junior project that is not based solely on winter race results.
Approximately 12 athletes from the four REG camps are nominated to the National Elite group. Athletes are nominated to NEG based on their performance at their respective Regional Elite Group (REG) camp as well as their U.S. Ski & Snowboard overall National Ranking List (NRL) placement. The three-time trials plus their overall U.S. Ski and Snowboard National Ranking Lists placement are equally weighted and scored via World Cup points. Junior athletes can be nominated to both NTG and NEG. It is commonplace that an NTG athlete will also be nominated to the NEG since those athletes performing well on snow and hence meeting NTG standards often also perform well in the REG summer tests. Successful outcomes on snow are a result of adapting general skill competencies in a sport-specific manner.