Teaching Cross-Country Skiing contains 30 detailed lesson plans
to progress children and young adults from beginning to advanced levels.
Each lesson is aligned with the National Association for Sport and
Physical Education (NASPE) standards. This text presents the basics of
ski mechanics, history and benefits of cross-country skiing, and
information on clothing and equipment selection.
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Whether you are new to teaching cross-country skiing or an experienced instructor, Teaching Cross-Country Skiing has everything you need for delivering a fun and successful learning experience for children and young adults. This complete teaching tool offers foundational information, teaching aids, 115 unique games and activities, and 30 detailed lesson plans aligned to current National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) standards. Cross-country skiing offers an excellent opportunity to get out of the gym and beat those winter blues! Easy on the joints and offering benefits for the cardiovascular system, muscular development, and coordination, cross-country skiing is an activity that both young and old can enjoy.
Teaching Cross-Country Skiing presents lesson plans to progress children and young adults from beginning to advanced levels. Each lesson follows a consistent format, which includes lesson goals, introductory activities, lesson focus, review, games, and assessments. For those new to cross-country skiing, this text presents the basics of ski mechanics and guidance on clothing and equipment selection. To help you understand and convey classic cross-country skiing skills, you’ll find straightforward explanations with illustrations and photos that highlight the critical features of each skill.
Each of the 30 lessons incorporates games and skill-testing activities to keep students active and engaged. Distances gradually increase to match your skiers’ increased skill and challenge their muscular and cardiorespiratory capacities. In the first 10 lessons, students practice basic skills indoors and then on snow, learning the diagonal stride technique (with and without poles) and how to double-pole, climb, and descend gentle hills.
Then, 10 lessons for intermediate skiers continue work on the diagonal stride as well as improving hill climbing and descending techniques, stops, speed control, and maneuverability. These lessons also challenge students with increasing length of glide, shifting weight to commit to the gliding ski, and using poling action for propulsion.
Finally, 10 advanced lessons help your skiers achieve a diagonal stride that is rhythmic and continuous even over hillier and longer trails. In addition to refining their diagonal stride technique, your skiers will have fun learning the stem christie, traversing steeper hills, and edging.
Teaching Cross-Country Skiing also includes the history and benefits of cross-country skiing, which you can use in developing a cross-country skiing unit or interdisciplinary unit. Plus you’ll find reproducible handouts, worksheets, poster signs, ideas for interdisciplinary lessons, additional games and activities, rubrics, checklists, and activity aids such as a chart for measuring boot size and ski length.
Learning to cross-country ski gives children and young adults opportunities to build the skills and motivation to achieve lifelong health and fitness. You can improve your own skiing skills and knowledge as you teach your students a fun physical activity to practice for a lifetime. Teaching Cross-Country Skiing provides everything you need—except the snow!
Basic Skills Index
Games and Activities Index
Part I Learning About Cross-Country Skiing Chapter 1 An Introduction to Cross-Country Skiing Chapter 2 Getting Ready to Ski
Part II Teaching Cross-Country Skiing Chapter 3 Basic Cross-Country Skiing Skills Chapter 4 Lessons Chapter 5 Games and Activities
Part III Teaching Aids Chapter 6 Assessments Chapter 7 Reproducibles
About the Authors
Reference for physical education teachers (K-12) teaching cross-country
(Nordic) skiing; outdoor recreation leaders in camp, resort, or park
setttings; and cross-country ski instructors. Textbook for courses in
physical education teacher education programs on teaching cross-country
skiing, teaching winter sports, or outdoor winter recreation.
Bridget A. Duoos, PhD, is an associate professor in the health
and human performance department at the University of St. Thomas in St.
Dr. Duoos has done extensive research in the biomechanics of
cross-country skiing skills, pedagogy of skiing skills, skill
progressions, and methods of assessing students’ progress. She has
presented her research on both the biomechanics and the teaching of
cross-country skiing at state, district, and national American Alliance
for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD)
conferences. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in physical education
teaching and health education teaching and both a master’s and doctorate
An experienced and passionate instructor, Dr. Duoos has taught
cross-country skiing to children, youth, and adults as a coach for the
Minnesota Youth Ski League (MYSL) and as an instructor at the University
of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas. Dr. Duoos is a past
member of the MYSL board of directors and coauthor (with Anne Rykken) of
the MYSL curriculum, used by hundreds of instructors throughout the
Dr. Duoos has been a member of AAHPERD since 1975. In 1999 she received
the Presidential Award for Physical Education from the Minnesota
Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and
recently received the Lou Keller award for outstanding contributions to
the field. She is also a member of the International Society of
Biomechanics in Sports (ISBS), the Biomechanics Academy of AAHPERD, and
the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Dr. Duoos and her husband, Armen Hitzemann, reside in North Branch,
Minnesota. When the snow melts, she spends her free time running,
golfing, and reading.
Anne M. Rykken, BFA, is a graphic designer and Nordic ski coach.
She has been the head coach for 14 years at Minnehaha Academy in
Anne is a founding member of the Minnesota Youth Ski League (MYSL),
where she spent 15 years as executive director developing a nearly
1,000-member youth ski club from the ground up. During the same time,
Rykken led the MYSL Como Park club, which remained the largest
cross-country ski club in the United States for the duration of her
Rykken coauthored (with Bridget Duoos) the current MYSL curriculum. She
recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minnesota
Nordic Ski Association for her work in developing youth skiing in
Minnesota. She is frequently invited to help leaders in the ski
community develop vibrant family-oriented ski clubs.
In addition to skiing, Rykken enjoys biking and most other outdoor
activities. She and her husband, Scott, live in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Nearby are their two grown children, who are accomplished Nordic skiers
and coaches as well.