Clubs and Coaches Update – July 2017

Hello everyone,

From all of us at Central Cross Country Skiing, we hope the start of the 2017-2018 season has gotten off to a great start for you and your programs. Some of you may be completing your recharging from last season and planning for the coming season, while others have already been tackling this coming season with great zest for some time. Wherever you are in the ski-planning spectrum, we wish you well going forward with 2017-2018!

Coaches serve a vital role in our sport, as you are the “boots on the ground” providing the day to day needs of our skiers, from the young skiers making their first tracks through the woods to those who are butting heads with the world’s best. Certified coaches are also critical to keeping our athletes safe and building a culture of credibility to our community so that our sport is a trusted, safe and secure environment. Parents need to know cross country skiing will help their children to develop core life values, such as, excellence, respect, friendship and a joy for outdoor activities. If parents know their children are participating in a safe environment they will support their child’s choice of sport. Good coaches area critical element to this paradigm.

As you proceed with this season we would like to have you as an integral part of Central Cross Country Skiing and U.S. Ski and Snowboard. We trust that your enthusiasm and hard work for the sport of cross country skiing will line up well with investing in CXC’s vision to inspire and enable our members to achieve excellence in the sport of cross country skiing and in life.

Here are a few updates that may be of interest.

1. We are in full swing for the 2017-18 season. Online registration opened May 1. As a reminder, Central Cross Country Skiing and U.S. Ski & Snowboard memberships for both clubs and individual members expire on June 30 annually.

2. We’re excited to bring a wide array of benefits to our coach members:
Don’t delay with your membership! Get these benefits coming your way as soon as possible to help you become a better coach and get a complimentary American Birkebeiner entry (if you are a certified Coach) before your wave fills up!

3. You can begin the process of renewing or becoming a CXC Club by contacting me, Joe Haggenmiller (, and requesting a PDF of paperwork for U.S. Ski & Snowboard membership either with or without CLIP insurance.

If you are interested in CXC Club membership only, please follow this link: Feel free to follow up with me if you have questions about what type of membership is right for your club.

4. U.S. Ski & Snowboard will again offer club liability insurance through its CLIP program. For more information see this link: This is a great option to protect your club and its membership.

5. The CXC Junior Cup Schedule has been set. Please mark your calendars to plan to attend:

6. CXC will be holding its annual Wayne Fish fall coaches symposium and certification opportunities October 20-22, 2017. Please put on your calendar and check in here to sign up and get updates:

7. CXC has a closed facebook page to our coaches/key club contacts to communicate with each other. It is on facebook as “Central Cross Country Skiing Clubs”. If you get an invite, please accept it.

8. The USSA Bi-Annual Coaches Symposium will be in Park City this year on October 27-29. If you can make one or both symposiums, you will find many useful insights to move your program forward:

Good luck with your programing and enjoy some fun this summer!


Joe Haggenmiller | Director of Athletics
Central Cross Country Skiing
Community Olympic Development Program

Phone: (906) 281-1214


“I have now been with CXC for over two months. Learning more about all the initiatives CXC is working on has been exciting. Many of our membership I have known for years, others are new faces for me. Either way, I look forward to getting to know each of you better and helping your programs achieve their aspirations. I know each club’s goals and needs are unique. My experience of 30 plus years in cross country skiing programing run by both clubs and educational institutions and my experience working with all levels and ages from youth to masters, whether it be first time skiers looking to enjoy some time in the woods or elite junior and senior racers looking for ways to race their best, involves so many different aspects of our sport.

This experience should allow me to be a helpful resource for each of you and your programs. Do not hesitate to reach out with questions. I’ll try to get you answers as quick as I can.”

– Joe H.


Coaches Roundtable at Central Regional Elite Group (REG) Camp

Join us along with USST Development Coach, Bryan Fish at the 2017 Coaches Roundtable Discussion where we will discuss athlete and program development as it relates to the central region and the national as a whole.

Those who RSVP before Thursday July 6th will receive a complimentary CXC polo. Please email your name, club affiliation and t-shirt size.

Coaches, assistant coaches, and enthusiastic participants are encouraged to come with questions and matters concerning the progress and improvement of our current skier development pipeline.


Bryan Fish
U.S. Ski Team Development Coach

Joe Haggenmiller
CXC Director of Athletics

Andrew Keller
CXC Team Coach

WHEN: Saturday July 8th from 6:30-7:30 pm followed by a coaches social from 9-10 pm

WHERE: Magers Hall is located at the corner of Tracy Avenue and Wright Street, – NMU Campus, Marquette (MI)

TOPIC: Athlete and Program Development

2017 CXC Award Recipients

The CXC Awards Dinner recognized four of the central region’s outstanding ski community members at the inaugural CXC Congress weekend in Eau Clair, Wisconsin this past weekend.

The honored members of the ski community who have persistently committed their time to the sport of Cross Country Skiing each gave inspirational accounts of their experiences as participants of the ski culture in the central region.

Ben Popp, American Birkebenier Ski Foundation, Hayward (WI)

John Hugus was remembered for his commitment to skier development as Ben Popp, executive director of the American Birkebenier Ski Foundation (ABSF), was honored for his own leadership. Ben’s charismatic manner and general enthusiasm for skiing and the ski culture has been evident throughout his time at ABSF and did not slow as he accepted his Leadership award. Ben’s dedication to providing ski opportunities to skiers’ of the central region goes beyond the winter months and the famed Birkie with events and programming that instill the Birkie spirit everyday.


Kris Hansen, Stillwater Nordic Ski Team, Stillwater (MN)

The Igor Badamshin Coach of the Year came to a well deserving recipient from Stillwater (MN), – Kris Hansen. Kris’s lengthy list of statewide success with the Stillwater High School Girls Team has been a true testament of a coaching philosophy that works. Upon receiving the award Kris recalled the importance of core values of the Stillwater ski team (team work, respect for others, personal accountability and the love for the process) and how these values are part of the success Kris has witnessed over the past 20 years (including, but not limited to 16 of the last 20 Section Championships and 15 of the last 20 Conference Championships and, of course, fostering Jessie Diggins at the start of her skiing career).


Joe Kelsey, Cable (WI)

The Wayne Fish award was presented to Joe Kelsey of Cable, Wisconsin. Joe’s unyielding commitment to volunteering at events in the Cable area are fundamental to the central ski community at large. Joe, considered the ultimate “behind the scenes hero” is a man who arrives at a race venue before the sun rises and leaves well after the sun sets. Joe has volunteered at countless events including Junior Nationals, Junior National Qualifiers, IPC World Championships, IPC World Cups and the American Birkebeiner.


Ahvo Taipale, Finn Sisu, St. Paul (MN)

The recipient of the inaugural Lifetime Achievement award was Ahvo Taipale of Finn Sisu in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ahvo accepted the award from longtime friend and last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Dennis Kruse, who honored Ahvo for his consistent generosity and tireless talent in providing educational opportunities to anyone interested in cross country skiing. Ahvo, who has operated in numerous roles within the ski community since moving to the U.S. was recognized for his frequent contributions to the central region’s ski community that have allowed it to excel.

2017 CXC Awards Presentation and Dinner

The Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC) will recognize community leaders and friends at the annual CXC Awards Presentation and Dinner as part of the 2017 CXC Congress.

Saturday, April 29th at 6:00 PM 
Metropolis Resort in Eau Claire (WI)


John Hugus Leadership Award
Ben Popp, American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation – Hayward (WI)

Igor Badamshin Coach of the Year Award
Kris Hansen, Stillwater Nordic Ski Team – Stillwater (MN)

Wayne Fish Volunteer of the Year Award
Joe Kelsey, Cable (WI)

Tony Wise Lifetime Achievement Award
Ahvo Taipale, Finn Sisu- St. Paul (MN)

Photo Credit: Joe Lazenby and

Awards will be presented by keynote speaker Kyle Bratrud.

Kyle, member of the CXC Team, is a great example of the successful path through the Midwest developmental pipeline. Kyle’s humble beginnings started as many young skiers’ do at the high schools level, then onto club and NCAA collegiate racing and now as a professional athlete where he has represented the United States at:

– 2013 Junior World Championships
– 2015 and 2016 U23 World Championships
– 2015 and 2017 World Championships and World Cups

“At the Central Cross Country Ski Association, we strive to provide the best programs for the continued growth and development of cross country skiing. We believe in fostering the principles of excellence, ethical conduct and fair play for participants of all ages and abilities from introductory experience to international excellence. To make this vision a reality, we depend on leaders at all levels of the development pipeline within our ski community, to believe it, support and promote our vision,” – commented Yuriy Gusev, CXC’s Executive and Athletic Director

  • Admission to the event is free. Dinner tickets are available to purchase for $25 per ticket. 
  • Visit CXC website for more information about CXC Congress.

Inaugural CXC Congress

April 28-30, Eau Claire (WI) – Central Cross Country Ski Association will host educational workshops for club leaders focused on fundraising, host sport committee meetings and recognize some of the organization’s top coaches, volunteers and community leaders at the Annual Awards Dinner.

Committee Meetings:

– Midwest Junior Committee
– Great Lakes Junior Committee
– Central Collegiate Ski Assn.

– WI Nordic Ski League
– CXC Youth Committee
– CXC Popular Events Committee

CXC CONGRESS: Schedule / Presenters / Registration

CXC Congress is scheduled to take place April 28-30, with special guests in attendance. All presentations and meetings will take place at the Metropolis Resort, Eau Claire (WI), free to attend and open to the public.

* CXC Congress Packet and tickets to Awards Dinner can be purchased online.

CXC Congress is an opportunity for organizational partners, coaches and officials to evaluate and plan for the coming season.



3:00 PM – Effective Fundraising Presentation: Donors & Stewardship
4:00 PM – Effective Fundraising Presentation: Grant Writing
5:00 PM – Effective Fundraising Presentation: Special Events
6:00 PM – Organizing Capital Campaign (Round Table Discussion)

8:00 AM – Presentation: Club Development and Key Elements of Successful Clubs
10:00 AM – Midwest Junior Committee Meeting
12:00 PM – Lunch
1:00 PM – Youth Committee Meeting (Learn to Train phase)
1:00 PM – Central Collegiate Ski Association (CCSA) Meeting
2:30 PM – Trail Kids Meeting
3:00 PM – Popular Events Committee Meeting
3:00 PM – Officials and Technical Delegate (TD) Intro/Q&A
3:00 PM – CXC/USSA Technique Clinic (accepted for Level 100 Coaches Certification)
3:00 PM – Youth Committee Meeting (FUNdamentals and Active Start phases)
6:00 PM – Awards Dinner

8:00 AM – Popular Event Committee Meeting
8:00 AM – Great Lakes Junior Committee Meeting
10:00 AM – WI Skiwerx Award
10:00 AM – WI Nordic Ski League Meeting
12:00 PM – Lunch




Midwest Junior National Qualifier Schedule and Midwest Committee Bylaw Changes Review

The Midwest Junior National Team athletes will be selected based on the results of the Junior National Qualifier (JNQ) races. The distance and discipline of the JNQs will reflect the format of the Junior National Nordic Ski Championship races.




This past spring there were several changes made to the Midwest Junior Committee Bylaws that will effect the upcoming season of the Junior National Qualifiers. These changes include pre-qualification, U14’s racing up, points scoring and a classic wax restriction.


There will be an opportunity to review this season’s race schedule, and discuss new rules at the Midwest Junior Coaches Social held during the 2016 CXC/Wayne Fish Coaches Certification and Conference on Friday, October 21 at 8 pm (Lakewoods Resort, Cable, WI). Meeting is open to all coaches!

Questions? Let us know.



Coaches Certification and Conference – One Month Away!

The 5th annual CXC/Wayne Fish Coaches Certification and Conference presented by Podiumwear is just one month away! Join fellow coaches from around the nation to collaborate and learn new coaching practices through the Level 100 or 200 certification and/or through the conference.

When: October 21-23

Where: Lakewoods Resort, Cable, (WI)

There are two new keynote speakers this year that will be presenting at the conference, Bjorn Ilsemann, Head Junior Coach at IL Heming, Norway and Rebecca Rick, USSA Sports Dietitian.

Ilsemann will be presenting the Norwegian Training Model and Philosophy, a strength training session as well as a ski technique training session. Rebecca Rick will be presenting about general nutrition – facts and fallacy as well as performance nutrition.




The focus of the Level 100 certification, presented by Dr. Jim Mullen, MD at Marshfield Clinic and Head Junior Coach of the Lakeland Nordic Ski Team, is for coaches to learn the fundamentals for effective coaching in cross country skiing and to demonstrate basic knowledge in these areas.

Level 200 certification, presented by Bryan Fish, U.S. Ski Team Development Coach, focuses primarily on physiology and training methods for developing cross country skiers, while giving coaches more tools to effectively prepare their athletes for competition.


The second annual Chairman’s Award Dinner will happen in conjunction with the Coaches Conference, Saturday, October 22nd. The dinner recognizes and honors individuals who have contributed so much to the sport of cross country skiing.

The awards presented include the Igor Badamshin Coach of the Year Award, Wayne Fish Volunteer of the Year Award and the John Hugus Leadership Award.

These awards are named after individuals who exemplified the energy, persistence, passion and commitment to carry out a vision to better the sport of cross country skiing.

Anyone can attend the reception and dinner. Invites are complementary to anyone attending the conference and certification.


Podiumwear Custom Sports Apparel

Podiumwear is proud to support the CXC Coaches Education series. We were started as a company designed to make coaches lives easier, so they could spend their time coaching and not managing clothing orders. Supporting skiing has been a part of our mission since our founding, whether through support of CXC and the NNF, or working with elite athletes like Jessie Diggins. We strive to be the best at all aspects of custom uniforms for high school and club teams.

The CXC coaches education is the best at continuing coaches training, and we are happy to play a small part in their programming,” said Reid Lutter.



Yuriy Gusev, CXC Athletic Director

For further information or details regarding the  Coaches Conference, contact Yuriy Gusev.