This is an excerpt from Teaching Cross-Country Skiing by Bridget Duoos & Anne Rykken.
Get Ready to Ski
This lesson is primarily used to prepare students for the rest of the ski lessons. Students will be doing ski, boot, and pole fittings at stations set up around the gym. If there is time at the end of class, the physical activity portion of the lesson will involve learning or playing games that students will later be playing on snow. Refer to chapter 5 to select a relevant activity. You can distribute copies of the Clothing Guide for Cross-Country Skiing handout. Students should take these home for their parents to read. This information should also be put on the department’s website and should be sent in an e-mail to parents a week before the class moves outside.
NASPE Content Standard
- Standard 1
Tape, video player, video about cross-country skiing
Assessments and Reproducibles
- Boot Size Record, page 199
- Pole Size Record, page 224
- Ski Size Record, page 228
- Boot Sizer: Boys and Girls, page 200
- Boot Sizer: Men and Women, page 201
- Pole-sizing directions, page 225
- Ski-sizing directions, page 231
- Get Ready to Ski station signs, pages 207-210
- Clothing Guide for Cross-Country Skiing, page 202
Suggested site: gymnasium. Set up station signs (see figure 4.1).
- Station 1: Boots—Photocopy several boot sizers (for boys and girls or men and women, depending on the age of your class) and tape them to the floor. Post the boot size record on the wall.
- Station 2: Poles—Photocopy several pole-sizing charts and tape them to the wall along with a copy of the pole size record.
- Station 3: Skis—Photocopy several ski-sizing charts and tape them to the wall along with a copy of the ski size record.
Students should use the following locomotor skills to move between stations:
1. From the starting area to the boots station, students use an exaggerated arm swing while walking (see figure 4.2). They should walk energetically, swinging the arms forward and backward with an exaggerated arm swing.
2. From the boots station to the poles station, students use repetitive standing broad jumps (see figure 4.3). They should perform standing broad jumps—one right after the other—using good form.
3. From the poles station to the skis station, students use diagonal side-to-side jumps (see figure 4.4). Students start with feet together and perform a standing broad jump angled slightly forward and to the right. They then repeat the jump, angling slightly forward and to the left. Students should continue this pattern until they reach the next station.
4. From the skis station to the starting area, students use the gorilla walk (see figure 4.5). To perform the gorilla walk, students first assume the all-purpose sport stance, or skier’s slouch (see figure 3.26, page 46). They lean forward from the ankles until they start to fall forward and have to take a step forward to catch themselves. Students repeat this action until they reach the next station.
Here are some other locomotor movements that could be done between stations:
- Forward bounding leap—Students leap through the air by taking off on the right foot and landing on the left foot. Then they repeat the leaping action, this time taking off with the left foot and landing on the right foot. Students continue this pattern until they reach the next station.
- Hopping—Students take off on the right foot, spring energetically into the air, and land on the right foot. They repeat this action with the left foot. Students continue this pattern until they reach the next station.
Figure 4.2 Exaggerated arm swing while walking.
Figure 4.3 Repetitive standing broad jumps.
Figure 4.4 Diagonal side-to-side jumps.
Figure 4.5 Gorilla walk.
Having all students find boots, skis, and poles of the correct size for themSet Induction
[Make a short presentation about cross-country skiing using pictures, video, and other available resources. If possible, have a ski coach, a member of the high school ski team, or a parent who skis come to class to help introduce students to the sport of cross-country skiing. Then introduce the lesson’s activity as follows.]
Today we are going to be figuring out the right size skis, boots, and poles for each of you. You can see the equipment at the stations set up around the gym. At each station, you’ll find size identification charts that tell you what length skis and poles will work best for you and what size ski boot you will need. You will be working with a partner to help each other determine the right size. At each station, you will also find a chart for recording your size. Make sure you put your name and size on that chart before moving on to the next station. Please leave the equipment at the station when you move on to the next station. When you move from station to station, you will use the movement that the sign at that station tells you to do. You will be using exaggerated arm swings (see figure 4.2), repetitive standing broad jumps (see figure 4.3), diagonal side-to-side jumps (see figure 4.4), and the gorilla walk (see figure 4.5).Activity
Students move from station to station, fitting equipment and recording sizes on charts.
Use the Boot Sizer: Boys and Girls chart to help students determine their boot size. Students should record their sizes on the Boot Size Record chart. Most ski boots are sized in European shoe sizes, so you should explain to students that their boot size may be marked with a different number than they are accustomed to. Boots should feel comfortable, like a comfortable walking shoe. The student’s toes should not rub on the front, and the student’s heels should not slip up and down in the back. Boots that are too large will be awkward to ski in. If boots are too constrictive, the feet will not stay warm. Make sure that students lace their boots up all the way so that no laces are left dangling.
Use the pole-sizing chart to help students find the right size for their poles. Students should then record the size on the Pole Size Record chart. Remember the following:
- Poles must have adjustable straps.
- Classic poles should reach to under the arm when the skier is standing on the floor (see figure 4.6).
- If poles are too long or too short, the skier will have difficulty mastering the technical skills necessary to become competent in cross-country skiing.
Use the ski-sizing chart to help students find the right size for their skis. Students should then record the size on the Ski Size Record chart. Remember the following:
- Classic skis should reach to just below the wrist of the skier’s outstretched arm (see figure 4.7).
- If the skis are not the correct length, the skier will have difficulty mastering the technical skills necessary to become competent in the sport.
Check to make sure that each student has recorded a ski boot size (in the European number), ski length, and pole length on the equipment size charts found at each station.Closure
Who can tell me a good way to choose the correct length of ski to use? Let’s have everyone stand up and put their right foot forward. Which arm should also be forward? Now put your left foot forward. Which arm should be forward? This is the same motion we will be using when we are outside on our skis. In our next class session, we are going to practice putting our skis on, and we’ll learn some skills that we will eventually be doing outside on the snow. Don’t forget to use the Clothing Guide for Cross-Country Skiing handout to get ready for when we do move outside. When you come to class next time, you should check the Boot Size Record chart, find your boots, and put them on. Have a great day. I will see you next time!
Read more from Teaching Cross-Country Skiing By Bridget Duoos and Anne Rykken.