Ski Skills Development Program

Ski Skills Development Program (Jackrabbits Level 1- 4 and Level 5)

The Jackrabbit Program is designed for the “FUNdamentals” stage of development and encourages FUN and participation. At this stage of development, the basic motor skills are developed which establish a foundation for participation in sports or physical life-activities. For Cross Country skiing, these skills can be summarized as Agility, Balance, and Coordination (ABC’s). Movement skills are essential to developing sport skills; for example without balance a skier cannot properly glide in classic or skating. This is a prime window of opportunity for developing movement skills. Jackrabbits set a foundation that allows skiers to progress into Level 5, followed by the Racing Development Program, including Biathlon.

Note: Highlands Nordic is separate from Highlands Trailblazers, although they work closely together. See here for more details. For information on season passes, trail passes, seasonal leases, rentals and ProShop please click here.


Level 1 Jackrabbits (Ages 7-10)

Program Details:
This group was developed to teach children the skills to participate in skiing as a life-long activity in a fun and social setting.

The children are introduced to basic ski techniques. Level 1 provides a “FUNdamental Start’ experience (see Nordiq Canada LTAD). Throughout the season, children will participate in games which enhance various attributes needed to ski well with on-snow drills and activities, and lots of skiing! The object is to learn while having fun.

Focus of overall program includes (See Canadian Sport for Life/Long Term Athlete Development for details and reference material):

  • Games to develop agility and body awareness
  • Ready position
  • Falling and rising on gentle slope 
  • Side stepping
  • Star turn
  • Tracking 
  • Diagonal stride running step 
  • Herringbone
  • Free glide 
  • Snowplow braking.

*No poles used in Level 1

Completion of Chipmunk’s and/or Bunnies is not a prerequisite.

Our basic belief is T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More). We start and finish our practices together, so everyone needs to be ready to be active when practice starts.

Schedule

12 weeks of 1-hour lessons starting December 2024 (program will not run December 24/25 and family day weekend)

Saturdays -10 AM (December 7 start date)

Sundays -1 PM (December 8 start date)

Athlete Program & Equipment Requirements
Access to Classic skis and boots (owned or leased)

Fees (Please review Athlete Equipment Requirements)
$225.00 and this covers Trail Fee during program time only and membership in Highlands Trailblazers Ski Club ($40 value). Day pass or season pass applies to other ski times.  Service Hour Obligation – see here for an explanation of this program as well as the chart of hours required by program.

Overall objectives/goals
After completing Level 1, the skier will have rudimentary ski technique in classic technique and be excited about learning more next year in Level 2.


Level 2 Jackrabbits (Ages 7-10)

Program Details
This group was developed to teach children the skills to participate in skiing as a life-long activity in a fun and social setting.

The children are introduced to basic ski techniques. Level 2 provides a “FUNdamental Start’ experience (see Nordiq Canada LTAD). Throughout the season, children will participate in games which enhance various attributes needed to ski well with on-snow drills and activities, and lots of skiing! The object is to learn while having fun.

Focus of overall program includes (See Canadian Sport for Life/Long Term Athlete Development for details and reference material):

  • Games to develop agility, balance, posture, body awareness
  • Poles introduced
  • Diagonal stride gliding step  
  • Herringbone
  • Double pole  
  • Free glide 
  • Kick turn
  • Snowplow stop
  • Snowplow turn

Completion of Level 1 is required. 

Our basic belief is T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More). We start and finish our practices together, so everyone needs to be ready to be active when practice starts.

Schedule

12 weeks of 1.5-hour lessons starting December 2024 (program will not run December 24/25 and family day weekend)

Saturdays -10 AM (December 7 start date)

Sundays -1 PM (December 8 start date)

Athlete Program & Equipment Requirements
Access to Classic skis and boots (owned or leased)

Fees (Please review Athlete Equipment Requirements)
$225.00 and this covers Trail Fee during program time only and membership in Highlands Trailblazers Ski Club ($40 value). Day pass or season pass applies to other ski times.  Service Hour Obligation – see here for an explanation of this program as well as the chart of hours required by program.

Overall objectives/goals
After completing Level 2, the skier will have a solid ski technique in classic technique and be excited about learning more next year in Level 3. 


Level 3 Jackrabbits (Ages 7-10)

Program
This group was developed to teach children the skills to participate in skiing as a life-long activity in a fun and social setting.

The children are introduced to basic classic and skate ski techniques. Level 3 provides a “FUNdamental Start’ experience (see Nordiq Canada). Throughout the season, children will participate in games which enhance various attributes needed to ski well with on-snow drills and activities, and lots of skiing! The object is to learn while having fun.

Focus of overall program includes (See Canadian Sport for Life/Long Term Athlete Development for details and reference material):

  • Games to develop agility posture, balance, rhythm
  • Kick
  • Diagonal stride long step
  • Double pole
  • Step double pole
  • Free skate
  • Downhill tuck
  • Diagonal skate
  • Kick turn
  • Step turn

Completion of Level 2 is required. 

Our basic belief is T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More). We start and finish our practices together, so everyone needs to be ready to be active when practice starts.

Schedule

12 weeks of 2-hour lessons starting December 2024 (program will not run December 24/25 and family day weekend)

Saturdays -10 AM (December 7 start date)

Sundays -1 PM (December 8 start date)

Athlete Program & Equipment Requirements

  • Access to Classic skis and boots (owned or leased)
  • Access to Skate skis and boots (owned or leased)
  • Poles for each discipline. Length determined by coach

Fees (Please review Athlete Equipment Requirements)

$225.00 and this covers Trail Fee during program time only and membership in Highlands Trailblazers Ski Club ($40 value). Day pass or season pass applies to other ski times.  Service Hour Obligation – see here for an explanation of this program as well as the chart of hours required by program.

Overall objectives/goals
After completing Level 3, the skier will have a solid ski technique in classic technique, a rudimentary ski technique in skate technique, and be excited about learning more next year in Level 4


Level 4 Jackrabbits (Ages 7-10)

Program
This group was developed to teach children the skills to participate in skiing as a life-long activity in a fun and social setting. Level 4 is designed to prepare athletes for future competitive programs (Level 5, Race Skills Development and Biathlon) or non-competitive programs (Winter Adventure). 

The children are introduced to basic classic and skate ski techniques, Level 4 provides a “FUNdamental Start’ experience (see Nordiq Canada). Throughout the season, children will participate in games which enhance various attributes needed to ski well with on-snow drills and activities, and lots of skiing! The object is to learn while having fun.

Focus of overall program includes (See Canadian Sport for Life/Long Term Athlete Development for details and reference material):

  • Games to develop agility, balance, posture, body awareness, endurance
  • Step double pole
  • Free skate
  • 1 skate
  • 2 skate
  • Step turn
  • Parallel side stepping

Completion of Level 3 is required.

Our basic belief is T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More). We start and finish our practices together, so everyone needs to be ready to be active when practice starts.

Schedule

12 weeks of 2-hour lessons starting December 2024 (program will not run December 24/25 and family day weekend)

Saturdays -10 AM (December 7 start date)

Sundays -1 PM (December 8 start date)

Athlete Program & Equipment Requirements

  • Access to Classic skis and boots (owned or leased)
  • Access to Skate skis and boots (owned or leased)
  • Poles for each discipline. Length determined by coach

Fees (Please review Athlete Equipment Requirements) 

$225.00 and this covers Trail Fee during program time only and membership in Highlands Trailblazers Ski Club ($40 value). Day pass or season pass applies to other ski times.  Service Hour Obligation – see here for an explanation of this program as well as the chart of hours required by program.


Level 5 (Ages 10-16)

Program Details

Level 5 will support those new and returning skiers looking to train 1 day a week for 5 months of the year.  If you have graduated from the Jackrabbit program and are looking to continue your ski development, or if you have aged out of our Jackrabbit program and are looking to learn how to ski and train, this would be an appropriate level.  Level 5 will be supported by coaches that will be able to assess athlete’s skill level so that everyone is able to progress in both the classic and skate technique.  The focus of this level will be on skiing skill development. 

Athlete Equipment Requirements

  • Water bottle and carrier
  • Access to appropriate skate and Classic skis (owned or leased)
  • Access to early season rock skis (Crown & Skate)
  • Skate and classic poles (length suggested by coach)
  • Combi boots
  • Dryland/striding ski poles to be purchased. Typically 5-10 cm shorter than classic poles.
  • Blue glide wax
  • Athlete Season Goals

Schedule

  • Time: Sat 9:59am To 12pm
  • Starts: October 19
  • Ends: March 9
  • There will be a one-day Holiday Camp during Christmas Break. (Date TBD)
  • Program will not run December 24/25

Fees(Please review Athlete Equipment Requirements)

$450.00 Fee includes trail passes for weekly sessions only and membership in Highlands Trailblazers Ski Club ($40 value). A Highlands Nordic Day pass or season pass is required to ski at other times.  Service Hour Obligation – see here for an explanation of this program as well as the chart of hours required by program.

Note:

Children at this level should be involved in other activities as well as skiing so they can develop as competent athletes. By the end of Level 5, they should be physically literate (possess both fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills). See Canadian Sport for Life/Long Term Athlete Development for details and reference material.