Coaching Youth Nordic Skiers

October 25, 2016

Photo at right: Seattle-area youth practice Nordic ski racing with Momentum Northwest. Photo courtesy of Momentum Northwest


Momentum Northwest believes that what they teach young people goes beyond just learning to ski. By taking athletes outdoors and into the mountains, they also introduce an appreciation of nature and the ethics of an endurance sport.

Now in its third year as a non-profit cross-country ski program for Seattle-area youth ages six to 18, Momentum provides experience-based coaching and technique development to skiers with all abilities.

Momentum skiers travel to a variety of locations in the Northwest to train with teams from around the region. The off-season training is key for the Momentum skiers who have a full winter schedule competing in a series of races to qualify for the Junior National Championships in March in Lake Placid, New York. Winter races also take them to British Columbia, Oregon, and California, as well as many closer to home.

During the summer months, skiers train by running, cycling and “roller skiing” in Seattle-area parks. With wheels attached to skis, roller skiing mimics the Nordic-style glide and is one of the best ways to train during the off-season.

Pasha Kahn is the new Momentum coach and was the assistant coach for the University of New Mexico’s ski team in Albuquerque last season. He especially likes the challenge of coaching skiers who don’t live in snowy places.

“I was attracted to the idea of helping to develop the ski community here in Seattle,” said Kahn, who grew up in Northern Minnesota where cross-country skiing is a common pastime. “It’s a demanding sport, but if the skiers take satisfaction in the everyday training, they’ll be successful.

“I’m most interested in creating complete skiers who will graduate from the team with all the skills necessary to make them life-long skiers.”