After a day’s break from the Mt Itasca Part I of the June camps, some reconvened at Elk River on Tues. Here we have paved trails and a paved firing line, but a much smaller range [10 shooting points] and two of them were blocked by a big oak that was freshly down. We did manage to clear that Wed morning enough to allow use of all 10 points. Coaches were Jeff Bosek and Bill, plus a parent [Andy] and sibling [Marshall].
On Tues am we had 8 athletes and started with V2 ski technique—getting into a double pole position at plant and planting with a back angle. See video clip attached. We worked around the range then all skied about 5-7 km for warmup. Got zeroed, and did a 10+10 test on paper. Most have not shot off of roller skis in standing for awhile—so offhand scores were a bit lower than normal. We then progressed to a Meyer 20 x 1 on ringed paper showing only biathlon hit rings. We used the range width to get in an approach and exit from the shooting point with poles and skis. So didn’t time that. No way to compare with our normal test procedure.
After a break for lunch in the parking lot, we reconvened at the range and rezeroed. After more dryfiring and drills we started in on combo training with some easy combos using the racks on the range exit hill for the rifles. [ski through the range—pick up the rifle—ski the range loop triangle and then back in to shoot—dropping off the rifle on exit].
Everyone commuted home. We reconvened on Wed at 9:00. At one point we were up to 10 athletes on Wed am. Various work schedules kept the numbers changing.
Again we worked on ski technique first—V1 this time—emphasizing a lot of ankle/knee bend to keep the hips over the feet at all times. The athletes again skied 5 km or so—then we began shooting with a lot of work on paper in the morning. In the pm we shifted to TH combos using the 1 km loop after a 4 mag warmup on the rifle loop. Afternoon temps were getting up into the 80’s but fortunately most of the trails are pretty shaded.
Thursday am the above storm rolled in 2 hours early—so we cancelled out the last day of camp.
Overall the skill level increased a lot over the 2 weeks. Several of the girls were newcomers to biathlon this spring but are regularly hitting targets and starting to show good range procedure. The older athletes got minor rifle adjustments on the paved firing line so were more concise than previously.
Enthusiasm was high throughout the camps and all appeared to enjoy themselves!
Bill Meyer, Coach