|April||Begin training year||Monday||10 April, 2023|
|May||Elk River [ER] daycamp||Sat/Sun||6/7 May|
|Officials clinic||Saturday||6 May evening|
|Mt Itasca daycamp||Sat||20-May|
|Officials clinic||Saturday||20 May evening|
|June||4 day long camp Mt Itasca [MI]||Wed-Sat||14-17 Jun|
|RACE #1 – ER – rollerski [RS]||Sunday||25-Jun|
|Arien’s Regional Select Camp||Mon-Fri||26-30 June|
|RACE#2- ER- RS Pursuit||Sunday||23-Jul|
|August||Vermont camp -Jericho||Mon-Sun||31 Jul-6 Aug|
|RACE #3- ER – RS||Sun||13-Aug|
|RACE #4 ER RS||Sunday||24-Sep|
|RACE #5 ER RS||Sunday||15-Oct|
|December||MNCup #1 – Mt Itasca||Sunday||3-Dec|
|Regional #1/#2, MN 2&3||Mt Itasca||Sat/Sun||16/17 Dec|
|YJr/Youth Olympics team trials–Mt I||Tue-Sun||26-31 Dec|
|January 2024||Regional #3/#4 -MN 4&5||Ripley or E River||Sat/Sun||13/14 Jan|
|Regional #5/#6–WI||Blackhawk ?||Sat/Sun||27/28 Jan|
|February||MN Cup #6- Elk River||Sunday||25-Feb|
|Novice clinic||right after race|
|March||MN Cup #7- Duluth||Saturday||2-Mar|
|Novice Clinic||right after race|
|Regional #7/#8 -WI||Ariens/Brillion||Sat/Sun||9/10 Mar|
|MN Cup #8 Mt Itasca||Saturday||16-Mar|
|Nationals TBD||3rd week in March|
|Note: the above assumes the MN High School schedule and the CXC schedule is similar to this past year.|
To help your shooting, nothing beats dryfiring—a lot!! That will build the reactions and small muscle control needed by a good shooter! Please note the training plans generally call for twice the number of dryfire shots as live fire!! Here are a few drills to get you started:
- Prone and standing, building your position so you come up onto the first target without shifting around to get your natural point of aim [NPA] Learn the exact angle you need in prone and use that on your approach, dropping your knees equally on each side of that line! In standing, get your feet where they belong as you remove your rifle!!
- After getting your NPA, close your eyes and hold—open and see if you are on the target? Never force the rifle onto the target—it should set there over time when relaxed!!
- Go through a breathing cycle and see if you approach the prone target exactly at 6:00 and the standing target consistently from the same direction
- Sit crosslegged and hold the rifle in your lap—practice the trigger control—first stage onto the second…hold.. breathe..cut the breath …slowly increase the pressure to shot release
- Hold for long periods of time—up to 5 minutes—on the target—build the control muscles!!
- Practice a breathing cycle where you take two breaths and cut your breath on the second exhale—then finish the squeeze at 1 second later
- Learn the ‘white circle’ sight picture so your mind recognizes it subconsciously, and says ‘finish the squeeeeze’
- Double check that your magazines are empty—then practice getting into position including changing magazines quickly –with your eyes closed
- Learn to call your shots. Where was the rifle pointed when you released the shot?
There are a lot more that can benefit you!! But the bottom line is: “Just do it!!”
As we continue into the Summer, the shooting emphasis will shift from pure accuracy to fast, smooth range procedure to shooting when tired, to shooting with a heartrate/high lactates, to race shooting. While we don’t confine ourselves to one of these focus points at a time—this progression has worked the best to build solid Biathlon shooting!!
Enjoy the Journey!!
Bill Meyer, Coach
Coming up in just under two weeks is the annual 4 day camp at Mt Itasca in Coleraine!! I have again attached the Invitation and the tentative schedule. Please note that if you can’t make the full 4 days, you can attend for a day or more at a time!! Each day will provide some shooting and some rollerski work—so really good way to get the summer started in Biathlon!!!
The camp is designed to enhance the skills of all from first year to veterans!! We will be building on the skills covered at the daycamps last month!!
Most participants will tent camp onsite or stay in the HQ building. The Chalet will be available for showers and dining. All meals will be provided either at the Chalet or at the homes of local participants.
Please contact John Gould to sign up or if you want more information. Early signups really help us in planning for food and coaching needs!
Thanks and looking forward to seeing everyone!!
Bill Meyer, Coach
Good Morning Everyone!!
Attached is a checklist for good skating ski technique. As you get onto rollerskis again, take a few of these points at a time and work on them—over and over!! Then add a few more each time you ski…..
Good technique is the foundation for ski speed..you always want to optimize what you are doing to the terrain, snow conditions, your level of fitness and fatigue!! You should be skiing at around to slightly above your lactate threshold [Race Pace] in any biathlon race—and, of course, learning when to start backing down as you approach the range; along with learning to shoot at a HR/lactate level just below your threshold.
So look this over, and get on back to me with any questions!!
Bill Meyer, Coach
Good Morning Everyone!
Hope by now, nearing the end of the 2nd month of the training year, everyone has been out on rollerskis to get used to the feel and to start working on technique!! Don’t drag your old bad habits into the new season!! It takes about 3 weeks of steady work doing something right, to get out of those bad moves/timing/body positions etc!! Later in the week I will send out a checklist of things for good skiing. You can gain a ton of time in racing by being efficient and putting your body weight to work! To say nothing about building the strength in the exact muscles you need on skis!!!
You should also be shooting regularly now, working on improving your accuracy, your moves getting into and out of position, and in taking less and less time to identify that perfect white circle of the sight picture [see attached] – and getting the shot off smoothly!!! Basic marksmanship!! We will be working on cutting down range time, shooting fatigued, and shooting with a high heartrate at the practices and camps!! But if you can’t hit the target shooting when calm, you will have multiple problems as we approach the physiological demands of actual race shooting. One of the most productive things you can do is dryfire!! Everyday is best! I knew a World Cup competitor who used to put on her race gear to dryfire!! And she was good!! [not her skis!!—but it wouldn’t hurt to stand on rollerskis in your basement!!]
Coming right up is the 4 day camp at Mt Itasca starting on Wed, the 14th of June—the Invitation is attached!! We have plenty of room on that range, and it should be a really fun 4 days!! Please sign up asap so we can get a handle on numbers for food and coaching needs!!
And following shortly after the Mt Itasca camp, there will be a daycamp on Saturday the 24th followed on Sunday the 25th with the first rollerski biathlon race of the year at Elk River! Mark your calendars, and keep an eye out for the Invitations to those events!!
I am also including the WI Biathlon schedule for those who live near Brillion!
Put together by Gregg Pattison and Mark Torresani: Gregg and I have been working closely with Ariens to bring a fun-filled summer and fall roller ski and running biathlon series. Once a month from June through November, Ariens will be hosting this series. Although we haven’t ironed out all the details yet, there will be multiple race distances for all abilities. For those of you who aren’t roller skiers, there will be a running format as well.Save these dates
- Sunday, June 4th
- Sunday, July 16th
- Sunday, August 6th
- Sunday, September 17th
- Sunday, October 15th
- Sunday, November 12th
So the Journey is well underway!! Enjoy!!
Bill Meyer, Coach
Good Morning Everyone!!
First, our thanks to Carl Nordgren and John Gould for a good daycamp on Saturday at Mt Itasca, and for the whole crew of adults that suffered through the invasion of mosquitos in the HQ building while going over the Organizing Committee and Rules of Biathlon for the Officials class!! I think it was a really good camp!! More to come in Elk River in June!
We are putting the final touches onto the annual schedule for winter, but I am enclosing what I know at this point. We are double checking with CXC so as to avoid as many of the JNQ races as possible—but there will be some overlap—simply not enough weekends in the winter!! We will also try to avoid the larger statewide high school events—but likely there will be some conflict with smaller local meets. Most of our winter races are scheduled for Sundays to help avoid conflicts. If you work hard all weekend, be sure you take a good but active recovery day on Mondays!!
Coming up quickly is the annual 4 day June camp at Mt Itasca to build on the skills you have started to work on! The Invitation and sign up sheets are attached! This is a great chance to get back into the mode of Biathlon training, and to build on the skills you were exposed to at the recent daycamps!! As you will be finished with high school sports by then, this camp will also be more physical and intended to enhance your skills both on rollerskis and on the range!! Please sign up early, if you plan to attend, as we need to know numbers for food planning, coaching staff needs and etc!!
At the recent daycamps, I noted a few rifles that looked to be less than well maintained!! I am enclosing our standard rifle cleaning instructions, and if you have a MN Biathlon rifle [or your own] you need to be cleaning the rifle basically each time you use it. Forget the stories you heard about people who clean once a month [or year] whether the rifle needs it or not!! There should be no rust anywhere on the rifle, the bore should be clean and shiny, and the bolt free of carbon. The areas in the receiver that accept the extractors on the bolt should be cleaned with a dental pick, and the chamber where the bullet goes to be fired, should be cleaned out!! When you handle the rifle, in the summer particularly, the acid in your sweat will cause the barrel and other parts to lose the protective bluing—wipe all exterior parts down after use with a light layer of good rifle oil containing a preservative—not motor oil!!
The rifles we are leasing out, and the ones most of you buy used, are definitely not new! But they will all shoot a dime sized or smaller group at 50 meters, if well maintained. But I have seen some where the chamber was so gummed up the bullet would not slide in completely without jamming on the bolt. We are shooting a lot of rounds and if you don’t clean properly, that will happen!!
For most of our rifles, CCI ammo—for whatever reason—does not chamber easily. It must be slightly larger in diameter than the old Federal 711b that was fine—and made by the same company. The Norma Tac 22 seems good for training ammo—or SK or Lapua.
Enjoy the Journey—we are underway!!
Bill Meyer, Coach