Rochester Nordic Racing Summer Recap

Author: Jason Hettenbaugh

The Rochester Nordic Racing summer program recently wrapped up its 14th summer of programming. For the second year in a row two options were offered. The traditional evening practices are all encompassing with a focus on roller skiing proficiency, technique, agility, skill acquisition, and strength. The morning practices are by qualification and invitation only. These practices focus primarily on building fitness and strength while continually working on technique development. The athletes who are involved in the morning practices also take part in the evening practices and are often utilized as mentors to the younger skiers, often times leading agility and technique drills. The crossover between the two groups allows for teaching and learning at the same time!!

Coach Craig Mattern discussing USSA-defined training levels with the crew before heading out on a ski.

One of the main focuses of the summer is agility. Without being comfortable on your skis, learning technique is almost impossible. We use a wide range of activities and drills to work on this. One tool we use a lot is the ramps.

Coach Bellizzi giving some tips on how to appropriately use your body weight to maintain speed over the rollers.
The newest addition to the coaching staff, Hadley Hettenbaugh, keeping an eye on the athletes.

In addition to our own training group, several of the athletes qualified to participate at the Eastern Regional Elite Group Camp which was in Craftsbury VT. The goal of this camp is to bring together the top U16-U20 athletes in the region for a week of training. In addition to the athletes, Coach Jason Hettenbaugh was also at camp keeping his coaching skills sharp.

Emelia Jordan, Gordon Fagan, Cate Anzellotti, Braden Bellizzi, and Coach Hettenbaugh at REG
Craftsbury pushed out some snow for July 4th festivities. Here Braden Bellizzi is about to send it!

The culminating event of the summer was our 100K rollerski! We have some of the best training in the entire country in our backyard. The number of available roads with wide shoulders, smooth roads, and lack of cars is unmatched.

Above all you need to enjoy the process if you’re going to capitalize on the training. We really do work hard but we also find some time to have fun! If you are interested in any of our programs or winter race support at the Mid-A Junior National Qualifiers feel free to reach out through our website: