Elliptical intervals, 6x2 minutes + 4x1 minute. I had planned to do 10x2 minutes, but had clearly forgotten how to work hard. Baby steps.
I am so pleased to see that a bunch of our top juniors are on a training camp in Hungary to prepare for next year's JWOC. This sort of preparation is only a small part of what Erin has brought to the junior program. Reading some of the juniors' logs, it is plain to see that they approach their orienteering far more seriously and professionally than my own generation of juniors did, and the results are clear. Year after year of solid and improving performances, not relying on one star to carry the team, but lifting the entire level of the team. I am very impressed and optimistic for the future.
One concern that I have is the transition from juniors to seniors: where are the top juniors of the last couple of years, such as Michael Laraia, Matej Sebo, etc.? These guys should be the ones fighting Eric for WOC team spots for years to come, but if anything, they appear to be training and racing less than they did as juniors. This is a step we need to address, providing these guys with the same motivating goals as JWOC was and the support they had while they were juniors. How do we do that, without the money to hire a professional team coach?
The other concern that has been expressed repeatedly is one related to the participation of the foreign-raised and foreign-based juniors in the US orienteering community. First of all, there is no requirement for them to participate if they don't want to: as long as they meet the requirements for team membership, their role can end there. Of course, it would be good for US orienteering if they got involved in the community. We have seen that happen in a couple of cases: as far as I can tell, Anton's family and David's family have gotten very involved, and both of them have jumped right into participation with the rest of the US junior team; Morten has made the transition to the senior team successfully. I am less sure about the other juniors who have competed for the US in the last couple of years. So, how do we keep them involved when the motivation of JWOC is no longer there? A first step may be inviting them to US-based training camps and asking them to organize and facilitate camps for US orienteers in their countries. Maybe encouraging them to come to NAOC and building that up as a big team goal, starting the year before? Thoughts?