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Second biathlon training camp conducted

Mon, Jul  13, 2009 - By

From the web site:

The preparation for the Olympic Season is underway and – if it comes to the US Biathlon Team – already making big progress. The second training camp of the Men’s National A Team just finished after three weeks and the athletes as well as the coaches have all reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season.

June 21st this second training camp of the summer started off in Lake Placid, NY. The men’s team – including Lowell Bailey, Tim Burke, Russell Currier, Leif Nordgren, Wynn Roberts and Jeremy Teela – was joined by Haley Johnson who trained together with the men at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid.

While the Swedish head coach Per Nilsson conducted the first half of the camp he was later joined by his Italian colleague Armin Auchentaller who then took over for the last half of the camp. For the coaches who both have to fly over for every training camp this system is a good opportunity to not spend too much time away from their families. The coaches are quite grateful for that kind of arrangement: “We really like how things are handled in the US team. We’re still able to work on a high level with the athletes but it’s also nice to not be away from home for three weeks in summer already.”

For the first part of the three week session Nilsson focused on shooting training and technical skills on the course as well as strength training or endurance training like cycling. The last week was then spent in Jericho, VT where Auchentaller conducted a smaller training camp with Bailey, Burke and Teela. “We wanted to work some extra time with those three and I think the training in Jericho really was a success. The athletes already showed improvements since the last camp in May but there are always things to work on. And thanks to that smaller group I was able to work more individually with each athlete”, explains the Italian. Though Tim Burke, the best US-athlete of the last season doesn’t feel like “the best” when being around Auchentaller. “He actually sees every detail of our shooting. And he points out so many things we do wrong or which could be improved that I kind of feel like a rookie”, Burke laughs.

Going through this learning process there will still be plenty of work to do till the next training camp in August when the team will go to Per Nilsson’s home country of Sweden. But the coaches and athletes are sure that this camp just brought them one step closer to success and to leaving the “rookie” behind for good.