Coach shares his Olympic knowledge

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Coach shares his Olympic knowledge


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There’s not much of a slippery slope or many bumps along the trail in the UVM’s head nordic skiing coach’s journey.

Patrick Weaver was a member of the U.S.  Ski Team from 1995-2000, and a two-time Olympian.

He won the U.S. National Cross-Country Ski Championship in 1998 and 1999. He was a part of the U.S. Cross-Country World Championship Teams in 1997 and 1999, according to UVM Athletics.

“I know what it takes to be the best or compete against the best,” Weaver said. “One of the biggest things I use is the simplicity behind the training. There is really no guesswork; it’s just hard work and determination. There’s no secret out there.”

In his college years, Weaver skied for the University of New Hampshire Nordic team, where he was named an NCAA All-American in 2001 according to UVM athletics.

Afterwards, he became an assistant coach at his alma mater. He was recently inducted into the UNH Athletic Hall of Fame, he said.

After competition, Weaver said he pursued a career in coaching. When first  hired at UVM, he spent three seasons as assistant head coach, before being named head coach in May 2010.

In 2011, his first season as head coach of the UVM Nordic team, Weaver said he was named the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association Coach of the Year.

In 2012, Weaver went on to help Vermont win its sixth NCAA National Championship in program history.

“We try to create an environment where people want to work hard,” Weaver said. “If you have that environment where people buy in and know that they have to work hard to do well, then success kind of comes with that. We just try to let the results come naturally.”

Three qualities that Weaver said are most desirable in a well-rounded Nordic skier are hard work, physical and mental toughness and a good heart.

“You’ve got to love the sport; it’s one of the tougher sports. The anguish you have to put your body through when you’re in one of those races sometimes, you question why you do it because it’s a lot of pain,” Weaver said.

To competitively ski, you have to have that desire to want to push yourself to the limits, according to Weaver.

The Catamounts have excelled both on the slopes and in the classroom, Weaver said. He said he stresses the importance of student athletes’ time management skills.

Weaver said  that ski coaches are a rare breed. Unlike other coaching jobs, they participate in and endure the same workouts right beside their racers. They must to maintain an extraordinary level of fitness to undergo such training and conditioning, Weaver said.

“As a ski coach, you’re not just the typical coach who shows up at game day with a suit and tie. Often times we’re running with the athletes, skiing with the athletes or roller skating with them,” Weaver said.

During his time here at UVM, Weaver has received many awards according to UVM athletics, but he remains humble throughout his successes.

Despite all of the honors he has received over the years, he said he gives the credit to the athletes that he coaches.

“I love doing my job, and I get way more excited watching my athletes race and do well than I ever did for myself when I did well. I thrive off my athletes’ success just because I enjoy seeing them do well,” Weaver said.

The UVM ski team remains undefeated this season after winning their 19th straight Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association carnival on Feb. 7 at Dartmouth College, according to UVM athletics.