Meet Andrew Scanio: Balancing Sport, School and Extra Activities in the Winter

Meet athlete Andrew Scanio, a 14-year old nordic athlete from Lake Placid.

Andrew started with NYSEF at the age of 7 in the Youth Race Team (now called the Devo team) and “ fell in love with the program,” he said. This year, Andrew went to Truckee, California for Junior Nationals. In competitive sport, many athletes are juggling several responsibilities throughout the winter from school work, to their sport to other extracurricular activities. Andrew’s winter was jammed packed with a schedule that looked like below. 

7:30 – 2:45 — School

3:00 – 5:00 — XC Skiing

5:00 – 5:30 — Drive to play rehearsal: “Mr. Toad’s Christmas Carol,” a children’s show in Saranac Lake (eat dinner on the way there)

5:30 – 7:30 — Play rehearsal

8:00 – 9:00 — Get home and do homework

In addition, he is a part of the Lake Placid High School band, chorus, jazz and the Lake Placid boy scout troop 10! 

Head Coach, Shane MacDowell said “Andrew is an extremely dedicated student-athlete in our program and it is very exciting to see the jump he made racing this season even with the additional extracurricular programs in his schedule.”

What have you learned from your coaches throughout the season?

I have learned how to improve my technique and how to better prepare myself for a race. I have definitely been getting in a lot more skiing this year which means my coaches are able to see me ski more, and because of this they have been giving specific feedback about my technique and throughout the season I have been getting faster. Also, I have been racing a lot more, so I have started to pay more attention to what I eat and how much sleep I am getting at night so I feel ready on race day.

How has your training been this season?

I feel that training has gone very well. I have been skiing and racing a lot more which has definitely helped improve my strength and technique. My coaches, Shane, Julianne and Andrea, have been very encouraging and are always there to keep pushing me so I can be the best I can be.

What would you like to improve/refine this season?

Next year, I want to improve my classic technique as there were a few rough spots throughout this past year. Also, I want to get better at sprints because this past year I realized that not all races will be 5k or 10k,  there will occasionally be some shorter races to test your speed.

How have you been able to balance training and work/school/academics? Can you describe all the activities you do (primarily) during ski season? What does a typical day/week look like for you at your busiest? 

It has been tough balancing everything I do throughout the season, especially this year, but I have been able to manage. During school, I try to use my free time to my advantage and get as much work done as I can so I don’t stay up extremely late doing homework. Typically my winter consists of school and skiing, but this year I was involved in “Mr. Toad’s Christmas Carol”, a children’s show in Saranac Lake. I was expecting a very small part in the show, but I ended up as the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge. With a huge part, it took a lot of time out of my day, and a busy day for me looked something like this:

7:30 – 2:45 — School

3:00 – 5:00 — XC Skiing

5:00 – 5:30 — Drive to play rehearsal (eat dinner on the way there)

5:30 – 7:30 — Play rehearsal

8:00 – 9:00 — Get home and do homework

In addition, Andrew is also a part of the Lake Placid High School band, chorus, jazz and the Lake Placid boy scout troop 10. 

What do you enjoy about the nordic program?

One thing I enjoy about the nordic program is travelling with the team. Although these were brief weekend trips for eastern cup races or JNQs, I feel that this year I was able to bond better with my fellow teammates. Also, I like how the coaches are always pushing us to do our best at each race and to keep improving.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I like to do fun things with my family, like biking, hiking and play board games. I also like to play different instruments, specifically the trombone and piano.

Anything else that you would like to add?

I really like the NYSEF program because it has given me the ability to keep improving my skiing and be the best version of myself. It has also given me the opportunity to travel and see the amount of competition the sport has to offer. I can’t thank my coaches enough.