Meet the 2 local athletes who did the NYSEF XC PG Program this year.
Joseph Wilson, a 19-year old from Keene who will be attending Middlebury College in the fall.
Jacob K. Alberga, a 19-year old from Saranac Lake who will be attending the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in the fall.
What was your reason for taking a PG Year?
Joseph: I chose the NYSEF PG Program because I liked and got along well with my coaches, I was provided with high quality instruction, a training plan that worked well for me and an excellent training environment. Also influencing my decision was the fact that a year with NYSEF is less expensive than many other elite postgraduate skiing programs in the U.S.
Jacob: I chose the PG Program because I did not feel satisfied with my ski season senior year. I got sick in the beginning of the season and thought that the results throughout the year did not accurately represent me as an athlete for many reasons. I had also made a decision to attend UNH in the fall of 2020. I wanted a year to get intouch with the ski coaches at UNH and see if I could potentially ski for the team.
What did your day look like before and after training?
Joseph: Outside of training, I used my time for recovery rolling out, stretching, and on especially hard weeks, napping) and to work at the Mountaineer, as well as working on things important to me which I hadn’t had much time for during highschool, like climbing, building, riding, and working on bikes, catching up on my pleasure reading, and trying to learn Mandarin.
Jacob: Before training my day consisted of going to work at Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters in Saranac Lake. The shop closed down in November for the season. I then started to volunteer full-time as one of the three coordinators of the Sunrise Movement’s Adirondack Hub. We have been working to mobilize the Adirondacks in the name of climate justice. I also took some online classes to try to stay relatively sharp on subjects I learned in High School.
When did you start skiing and training with the NYSEF Program?
Joseph: I have been with NYSEF since May of 2016, and have met some of my closest friends through the program.
Jacob: I started training with NYSEF in 2015. Though this past year has been the first and only time I have done any real summer training.
What will you miss most about training with NYSEF (although you will ALWAYS be a NYSEF athlete and part of the NYSEF Family as an alum)?
Joseph: Looking back, there are many things I will miss about NYSEF Nordic, from long talks on rollerskis, to the (almost paradoxically) light hearted yet intense atmosphere during summer bounding intervals. However, what sticks out the most in my memory are Eastern Cup race weekends, both the racing aspect and the shenanigans, and a.m. strength, p.m. interval days in the summer.
Jacob: The thing I will miss the most about NYSEF is hands down the opportunities it provided. I have traveled all around, and out of, the country with some of my best friends. I have seen and done things that without the help of NYSEF I would have never seen. I have also met amazing people and formed lasting relationships. In the end you cannot compete for ever but the memories and the relationships do last forever.
What did your PG Year teach you or what advice can you give to other student-athletes thinking about doing a PG Year?
Joseph: In terms of preparation, the PG year was a great opportunity to ‘collect myself,’ to sort out what’s important to me and where I want to go with my life without the pressures of academics clouding my judgement. Taking a PG year also allowed me to refocus my mind on learning. Coming out of highschool, I was a bit burned out on scholastics, and the time allowed me to refocus my mind and rediscover the joys of learning on a purely self-directed basis.
Jacob: My PG year taught me a lot of skills that I can apply to life after NYSEF. I have improved emotionally, as mentioned above. I have also learned a lot about time management. Many athletes, including myself, find ourselves juggling many things at a time. I have learned a lot about dealing with the stress of a hectic and involved life. Lastly, I have learned the importance of experience. I learned that yes good race results are amazing but the time you spend doing these things you love is the real reason we do sports.
What do you like to do when you are not skiing/in your free time?
Joseph: I enjoy Backcountry skiing, books, bikes, rock & ice climbing, Wikipedia, training, and unnecessary extra meals.
Jacob: I love to read old books. I am a paddling enthusiast. I love to boulder and rock climb, play my guitar way too loud, and go on long backpacking trips.
To learn more about the Nordic PG Program, reach out to Head XC and Biathlon Coach, Shane at email@example.com.