OUSA Junior National Coach Job Search – CLOSED

NOTE: This position is now closed. The following information is for archival reference purposes only.

Orienteering USA (OUSA) seeks a Junior National Coach for its National Junior Program (NJP). The program is led and administered by the Junior Team Executive Steering Committee (JTESC).

General job description

The overarching objectives of the Junior National Coach role are to provide quality coaching and programs for young athletes, and to develop stronger young athletes, committed to orienteering and to forming a strong community of supportive team members.The Junior National Coach will work directly with the athletes in the NJP, as well as with the JTESC pool of coaches and mentors, in order to reach these objectives.


Assist with review of athlete applications:

  • Work with JTESC in reviewing the NJP Information and application prior to publication for the next program year. *
  • Review submitted applications from athletes regarding performance targets and make recommendations to JTESC about athlete placement. *

Athlete Follow-up:

  • Review athletes’ training plans for the coming season *
  • Assist athletes new to the program in creating and following their training plan
  • Provide feedback
  • Work with all NJP athletes to identify a local coach either from their home club or from the national pool of coaches and mentors.
  • Monitor JNT athletes’ training logs on Attackpoint (AP) and help them find an “AP-mentor,” if necessary
  • Coordinate and distribute exercises from the Training Subscription Service to the athletes and their local coaches
  • Oversee course reviews and/or camps at National Ranking Events and major other camps, either personally or by working with others
  • Attend monthly team conference calls, helping to create better team cohesion and responding to members’ questions


  • Lead the JWOC Selection Committee, the petition process, and the JWOC team announcement
  • Set up training calls for the JWOC team and alternates
  • Either travel to JWOC (including the on-location pre-JWOC training) as lead coach or coordinate alternate coaches or mentors to ensure best possible support to the athletes as individuals and as a team
  • work with JTESC to ensure all organizational requirements are met. Remuneration for the pre-JWOC training and JWOC attendance as coach is in addition to the basic compensation


  • Either travel to NAOC as the Junior National Coach, or work with alternate coaches or mentors in order to provide the best support to the athletes as individuals and as a team
  • Work on identifying the best team composition
  • Work with JTESC to ensure all organizational requirements are met. Remuneration for NAOC attendance as coach is in addition to the basic compensation.


Participate as a contributing member of JTESC to the continued growth and improvement of OUSA’s National Junior Program.

* These three tasks have already been completed by outgoing coaches for the start of 2020.


  • Have a SafeSport-Trained certificate
  • Coaching experience (experience with athletes between the ages of 13-20 preferred)
  • The successful applicant is expected to use their own computer, cell phone, internet connection, driver’s license, etc., to fulfill the duties of this role.

Desired skills/qualifications

  • Demonstrated high level technical knowledge of orienteering principles
  • Strong orienteering/map reading skills
  • Capable of using mapping and/or course-design software to produce training exercises
  • Experienced with athletic competitions abroad
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Capable of designing training plans to support physical, technical, and psychological development
  • Capable of tailoring athlete goals and plans to meet individual strengths and needs
  • Demonstrated ability to build a sense of team unity and good sportsmanship
  • Patience and understanding


$5,000.00 February through September 2020.

Expect approximately 40 hours per month, but keep in mind that the workload varies.

Applying for this position

Please send a letter expressing your interest and your background in orienteering and a short résumé of your experience in elite orienteering and coaching to the OUSA Junior Program.

JTESC Announces National Junior Program Athletes

The Junior Team Executive Steering Committee (JTESC) is excited to announce the USA Junior National Team and the Junior Development Team athletes for 2020.  

This year will see changes in the National Junior Program as we move to expand the National Junior Program (NJP) support structure for both the athletes and the Junior National Coach (JNC) (to be named), by adding local and regional coaches and mentors who will assist and be guided by the JNC.   Here are the athletes:

2020 Junior National Team

  • Diana Aleksieva,QOC
  • Jessica Colleran, COC
  • Julia Doubson, BAOC
  • Christiane Fletcher, GAOC
  • Bridget Hall, NEOC
  • Keegan Harkavy, NEOC
  • Thomas Laraia, MNOC
  • Kirsten Mayland, DVOA
  • Alexis Merka, QOC
  • Kai Mihata, COC
  • Aidan Minto, ICO
  • Anthony Riley, DVOA
  • David Runde, MNOC / Kristiansand OK (NOR)
  • Emilia Schmidt, QOC / Tampereen Pyrintö (FIN)
  • Adrian Vartia, DVOA / OK Löftan (SWE)  

2020 Junior Development Team (as of 2/1/20)

  • Benjamin Brady, COC
  • Anna Campbell, NEOC
  • Victor Frolenko, DVOA
  • Priscilla Kelley, OCIN
  • Zachary Kuder, QOC
  • Sam Loustaunau
  • Annika Mihata, COC
  • Ethan Powers, OCIN
  • Oriana Riley, DVOA

Please note that we are still accepting applications for the  National Junior Program Junior Development Team (JDT), and will be doing so throughout the year.  

We encourage all juniors, ages 13-20, who run confidently at the Orange level (or above), and want to connect with other young people who love orienteering and take their orienteering to the next level, to join the 2020 JDT.

Guy Olsen JTESC Chair

2020 U.S. WOC Team Selection

Team Trials Rules and WOC Team Selection Criteria are now posted for the 2020 Sprint WOC to be held in Denmark in July.

U.S. (and Canadian) Team Trials will take place at the Sage Stomp, (link removed) May 16-18, 2020, in south-central British Columbia, Canada.

2020 National Team Applications

Application to the National Team is open to all athletes who meet the requirements of the Athlete Agreement and return a signed copy along with the application.  Please note the January 1 deadline for both documents. Documents are linked from the National Team page.

2020 JWOC Team Selection Criteria

The JTESC has published the Selection Criteria for choosing the team to represent the U.S. at the 2020 Junior World Orienteering Championships, to be held in Turkey from June 27 to July 3.

Selection Criteria1

Being a Junior National Program member is a plus; Junior National Team applications are due Sunday, December 15.

  1. Document no longer available ↩︎

2020 WUOC Applications Due Jan 5

Applications to be considered for a place on the World University Orienteering Championships Team are being accepted through January 5th.

Automatic spots will be award to the winner of the M-21+ and F-21+ categories of the two-day Classic competition at the Georgia Navigator Cup in mid-January. Other team members will be selected by the committee from petitions.

Find out more about this biennial competition, and learn how selection will take place on the WUOC Team page.

2020 Junior Team Applications

Information about and applications for applying to the National Junior Program (Junior National Team and Junior Development Team) are now posted on the Junior Team page.

Note that applications for the Junior National Team are due December 15, 2019. Development Team applications are accepted throughout the year.

National Junior Program Update

At the end of 2019, Junior National Coach Erin Schirm, and Junior Development Coach Greg Ahlswede, are both stepping down from their coaching roles in the National Junior Program (NJP) to get back to working on their respective career paths. They are not stepping away from coaching altogether, or from being part of the Orienteering USA (OUSA) community. They will remain involved as volunteers at the club and national levels, Erin as the Chair of the Executive Steering Committee (ESC) of the senior National Team and Greg as an elite athlete on the National Team.

The Junior National Team (JNT) program was initiated by the Junior Team Executive Steering Committee (JTESC) in 2012, and the program has since grown and advanced under Erin’s leadership as Junior National Coach (JNC) and as the OUSA Director of Sport Development. The current NJP includes the JNT and the Junior Development Team (JDT) providing the program’s benefits to a growing talent pool of young orienteers. Junior orienteering in the U.S. has made significant progress since 2012, as seen not only in the results of NJP athletes at U.S. and international competitions, but also in the considerable increase in the number of juniors aspiring to and selected for the senior National Team.

Erin and Greg have laid the foundation with an effective coaching philosophy that past and present athletes have engaged with and appreciate, and it is JTESCs intention to continue building on that foundation. Beyond providing coaching, the NJP aims to reduce, as much as possible, the impact from the unique challenges to juniors in this country due to the geographic spread of athletes and low density of events. The NJP is a framework for our junior athletes to work together to create a team environment that encourages competitive excellence, a professional demeanor, and an enthusiastic work ethic. It also provides a strong support network for national and international travel, fundraising, lodging, and other assistance needed to enable our athletes to compete at home and abroad.

We would like to thank Erin and Greg for their dedicated work as coaches and Erin, as the main architect of the NJP. JTESC will need some time to redefine the position of the JNC, with possible further engagement of local and regional coaches as proposed recently by the OUSA Executive Committee. The JNC will provide unity and support so that our juniors are prepared to compete at the highest stages, including the Junior Nationals, the North American Orienteering Championships (NAOC) and at the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC). NJP athletes will meet as teammates at regional and national events and will take advantage of training and coaching opportunities coordinated for them through the efforts of JTESC and the JNC in cooperation with regional coaches, clubs, and the community of NJP supporters.

We would also like to thank former JNT and NJP athletes who have come forward with an interest in contributing to the continuation and growth of the program, and to give back to a community that provided them with opportunities and support for their development as elite orienteers.

JTESC is looking forward to the next phase of the NJP. Be sure to look for the 2020 National Junior Program Application package, to be posted on the OUSA website around Nov. 15, 2019. Coaches Erin and Greg will be available with advice to current NJP athletes on future coaching options at least through the end of this year.

Mark your calendars, 2020 will be an exciting year for the juniors. JWOC team trials are slated to be held at the Junior Nationals on April 18-19, and JWOC will be in Turkey in July. With WOC 2020 being the first Sprint format year, and with many current juniors showing recent strong performances in Sprint competitions, we are looking forward to some of them trying out for the WOC team. We are further hoping for a strong showing by our college and college-bound NJP athletes in the Team Trials for WUOC. And please, everyone, mark your calendars for NAOC 2020, where NJP juniors are hoping to help the U.S. bring the Future Champions Cup home again.

Any questions to JTESC may be emailed to ousajuniorprogram@nullorienteeringusa.org, or contact the JTESC Chair Guy Olsen directly by using the email address indicated on the Orienteering USA website, under Committees/U.S. Teams.

Senior Team Coaching Position

 The U.S. Team is looking for a coach to review individual training plans, training logs, be a general source of information on elite orienteering, and help provide a basic communication structure for the team. The position would be as a private contractor with Orienteering USA.

If you are interested in pursuing this possibility, select the PDF document below to see more.


2019 Orienteering in Europe with Keegan Harkavy

This summer I was given the chance to go to Europe with the U.S. Junior National Team. As an alternate on the team, I was able to participate in a week-long training program, as well as compete in a week of JWOC spectator races. Training, traveling and racing with some of the best junior orienteers was an incredible experience and made for one of the best summers of my life. I learned a lot about orienteering, and played a lot of cards.

My summer officially began with the Boston Sprint Camp which was held the first weekend of June. This was the first time since the April team trials where I could see some of the Junior National Team members and it was super fun to spend time with them, both racing and socializing. The races themselves were also awesome and it really got me pumped for the rest of the summer. Winning the sprint camp was also very nice.

My next stop, a couple of weeks later, was the Philadelphia training camp run by Greg Ahlswede. This training camp was designed by Greg and was for any junior orienteer, with the goal of training and being together as a group. While the woods weren’t the nicest, there was a lot of good quality orienteering. A lot of juniors participated and it was great to bond with them by playing cards and getting my nails painted. When the training camp ended, I had four days before the Junior National Team was scheduled to leave for the JWOC races in Europe, which I spent with fellow teammates Bridget, Julia, and Siri, and Gata (Greg’s cat) at Greg’s house in Pennsylvania. We trained some more, made some pasta, and floated down the river. All in all a pretty good week. From there we were off to Europe.

JWOC was held in Denmark this year, and we were there for a little over 2 weeks. About 16 athletes traveled to Denmark, to race and train. Of those, 12 were competing in JWOC. We were also traveling with three coaches: Erin Schirm, Greg Ahlswede, and Sam.

The trip was pretty much all training or racing. The first week of the trip was focused on training and preparing for the races. This consisted mostly of going out to the Danish woods and doing technical trainings, like line-o’s, contour-only o’s and control picks. The terrain in Denmark was amazing and I would love to go back and race there again some time. It was mostly an open forest with large pine trees. The woods were also quite hilly and the contours very visible. Besides just woods training we did some very weird other training. This training was a mix of team-building and skill practice. For example in one, we had to balance sticks on different parts of our body and then throw the sticks at people. When we were not training, we were playing cards. I played more cards in these two weeks than in the rest of the year combined. The second week was focused on racing. At this point, the JWOC athletes and the tour athletes separated.

My favorite race of the summer was the JWOC spectator long course. I loved this course for two reasons. The first reason was that this was my first good race while in Europe. The sprint race I had done the first day did not go quite how I had wanted it to go and nailing this race felt really good. The other reason I liked this race so much was that it was a mass start. This made the race much more competitive and was really fun to run in. This race really reminded me of the BillyGoat, which is one of my favorite races in the U.S., but it was bigger and more competitive. The first couple of controls were a blur to me, akin more to a cross-country race than a normal orienteering race. At around control 6, I found myself alone for the first time in the race and it really caught me off guard. I was executing my route perfectly to the control and knew exactly where I was and where I was going but being alone really shook my confidence. I could not imagine why I would be alone except if I was lost. This resulted in me missing my control by a bit and losing two to three minutes. Looking back on the control I am pretty sure the course setter did this on purpose by separating the two different courses that started at the same time on this control, this drastically reduced the number of people going to this control and thus I ended up alone. The rest of the race I was running mostly by myself. Yet I never felt really as alone as I do in the U.S. The vast amount of people in the woods really just changed the whole mood of the forest. I ran the rest of the race pretty cleanly and fast. The navigation was mostly reading the broad contours or finding the right trail route to the control. The course, while not being overly technical, was very physically demanding. When I finished it I was more tired than after any other race of the summer. One of my biggest surprises when I finished the race. I felt like I ran a very solid race with few mistakes and even still, I was a good five to ten minutes back from the leader. This level of skill, in the nonelite category, really surprised and amazed, me and l found it cool to see such good orienteers.

After the races, I headed back to the United States. As I was going home I was surprised at how sad I was to be leaving. Not only was I sad about leaving the amazing terrain and races, I was also really going to miss all of the other juniors I had become friends with over the past month and had lived, trained, ate and played cards with. We were a fun group and really liked hanging out with each other. When I got home I took a little break from training to recover, but after that recovery, I was back in the woods. Being back in familiar terrain I realized how much better I got in Europe and how much faster I was now. It also helped me really enjoy the sport and show me how far I can still go.