Maxime, in the first part of your interview, you talked about Team Nordic Expérience preparations and goals. Now, let’s talk a bit about training and what’s your favorite training session for your athletes.
“It’s my favorite even if it’s a stressful and complicated to make: the Vasapass (long training session, at least 3h30, with intensity inside). I enjoy preparing this type of session, and we have a particularity on our Vasapass: the athletes are unaware of the scenario. Indeed, they all have a small part of the global scenario (for example, Arnaud knows that he must go for 10 minutes threshold after 2h30, then he should also do three times 20 seconds all out after 2h48, 2h50, and 2h52). Then they are starting the intensity by themselves. It’s interesting to follow from the outside, especially when the plan goes well!”
You are pretty polyvalent in your job. You do the program, training plan, and also manage waxing, feeding, athletes’ ski quiver, and sometimes the logistics, booking flights and accommodation. What do you prefer in the end?
“It’s hard to say because that’s also why I like this job: I enjoy doing many different things. I like to be polyvalent.”
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
“I have been a skier and athlete myself from my ten years old to my 18. Before that, I did some alpine skiing but went cross-country skiing quite fast. I was in the ski section in secondary and high school, reaching a good national level without making great strides.”
“When I left high school, I stopped skiing because of back problems and was hired as a coach in my ski club, Haut-Jura Ski. I stayed there and developed it with pleasure for five years. I learned the basics of the job, well surrounded by several coaches from the ski club and committee members.”
“After five years, I had the opportunity to become a technician for the French cross-country skiing on the World Cup tour. I stayed there for three seasons and finished with an Olympic season at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. It’s a lot of knowledge acquired, and emotions experienced that is worth all the gold in the world. There were two Olympic medals for the French cross-country skiing team. I have experienced a lot in all the groups I have been in, but I think these are the strongest emotions I have had. Whether in victory or defeat, like the day Maurice did not make the expected podium in the 15km skating.”
“After that, I was hired as a coach for Team Nordique Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté (one of the two ancestors of TNE) for two years. And now I’m the coach of TNE for three seasons.”
You are already quite busy, but what are you doing during your free time?
“I’m a volunteer fireman in “CIS Les Combes.” I like to help people in need, I like to be useful to people. And it takes me out of the daily life of skiing. It leads me to other worlds. I also like to go to music festivals and concerts, even if I didn’t have much time to do so this year.”
“I’m also very into movies from all different universes. It goes from Marvel to good old French cult films like “La 7e compagnie,” “Le diner de con,” “Les bronzés,” “OSS 117.” I’m very eclectic. And since we’re always on the go, I also like to sit at home.”
Maxime, thank you a lot for your time spent with ProXCskiing! Do you have some last words for this talk?
“Yes, you can support our adventures by following the Team Nordic Expérience on our Facebook and Instagram. ;)”