Training Board Episode 4

September 6, 2022   (Never spell, grammar, or logic checked)


Online training was held over the late summer for usage of Purple Pen, Course Design, and an Introduction to making Orienteering maps using Open Mapper software.  Links to these videos and more below:

Existing edited Mapping Videos
Lesson 1:  Software.
Lesson 2:  Coordinate Reference Systems.
Lesson 3:  Data Sources.
Lesson 4:  Contours in QGIS.
Lesson 4B:  Other Data.
Quickest Orienteering Map Possible.

Zoom Lesson Cloud Recording for Map Making in Open Mapper:
Passcode: U0?3HnKY
Map Making in Open Mapper Courseware:  (Download ahead of time)
Software (Mac or Windows):

Purple Pen Class Recording:
Passcode: J3NZH=#&

Course Design Class Recording:–sF0nMtPUwYDamw8dUyrXZ0GJVlsypU4.dO8sy2MlDlHYoMwT
Passcode:   i+i^c!5*


Upcoming Training Events:

  • CORN MAZE!  Saturday Sept 17th.  This is the best event for beginners to attend all year!  Period.  Particularly if they go in with the idea of practicing a few important foundational things:
    • Bring a highlighter and draw your intended route before you start running.  No matter how much urge you have to go, you must always “Know-before-you-go.”  If there are two laps through the map with a map exchange, make sure you do it on the second map too.
    • Fold your map so you can control it and keep your thumb on the map.
    • Keep your thumb on the map where you are located at ALL TIMES!
    • The map should always face the direction you are.  That means if you turn left, the map needs to turn too.  This is also when you need to update your thumb position.
    • Only run as fast as you can navigate.  That will mean walking more often than not.
    • Repeat until you are done.
    • Event Website:  Corn Maze Event
  • Pre-WIOL North Training.  Saturday October 8th.
  • Pre-WIOL South Training.  Sunday October 23rd.  
  • We will be holding a Pre-WIOL meeting on October 27th at 7PM (coaches ) and 8PM (Student Athletes).  The idea here is to simply talk about the upcoming season and answer as many questions ahead of time as possible.  We are trying to encourage everyone to become more engaged at every level.  As such, we intend on making the WIOL as competitive as possible and the training opportunities as robust as possible.  Coaches and parents are a major part of that.  These meetings will go a long way to make the season as constructive and fun as possible.


-John Brady




Training Board Episode 3

July 30, 2022   (Never spell, grammar, or logic checked)


  1.  This year, Junior Nationals will not be held at its normal time in April.  Instead it will be held on MLK Weekend from January 13th – January 15th in FDR State Park, GA.  This will be a much bigger event than last years nationals and will be very competitive.  Because Nationals is in winter, we will have less opportunities to practice and train in preparation.  Expect 2 training days during the Christmas break as our only opportunities to focus on tactics and skills for nationals as a group.  More details to follow as we get closer to the season.  If you want any info about Jr. Nationals and what you can expect if you choose to attend, please reach out.  We will make sure that any COC member going to Jr. Nationals has the ability to hang out as a group wherever possible.  I HIGHLY recommend going to Jr. Nationals as well as orienteering in GA!.  GAOC always puts on great events.
    -WE WANT SCHOOL TEAMS AND JROTC TEAMS AT JR NATIONALS!!!  Make it happen coaches:). Prepare now.
  2. JWOC is over.  Our two youth, Benjamin and Zoe performed pretty well.  There is a Junior USA Team Blog here if you want to hear about the races and shenanigans from their perspective.
    Team USA Blog
  3. We will be using Discord as a application to chat amongst teams, coaches and friends.  Link will be sent in Coaches email distro.  Let me know if you need the link or did not get it.  It’d be nice to get everyone using it together, even if it is yet another new app for you.
  4. Keep an eye out for pre-season training events from COC.  If you want to help, please reach out to Kathy and Bob Forgrave for the Lynwood event.  Reach out to myself (John) for the Maple Valley/South event.  If you have new kids, this is a great place to start.
  5. This month, August 24th, Wednesday Night at Green River College, Greta and Alexis Leonard will be earning their Level 4 OUSA patch by designing the WES race course.  This makes 2 new course designers for COC, and brings our total count of OUSA Level 4 qualified youth to five (Shane Conley, Ben Brady, Ben Cooper, Jackson Rupe, and now Greta Leonard).  Congrats and thanks to the Leonard’s for giving back to our community!!!  Now who will be next?  Perfect transition to the next topics….

Upcoming Classes:

  1.  Thursday Aug 11th 7PM-9PMish.  Using Purple Pen (requires Windows). Software here (and I might add it was created by COC’s own Peter Golde):  Purple Pen Software
    This course is designed to show the basics of using purple pen software using various map types and creating a finished product for training or actual races.  We will use a map of the Legacy Property located here:     Download the maps in preparation for the course.
    -RSVP by emailing  Although the RSVP is not required, I would like to know who (if anyone) will join the class.  If zero ends up being the answer, then I guess I will just screen record it and post if to YouTube for people to use later.
    Zoom Link (Password provided by email distro.  Contact me for the password if you didn’t get it)
  2. Thursday Aug 25th, Course Designer Class.  7PM – 9PMish.  Please RSVP so we have a head count.  I’d love if people who go to the class
    COC Course Designer Guide for WIOL
    Zoom Link (Password is same password.  Provided by email distro.  Contact me if you didn’t get it).
  3. Other classes forthcoming as mentioned in the T-Blog episode 2.

Training Notes:

  1. Classroom Powerpoint.  Here is a link to a classroom orienteering powerpoint.  This was made by OCIN, and does a good job highlighting “orienteering” in a succinct way.  For those at JROTC schools and have a need to teach the basics before going into the field, this is a good starting point IMO.  OCIN’s Orienteering Overview Lecture
    Also, here is a great single document from UK’s Duncan Bayliss that does a great job of outlining orienteering skills in a logical way. Better Orienteering Document
  2. Throughout the year, we will be focusing on providing in-person drills, on-your-own drills, short how-to videos and other training information, all centered around the skill progression ideas listed in Phases 1-3 below.  Orienteers approaching or currently at Phase 4 skillset will have few opportunities to develop these skills without being personally invested in their own orienteering growth.  This means they must take advantage of all advanced competition opportunities during the year, and primarily in the summer.   Starting in October, I will attempt to provide monthly ideas and drills available in each of the first 4 Phases for you to use for yourself or your team as you see fit.  Eventually we will have a library of things we can work on.

Phase 1 (Elementary + Middle + First Year regardless of age): 

  • Learn the Rules.
  • Learn the Map symbols.
  • Learn the Control Codes.
  • Learn to handle the map (Folding, control, using your thumb/compass, understanding the “Why” it is important)
  • Learn to orient the map. (Map and you always face the same direction)
  • Learn the basic tactics (Handrails, Red Light, Yellow Light, Green Light)

Phase 2 (Middle + Beginner JV + 2nd Season Regardless of Age): 

  • Learn and Practice the 2nd level tactics (Handrails, Collecting Features, Catching Features, Aiming Off, Attack Points)
  • Learn how to use and understand scale (Size, Speed, Rules etc)
  • Master map handling (Technique repetition and automated behavior)
  • Master map orienting (Automated behavior)
  • Master map features
  • Continue learning Control Codes.
  • Learn the compass
  • Learn flow / Control Point Strategies (NFSE: Number/Feature/Side/Exit)
  • Begin Controlling Speed (Consciously)
  • Start reading contours occasionally.
  • Stops when uncertain
  • Beginning to Learn to control psychological issues (dealing with inevitable failure)

Phase 3 (Advanced JV + Varsity + Seasoned Adult): 

  • Master the Compass
  • Increase MRS (Map Reading Speed)
  • Off Trail Navigation Ability
  • Determining Best Route (Safest vs Fastest)
  • Determine Personal Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Terrain Familiarity (Contour reading on map and in real life)
  • Participate and Analyze Difficult Races (Teanaway, Salmon La Sac, Vantage etc. )
  • Continued improvement and conscious work on basic tactics and early phases.
  • Confirmation Techniques Begin to be Used
  • Starting to “Look Ahead” rather than confirming current position
  • Keeps Moving
  • Practice With Purpose
  • Deals with failure constructively

Phase 4 (Advanced Varsity + Very Experienced Adult): 

  • Phase 1-3 Mastered
  • Basic technique is automatic, allowing to focus on other areas
  • High MRS (and large quantity) with good interpretation and memorization
  • Experience in multiple terrain types and competition levels
  • Mistakes are minimized
  • Understands Risks leading to Full Control of speed. Confirmation Techniques become more automatic
  • Comfortable Running Without Handrails / reading only the shape of the ground
  • Understands the concept of “Primary Navigation Tool” and “Secondary Confirmation Tools”
  • Night Orienteering Capable
  • Map Simplification
  • Understanding the Entire Route
  • Mastered the “Look Ahead” method. Knows what to look for
  • Pushes self to failure often and self-analyzes. Re-attacks weaknesses during training.

Phase 5. (Elite Orienteers Only + Advanced Experience In Many Environments and Terrains): 

  • High quantity of training and high level of difficulty
  • High MRS and High MRR (Map Reading Retention)
  • Years of Experience + Practice + Fitness = Ability to understand the most complex situations at high speed.
  • Constantly trying to improve foundational areas
  • Reaches out to fellow orienteers
  • Gives back to community

-John Brady

Training Board Episode 2

June 14, 2022   (Never spell, grammar, or logic checked)

Upcoming Classes:

All dates TBD (but expect starting in late summer)

  1.  Using Purple Pen (requires Windows). Software here (and I might add it was created by COC’s own Peter Golde):  Purple Pen Software
  2. Course Designer Class
    COC Course Designer Guide for WIOL
  3. Making a basic map with Open Mapper (Windows or Mac)
    Quickest Map Possible (I think)
  4. Doing COC map updates using the tablet or manually (keeping master map standardized)
  5. Making a “real” map using Open Mapper and QGIS (Windows or Mac)
    Lesson 1: Software
    Lesson 2:  Coordinate Reference Systems
    Lesson 3:  Data Sources
    Lesson 4A:  Contours in QGIS
    Lesson 4B:  Other Data
    Lesson 4C:  Tips for Open Mapper by watching a pro
    Lesson 5A:  Use Kartapullautin quickly (Coming Soon)
    Lesson 5B:  Use Kartapullautin more robustly (Coming Soon)
  6. Using software for analysis
    -Routegadget:  Tutorial
    -Quickroute:     Tutorial (Coming Soon)


-John Brady


Training Board Episode 1

May 25, 2022   (Never spell, grammar, or logic checked)

The Road to JWOC:

You may be a youth orienteer or parent of a youth orienteer and wonder, “What is this JWOC I have heard about?”  JWOC is the Junior World Orienteering Championships.  The best men and women orienteers in the world, 20 years and younger,  meet for the deFacto “Olympics” of youth orienteering.  Each year it is in a new location, and is always extremely challenging.  This year it is in Aguiar Da Beira, Portugal from July 10-16th (  To compete this year, you must have been born no earlier than 2002 and be selected by your country’s national orienteering body.  For us, OUSA (Orienteering USA) is our governing body.  In April of this year, OUSA selection committee chose 10 athletes and 2 alternates to represent the USA in Portugal.  Specific details can be located here (

So what does it take to make the JWOC team and represent USA?  Currently, there is no specific “formula”.  The team is selected by a committee of orienteering experts who are tasked with the difficult decision of putting together disparate athletes from across the country, many of whom have never raced against each other.  So how would one decide?  In addition to being a member of OUSA, having the ability to travel overseas, and meeting the administrative criteria set forth each year, a couple of performance factors are likely important:

  1.  OUSA National Ranking.  Men ranked against each other in the M-20 (Red) division and Women in the F-20(Green) division.  Ranking points are achieved by competing in a certified National Ranking Event (NRE) for your associated division.  Your best 4 NRE’s point totals are averaged to get your NRE score.  Points for each race are determined by (simplified explanation to follow) comparing your race time against the average of the top 3 finishers time, then adjusting the score for course difficulty. This means you must do NRE’s if you want to be taken seriously as a JWOC applicant.
  2. Races against your fellow age peers.  When all things are equal or similar, it would be difficult for a selection committee to dismiss head-to-head victories/losses.  Particularly in more difficult and important events such as Junior Nationals.  Do not shy away from opportunities to compete.
  3. Sustained performance.  Having 4 good races in one year will certainly get the attention of the selection committee.   However, when close-calls exist, it may not be enough to convince the committee that you have the requisite skill to compete in a much more difficult situation.  Having multiple years of good results in lower or equal divisions will certainly warrant a head nod.
  4. Current and proven athletic capability.  In the past, there were athletic milestone goals for athletes to meet to evaluate their potential.  Speed is an undeniable metric.  You can read through the old criteria on the internet, but essentially points were awarded to each athlete based on their 3K time.  Maximum points were awarded for a 9:00/11:00 3K time for men/women.  This year, they did not issue a points system, but it is possible in the future it will return.  Fitness obviously matters in elite sports:).   OUSA monitors the athletes performance through Attackpoint, the orienteering social network website.  Athletes not logging their workouts on Attackpoint are effectively invisible to any selection committee.  Another component of Attackpoint is the ability to have your races published to the world.  There they can look at things like pace, propensity for mistakes, comparison against the club’s best etc.
  5. Be a current member on the National Team.  Despite changes each year to the program, one thing is relatively consistent:  JWOC team comes from the US National team.  If you are interested in being a member of OUSA Teams, you must demonstrate high ability as well as apply for the team when applications are announced each year.  Typically this is around December of each year.  If in December you do not have “a resume” to show your ability, still apply.  There may be opportunities throughout the year to subsequently prove yourself and be accepted to the team.  Being a team player comes first.
  6. Maturity.  Excessively young or immature youth are not ready to handle the requirements of representing the country, self-coaching, understanding the intensity and competition of international orienteering, or perhaps even be able to understand the mental load that is required to meet the expectations of performance at this level.    Age and experience are arguably as important as the previously mentioned items above.
  7. Commitment.  Many youth are faced with varying activities that conflict with each other.  It is 100% expected that you will follow your passion, and it may be that soccer is your baby.  However, if orienteering is your passion and furthermore you want to reach the upper echelon of the USA orienteering ranks, then you will inevitably need to resolve scheduling and training conflicts by prioritizing orienteering.  Many people put a lot of effort into race and training opportunities, and in the USA, they are often few and far between.  It is imperative that as you approach the age and skill level where you want to pursue orienteering, you attend these and treat it as the top priority.
  8. Zero is okay.  There are no rules that there needs to be 6 male and 6 female athletes selected for JWOC each year.  If the committee does not see the obvious skill level required to perform at JWOC, they will not select random people to fill the slots.  Inexperienced athletes at JWOC is a recipe for disaster for the athlete as well as for the USA team.  Zero is better than 6 that are not quite ready.

Since the selection committee is nothing more than a group of orienteers trying the best they can to pick people for the team, they may have their own factors they consider important.  All you can do as an athlete wanting to join the team is prove you are committed to being the best you can be and compete for your spot the best way you can.

So what does preparation for JWOC look like this year for Ben Brady and Zoe Sibthorp, our two selected athletes?

  1. Get and stay healthy.  Injury correction and healing comes first.
  2. Get in shape and improve fitness.  For most high school orienteers, this means XC season in fall, orienteering in winter, track in early spring and orienteering in late spring.
  3. Orienteering practice.  What do we do for orienteering practice?  There are a few things.
  • Never miss an orienteering meet.  (Dickey Creek, Teanaway, UW, Manastash,, Grizzly-O, Fishtrap, Wilburton…)
  • Analyze each orienteering race after the race.
  • Habit pattern drills once a week.
  • Change of fitness-focus from the track, to the hills, forest, agility, and trails.
  • Field trips to similar terrain as JWOC.  For us, the closest technical terrain is Salmon La Sac.
  • Train 6 days a week.  Combine orienteering skills with fitness where possible.
  • Perform simulations as often as possible.  For us, these simulations include:  Running Wild (website), Catching Features (Video Game), and Zoom Map Reading (Running with a map).
  • JWOC training camp:  For 6 days in Portugal before JWOC, team USA will have a training camp in similar terrain to what they will race on.  This will be a capstone training and will be led by the team USA coach.
  • Enjoy the competition!  Know you did your best to prepare and just have fun.

All of the simulations we are doing in preparation for JWOC 2022 are available below.  Please ask if you want any more information about how these should be used.

Running Wild:

Zoom Map Read Drills:



COC JWOC History Board

(Did I miss someone or make a mistake…let me know?)

1994 – Eric Bone –  Gdynia,Poland

1996 – Fred Schmitt – Gorova, Romania

2004 – Leif Anderson – Gdansk, Poland

2005 – Leif Anderson, Will Enger – Tenero, Switzerland

2007 – Holly Kuestner- Dubbo, Australia

2008 – Holly Kuestner, Tori Borish – Gothenburg, Sweden

2009 – Holly Kuestner, Tori Borish, Kelsey Breseman – Trentino, Italy

2010 – Holly Kuestner – Aalborg, Denmark

2013 – Anne Wilkinson, Danielle Spencer – Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

2014 – Anne Wilkinson, Katrina Weinmann – Borovets, Bulgaria

2015 – Tyra Christopherson – Rauland, Norway

2016 – Tyra Christopherson – Engadin Scuol, Switzerland

2017 – Tyra Christopherson, Siri Christopherson, Caroline Sandbo – Tampere, Finland

2018 – Tyra Christopherson, Siri Christopherson, Caroline Sandbo – Kecskemét, Hungary

2019 – Siri Christopherson, Caroline Sandbo – Aarhus and Silkeborg, Denmark

2021 – Jessica Colleran, Ben Brady – Kocaeli, Turkey

2022 – Ben Brady,  Zoe Sibthorp- Aguiar da Beira, Portugal


-John Brady