Skieologians: How to succeed as an athlete

A recently published editorial in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance outlined eight necessary elements for athletic success. 

The first seven ingredients mentioned — talent, health, development, consistency, coaching, opportunities, goal-setting — were essentially diminished under the umbrella of the final one: luck. 

And here is where we need the skieologian. 

Carl Foster, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus and member of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, wrote, “While sport is a creature of preparation, both in training and in competitive tactics, a certain amount of pure luck is necessary.”

The presuppositional-apologist side of me wishes to use a less secular term — perhaps “divine providence” — but for the sake of ensuring your 12-year-old becomes the next Sidney Crosby, let’s mill around his water cooler and make due with its worldview’s language.

I can’t disagree with the fundamental assumption that “luck” plays a role in outcome; what is debatable is whether or not it is the foundation of every other aspect mentioned! Ending up with the right genes, excelling in opportunistic competitions, landing with the right team and coaches, and avoiding illness and injury are all a matter of chance … if that is what you believe. 

For this reason, couldn’t the keepers of academic literature save some space? 

What we know? 

You need to be lucky. 

What we need to know? 

Who has the crystal ball? 

Just for fun, and since one of the contributing authors is a contributor to my own master’s thesis in exercise physiology (and he’ll surely get a kick out of my laundry list of laws), here are my ten commandments for sporting success. 

Thou shalt have no greater purpose than the striving for true success

A secure purpose drives us through any trial to the top of any mountain.

Remember training time and keep it sacred 

Consistent repetition is irreplaceable

Thou shall not covet another’s talent

Build on your own strengths instead of wishing for someone else’s

Honor your father and mother

Weird — this one actually appears in both the Old Testament and this column. Prudent people adhere to their parents’ advice.

You shall not kill your goals

Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up

You shall not steal another’s methods

It might not work for you like it did for them. Physiological principles are useful tools, not dogmatic laws.

Don’t commit overtraining

Skiing is good, more is better…. as long as you can recover from it.

Don’t bear false witness about your results

Lying never got anyone to the top.

Don’t make yourself an idol.

Humility is the sign of someone who truly knows their competitors don’t stand a chance.

Keep on striving. Keep on skiing.

Alright, the last one isn’t exactly exegetically derived from any particular text, but how else can I plug the Sederskier Podcast? If you want to know what each commandment is getting at, tune in to the fastest growing Nordic ski-specific show in all of Lake County.


The secret to skiing fast is finding an assistant wax tech who thinks you are the man you aspire to be.

Published by rsederquist

My name is Ryan Sederquist.  I am a man of many passions and dreams, and this website is the outlet for many of them. I am currently teaching 5th grade remotely in the Adams12 school district in Colorado. I have been an elementary music teacher in Alamosa, Colorado, as well as a 7-12 band director at Lake County High School in Leadville, Colorado. I am also in the final, final stages of acquiring my M.S. in Exercise Science from Adams State University. In 2018-2019, we spent a year in Presque Isle, Maine as I coached the UMPI Nordic ski team. I currently live in Leadville, Colorado with my wife Christie, a special education teacher, and our border collie-German shepherd mix, Ajee. Even though it is not my full-time job, ever since I was a child, I had the desire to do one of three things professionally - pro sports, writing about pro sports, or being a radio talk show host. This website is where I pretend to do the latter two, and when I'm out pretending to do the former, I listen to podcasts, think about topics, and pursue my wild dream of someday, at some event, in either running, biking, or skiing, wearing a team USA uniform. This website contains articles, podcasts, pictures, and journal entries that have to do with my passion and involvement in endurance sports. Our flagship project is the Seder Skier Podcast, which talks mostly about nordic skiing and attempts to interview influential individuals in the ski world. I also rant about the Big 4 sports, with a lean towards Minnesota teams (Vikings, Twins, Twolves, and MN Distance Running). I sometimes try to write Sports Illustrated like 'feature' articles about athletes as well. In addition to a focus on sports, you will find the occasional article or show that discusses the intersection of theology and society ...which is ...obviously everywhere. We place these in our Skieologians podcast. The heading at the top of my homepage reads, "Search for Truth. Play with purpose. Strive for success." It is the underlying theme for my coaching philosophy, which can be downloaded from this site. Basically, I'm always looking to search for the truth in my pursuit of knowledge, whether that is knowledge regarding the best methods for waxing skis, training a quarter miler, or defending my Christian apologetic. Searching implies a dedicated pursuit for knowledge, and that is what I'm about and what this site is about, even if it is simply for providing viewers with an accurate description of a product. Play with purpose has to do with living out our passions because they are fun. I ski because its fun. I play music and teach young kids because there is joy in it. This blog is about celebrating the joy and fun that inherently exists in the pursuit of excellence and in the activities themselves. Finally, strive for success is built on the principle that true success is the realization that we gave 100% effort to become the best that we could possible be. It requires 100% in preparation, competition, reflection, mental effort, etc. If something is worth doing, I believe it is worth doing with that level of effort. Someday, I hope to race the Visma Classics - the entire season, wear a Team USA singlet, and have a job that involves writing or talking about sports or theology all day. If you know of any body I can reach out to to help me accomplish these goals, please email me at

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