What is Orienteering


Orienteering Skills

Coaching Activities | Orienteering Skills Development | Links to O-Skills Websites | Useful Documents

Coaching Activities

Regular Club Activities

All club members young or old, beginner or expert, are encouraged to take advantage of the growing team of club coaches. Mastering navigational skills and improving your fitness can enhance both enjoyment and competition success.

Details on the Club Night page.

BOOST Programme – Best Opportunity for Orienteering Skills Training
Each member has their own performance objectives such as “to finish faster than 1.5 times the winner’s time” or “to compete at an elite level”. Each may have particular skills they wish to improve. The programme aims to offer opportunities to all these to boost their performances.

The BOOST programme encompasses building a full range of skills and fitness training into the above club nights. We plan to try a mix of other specific sessions such as short pre- and post-event sessions; longer Saturday morning skills sessions at various venues; whole day training on more challenging terrain outside the county, and possibly training associated with national events. There will also be opportunities for one-to-one coaching.

For dates of sessions see the Fixtures column on the right.

East Midlands Junior Squad

Juniors, 12 and over, achieving Light Green standard are eligible to be nominated to the Squad by the Coaching Co-ordinator. The squad holds about six sessions a year including 3 to 5 weekends outside of the Regional and occasionally overseas. Activities are subsidised by the EMOA.

Schools – Club coaches can also help schools introduce students to orienteering

Pre-event coaching – At some club events coaches are available to help beginners. If you need help, please ask the Organiser to point out the duty coach.

National & Regional Coaching Days
Each year a couple of sessions are held in different part of the country/ region and occasionally a group from the club attends.

Orienteering Skills Development

Step System summarised

The step system builds the skills of orienteering sequentially and applies them to appropriate levels of difficulty one step at a time. Moving up the steps before mastering the basic skills can lead to the development of poor habits and inconsistent navigational performance.

At each level, the orienteer should a) master the individual skills; b) apply techniques appropriately; c) adjust speed to deal with the technical difficulty; and e) use relocation techniques appropriate to the skill level. The skills are summarised below.

Step 1
Orientating the map to line features; understanding map colours and common symbols; holding the map with a thumb in place to maintain position; following line features (‘handrails’); making decisions at control points. (White)

Step 2
Checking the map at significant points between controls (‘check points’); making decisions at handrail junctions; using catching features; judging distance by sight (e.g. half way between). (Yellow)

Step 3
Cutting corners and aiming off; using catching features; using a compass to orientate the map and determine direction of travel; interpreting all map symbols to visualise the terrain; judging specific distances (e.g. 100m along track); simplifying legs with several check points; using attack points; making simple route choices; (Orange)

Step 4
Using rough compass directions and catching features on long legs and more precise bearings on short legs; judging distance by pacing; reading simple contour shapes; making route choices taking into account speed, distance and secure navigation. (Light green)

Step 5
Navigating using contours only and interpreting complex contour detail; managing long legs with few distinct check points. (Green, Blue, Brown)

Links to O-Skills Websites

Improving Your O-Skills – Norfolk Orienteering Club’s guide to a wide range of skills

Catching Features A computer game of orienteering. You can even have online competitions with other orienteers.

Attackpoint USA based web page which is themed on Performance training for Orienteering

Routegadget A page where you can look at some events and see the routes people took at the events

Fortnet Online quiz which will help you learn IOF pictorial descriptions

If you know of any websites or videos that are worth us linking to, please send the link to

Useful Documents

Race Analysis Form – A blank form for competitors to analyse a run leg-by-leg can be downloaded below in either pdf, doc or docx format.

pdf logo rtf icon MS Word icon Race Analysis Form


pdf logo Control Flow
pdf logo Relocation
Skills Audit

rtf icon MS Word icon Self assessment form