Tuesday, October 7, 2008


( Coach Neil Harvey, NTC Training Camp, Kona 2005)

A few odds & ends:

Quote from Don Burton, Head Coach of the Guelph Marlins and the UofG Gryphons swim teams: "When I was a young coach, I knew everything." We had a good laugh at that one.

I've added a link to some documents, on the right. Blogger doesn't allow document downloads directly from a blog post, but we can link to google docs, which is just as good.

First up, the OAT Coach List. This document will be posted on the OAT Website in the future, but I've posted it in the meantime. Several months ago, I e-mailed all NCCP Certified triathlon coaches in Ontario to ask if they wanted to be included on a published list of coaches. This is a list of the NCCP Certified coaches who replied with interest. This list was borne out of my frustration with people who advertise themselves as certified, when in fact they are not. To be fair, many coaches in this situation are simply the victim of administrative error; their attendance at NCCP courses was not properly entered into the NCCP database, so they are not officially certified, even though they should be. There are however, a few people out there who mistakenly believe that attending one NCCP workshop or seminar qualifies them as a certified coach. It doest not, but due to privacy laws, OAT (or TriCan, or the NCCP) cannot identify these 'coaches'. I recommend that athletes considering a new coach request a copy of the coach's NCCP transcript; it's a simple way of confirming certification. It's certainly true that certification doesn't automatically mean that a certified coach is better than an uncertified coach; there are many athletes who race successfully under the guidance of uncertified coaches. Certification does however give an objective indication of the professional development undertaken by the coach, and with the New NCCP Certification (NCCP Competition Coach) now available, certification means that the coach has been evaluated and found competent.

Ultimately, this issue isn't so much about the uncertified coaches who (perhaps unintentionally) are misrepresenting themselves, it's about the certified coaches who have actually done the work. If we value competent coaching, and the work it takes to become a certified coach, we should make sure that our certified coaches are recognized.

Before I end my rant, a few quick notes:

1) This is a list of certified coaches who wanted to be included in the list. If a coach is NOT on this list, it doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't certified, only that they haven't yet asked to be added to the list.

2) Certified coaches who want to be added to the list can e-mail me with their CC# and permission to review their transcript. I'll update the list quarterly, or as needed.

3) The OAT Coach List includes coaches who are certified as NCCP Level 1 coaches (the highest level ever offered for Triathlon), and/or NCCP Competition Coaches. The "Old NCCP" system of Levels is no longer offered. All future certified coaches will be certified under the New NCCP program as Community Coaches (designated as 'trained', not certified), or Competition Coaches (Intro, Development or High Performance). All current and future certified Competition Coaches are evaluated to determine coaching competency, while Community Coaches attend workshops, but are not evaluated (hence the term 'trained' rather than 'certified'). Level 1 coaches will not be 'grandfathered' into the new system; they must be evaluated to be certified.

4) To better understand the "New NCCP" certification, read this.

5) OAT does not endorse these coaches. We provide the list as a service to OAT members, and to the coaches who have completed their NCCP Certification.

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