Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The Coaching Association of Canada, has teamed up with Campbell's Chunky to recognize great coaches. Athletes, if you have a coach (triathlon, swimming, running or any coach) who has had a positive impact on you and your training & racing, take a moment to nominate them at The nomination deadline is Jan 29th, 2009.

Happy New Year to everyone, and all the best in 2009.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


We're kicking off the 2009 season with a PTC Training Day on Sunday, January 4th.

If you've attended one of our last three training days, I already have your registration form, so you just need to e-mail me with "Jan 4th Training Day" in the header, to confirm your spot. I will send you a short reply confirming receipt if your e-mail, and confirmation of your registration. The fee for the training day is $20, as per usual.

If you haven't attended one of the last three PTC Training Days, you can e-mail me for the registration forms.

Further info on the training days can be found here.

Important Notes for the Jan 4th Training Day:

1) 10-12 YEAR OLDS: We will offer a cycling session for the 10-12 group, similar to the Nov 30th Training Day.

2) ADULT TRAINING: We will have a parent/adult group for this training day. Normally, registration for the adults would go through the UofG rec office, but since things are shut down right now, we'll have the adults submit the same registration form as the youth/juniors. For the Feb. 1st training day and beyond, registration for adults will be done through the UofG rec office.

3) PARENT SEMINAR: For those parents who couldn't make the Nov 30th Training Day, I'll offer a repeat of the parents seminar. We'll meet for 60-90mins, starting at 10:30am, to discuss youth development, and answer any questions you might have. There is no cost for this seminar, and no pre-registration required.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


A classic, completely unrelated to triathlon, but it came up in conversation this morning at the that's a good enough excuse for me.

Monday, December 22, 2008


From the Triathlon Canada website:

(Toronto, ON) Triathlon Canada is pleased to announce that former Olympic cyclist Kurt Innes has been named as High Performance Director. A 1992 Olympian and six-time national track cycling champion, Innes made a successful transition from athlete to coach, twice winning the Coaches Association of Canada Coaching Excellence Award (1998 & 1999) and has been an Olympic Team cycling coach on two occasions (Canada 2000, New Zealand 2004). Innes brings an expertise in athlete preparation, performance planning, coaching development and long-term athlete development to Triathlon Canada’s high performance program. Kurt joins Triathlon Canada in his new role effective January 19th, 2009 after completing his duties as Lead Performance Planner at the Canadian Sport Centre-Pacific in Kelowna, BC. He will be relocating to Victoria, BC and will be based out of the National Triathlon Centre - Victoria.


I had the opportunity to work with Kurt during my internship at the NTC in Victoria, and I'm looking forward to working with him again as our HP Director. Welcome aboard Kurt!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


....if our sport had this kind of exposure in Canada.

Bevan Docherty (NZL)

Vanessa Fernandes (POR)

Kris Gemmel (NZL)

Nicola Spirig (SUI)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Some more resources for coaches (and parents). These two articles appeared in a 2003 edition of the IAAF's New Studies in Athletics (vol 18, issue 3). I can't link directly to the articles, but this link will take you to the table of contents, where you can read, download and/or e-mail the articles. The articles focus on swimming and running, but are applicable to all youth sports programs. Coaches should consider if they are incorporating these elements into their programs. Likewise, parents should be able to identify these characteristics in their children's sport programs. NCCP-certified Competition Coaches (aka Comp Intro), will likely find these articles to be further evidence/support for the course content in Part 1 of the Comp Intro program. [NOTE: I'm not a big fan of the term "entrapment" in the second article, but it's only mentioned once (it was probably added for effect), and the intent of the rest of the article is certainly not to 'trap' talent.]

New Studies in Athletics (2003), Vol:18:3, 21-26
By: Suzie Tuffey Riewald

Each year, millions of children in the USA become involved in a variety of youth sport programmes. Unfortunately, each year approximately 35% subsequently withdraw from these programmes. While some athletes withdraw from one sport to ‘try out’ or specialize in another, others withdraw from sport completely. This situation has raised great concern within the sport federations and among those concerned with the health and well-being of the young athletes, especially if withdrawal is influenced by a negative sport experience or by factors that are amenable to change.


New Studies in Athletics (2003), Vol:18:3, 27-34
By: Lyle Sanderson

The challenge facing athletics today goes beyond talent identification. To assure the continued success of the sport strategies of TALENT ENTRAPMENT, that will get potential athletes involved and keep them involved, must be developed and implemented. Attracting large numbers of children to athletics is obviously important, but the failure to keep those that have been attracted involved through adolescence and early adulthood is the real problem in most nations and systems.


Happy reading.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008


A quick reminder of Training Day opportunities in December:


The Bytown Storm Triathlon Team has training days on Sat Dec. 13th for Juniors and Sun Dec. 14th for Youth.

Saturday Dec 13th
12 noon to 5:30pm
1 hour run/snowshoe, 1 hour strength,1 hour bike, 2 hour swim.
Open to maximum 12 athletes.
Cost $20 per day.

Sunday Dec 14th
9am to 2:30 pm
45 min run snowshoe, 1 hour strength, 1-1.5 hr bike, 1 hour swim.
Open to all athletes, maximum 20, three coaches per session.

Upcoming BYTOWN Training Weekends:
Jan 17/18
Feb 21/22
March 28/29
April 18/19


The Hamilton Hammerheads are offering a Training Day on Sunday December 21st.

Sunday, December 21

Time: 8AM – 3:30 PM

Swim: 8 – 9:30 AM
Swim session will include lots of work on technique and underwater video analysis

Run: 10 – 11:30
Run session will include special work on technique and drills.

Lunch: 11:30 – 12:30

Seminars(12:30 – 1:30):
We’ll split the group into a number of groups and spend some time on topics of interest to the group. (Please send in suggestions of topics if you have any.)

Circuit and Cycling: 1:30 – 3:30
Athletes need to bring their own windtrainers to the session. Emphasis will be placed on pedaling and spinning technique.

The cost for the training days will be $5 for Hammerhead athletes and $10 for non-Hammerhead athletes. OAT membership is required for all participants.

These sessions are probably best geared for children 10 years and older. We’ll be very careful to make sure we keep the training at an age-appropriate level for all the children.

Please drop me a line or give me a call if you’re planning to attend, or if you have any questions, at or (905) 973 0884.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Some resources for parents (and coaches) of young athletes, building on the parent seminar at the Training Day over the weekend:

For a quick summary of the basics, it's hard to beat USA Swimming's 10 Commandements for Swimming Parents.

For an excellent resource with more depth, download a copy of A Sport Guide for Parents, co-authored by former Triathlon Canada High Performance Director, and Beijing Olympic Team Leader, Dr. Tom Patrick.

Finally, I recommend that everyone read Fun and Games? Myths surrounding the role of youth sports in developing Olympic champions. This is a peer reviewed article, and a nice summary of the relevant research in the area. Usually, only the abstract is available, but the link above will lead you to the whole article. I suggest printing it or saving an electronic copy, as it's usually only available with a MEDLINE account, or by ordering it (price range $5 to $30) through a university library.

Some selected paragraphs from the article (emphasis added):

Not surprisingly, parents and families were perceived to play a critical role in the talent development process. Specifically, parents were very committed to their child and did such things as modelled an active lifestyle, exposed their child to different sports, transported their child, paid for lessons and equipment, attended games and practices, and provided considerable encouragement and unconditional support. While families clearly supported and encouraged participation, in most cases they exerted little pressure to win. Families also emphasised an optimistic belief in the young athletes' ability to succeed or a "can do" attitude.

Families also modelled hard work and discipline, a finding consistent with research by Bloom (1985), who showed that parents of highly successful individuals espoused or modelled values related to achievement such as hard work, success, being active and persistence. At the same time, parents emphasised the notion, "if you are going to do it, do it right". They also held high yet realistic expectations and standards for their children, and "stick to it" and "follow-through on commitments" attitudes.

Finally, in the early phase of these athletes' careers, the majority of the parents did not have winning or the Olympic Games as an objective of participation. Instead, they focused on their children's overall happiness, a balance of fun and development, and the general developmental benefits of sport involvement. While there was some emphasis on winning and success, these were not the predominant objectives of participation. At the same time, parents emphasised working hard, having a positive attitude and discipline. Throughout the middle and elite phases of the athletes' careers, many parents also played an important role in helping keep winning and success in perspective. Parents' roles also changed over time (from leader to follower over three phases), which supports the research of Cote (1999).

Monday, December 1, 2008


From Steve Fleck's blog:

This is a debate that is almost as old as the sport of triathlon. It goes on and on and on and . . . . . To get some idea of how long and deep the debate is, I would suggest to readers that they head over to the Slowtwich forum and do a search on "Drafting" and you will find likely hundreds of threads that do go on and on and on . . .

Full post here.