Friday, January 9, 2009


Ok, a mixed bag for the first post of 2009. Lots of odd & ends - hopefully there's something for everyone. You might need to refresh your coffee, or get a snack, to make it through this long post.

We kicked off the year with a great training day on Sunday - lots of energy, and a great group. I was actually feeling a little tired after a busy holiday season, but I left the training day feeling energized and ready to go. Thanks to coaches Alan Fairweather, Lorri Zagar and Lynda Magor for their leadership and guidance.

I found a pair of women's running shoes (size 8.5, I think) left in the activity room (aka 'the biking room') after the training day. If they belong to you, e-mail me to claim them. If I don't hear from anyone, I'll turn them over to the UofG lost and found.

The next training day is Sunday February 1st.

If you've received the latest edition of the Triathlon Magazine Canada, you already know that James Loaring was recognized by OAT as "Mr Triathlon" in recognition of his many contributions to the sport. Congrats James! Dorelle Hinton was also recognized as OAT's Junior Female Triathlete of the Year. Congrats Dorelle! Since I coach both Dorelle and James, I wasn't involved with the selection committee for these two categories, so it was a nice surprise. I would however like to make note of two corrections, since I believe in giving credit where credit is due:

1) The OAT announcement of award winners notes that Dorelle was the first Ontario finisher at Junior Nationals in Kelowna. In fact, Lindsay Anderson (Ottawa, ON), was the first Ontario athlete across the line, finishing 6th. Dorelle finished 8th overall (7th Canadian), 11 seconds behind Lindsay. Dorelle was the Ontario Provincial Champion for 2008, in addition to finishing 4th at the Canada Summer Games Test Event in Summerside, PEI.

2) Lindsay Anderson was recognized at OAT's Junior Female Duathlete of the year. It should be noted that Lindsay was the 2008 Duathlon Jr National Champ, defending her 2007 National Duathlon title.

Congrats to both Lindsay and Dorelle on their achievements.

The rest of the content for today's post relates in one way or another to coaching......

Triathlon Canada released an update outlining the current NCCP coaching pathways for triathlon.

An article for those who do the hardest job in the world in addition to coaching.

Some of you know that I'm a big fan of swim coach Richard Quick. Coach Neil Harvey was one of my mentor coaches during my time at the National Triathlon Centre in Victoria, and he introduced me to Richard Quick's Championship Winning Freestyle. This video forms the foundation of the technical swim work we do at the PTC, and aligns perfectly with the concept of "Core --> Co-ordination --> Components" which serves as the foundation for technical assessment and correction in the NCCP Comp Intro coaching certification. Coach Quick has an incredible resume, and presents a simple and straightforward way to approach freestyle. He has a great way of humbly presenting his ideas and opinions, encouraging coaches to weigh the ideas/evidence and come to their own conclusions. I highly recommend the video, but be prepared to reconsider drills like catch-up, finger drag, underwater recovery, and a bunch of other standard freestyle drills.

Here's a short video of coach Quick in action - athletes who have trained at the PTC or the NTC in Victoria will likely recognize some of the cues. (AQ & DH - where have we heard 'breathe every 3' before?)

Unfortunately, David Clinkard passed along the sad news that coach Quick is quite ill. You can send him a get well message here.

Not to end on a sad note, here are some other coaching resources that might be useful.

Here is Russell Mark, National Team Performance Support Director for USA Swimming, discussing breathing during freestyle. Similar to Richard Quick, Mark shares his knowledge freely, and starts with "In my opinion" - I have a lot of time for coaches who share their ideas and knowledge while allowing for differing opinions.

A high quality clip of Michael Phelps swimming from various angles.

Listen to the coach right at the beginning of the clip for the program philosophy, and the role of core/strength training. In my opinion, coach Robert Chapman gets it exactly right. If you visit the page with the clip, you will find that someone has written the entire workout in the comments section.

Happy New Year.

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