In late December, I found out that Triathlon Canada was planning on selecting two coaches from across the country to help coach and mentor under National Team Head Coach Jono Hall. With how my BC based junior development squad is growing and building excitement, I figured that this would be a great opportunity to learn from the best our country has to offer. I dusted off the resume and sent in my application to Eugene (our National High Performance Director). As luck would have it, they chose me and Coach Kyla from Montreal. What an honor! My coaching team and I have always done our own thing at Balance Point due to the unique perspective we take on training, but Eugene must have saw something in our program that he liked. I am so grateful for the opportunity!
I arrived in Scottsdale a few days before the camp to get set up and to get out for a rip on my brand-new Cannondale Super Six Evo. I’ve been questioning the need for disk brakes on a road bike, but now after riding this new whip, I am smitten… But that is a topic for another post.
The camp started on a Sunday with a team meeting after everyone arrived and we properly got to work. Coach Jono designed the schedule and the concepts and Kyla and I got to design some of the workouts and were on deck to lend feedback to the athletes.
Most days consisted of a morning swim session with lots of video analysis and skills training as well as a double afternoon run set or bike / run set. It was so great to be working side by side with Coach Jono, Eugene and Kyla. There are not very many opportunities for coaches to spend quality time on pedagogy, not to mention working with such proven professionals. I learned a ton from these people and it was so awesome to feel like I was an asset in their company. On a bonus note, we had the even rarer opportunity to have Coach Bobby McGee from USAT lead us on a few sessions. This is a coach with a vast depth of knowledge and more importantly, an ability to communicate that knowledge, which is incredible to see. I made sure to surgically attach myself to his shoulder while he coached the team. What an unbelievable resource!
Not only was I able to learn from the coaches, but also the athletes. It’s so inspiring to see a full squad of athletes that expect the most out of themselves and each other at every session. Every one of them was open minded and absorbed everything they could. What was so cool to see was the comradery, respect, and rapport that they had with each other and us coaches. The environment of excellence that Coach Jono has created was inspiring.
While at the camp, I was so please to meet Chris Lindsey from Own the Podium and our Triathlon Canada CEO Kim Van Bruggen. I was not expecting the admin arm of this machine to be present at a camp like this, but they were! Both were involved at the training sessions and eager the help how ever they could. I keep going on about how inspired I am, but its true here too! I was inspired by their involvement and in chatting with them I learned so much about how some of the back end of our sport works.
Maybe I should change the name of this post to “Honored, Grateful and Inspired”… I guess there is so much to express about this opportunity that a short title just doesn’t sum it up. Being recognized in this way from our national governing body made me feel like a leader in my role, and I intend on taking that very seriously. I can’t wait for what the future holds and I am looking forward to the opportunities coming down the pipe.