World Athletics Center

So before I left for Phoenix I set a goal of blogging once while down there and then quickly once I got back.  Needless to say that neither of those two things happened.

But now that things have slowed down here is what I can say.  It was an awesome week.  The Apprentice Coach program at the World Athletics Center is second to none.  It is definitely what you make of it and offers a much more hands on learning opportunity then most.  Coaches Pfaff, McMillan, and Behm are some of the best in the business and being able to see them in action on the track and on the tables was great.  There is just the right blend of track side learning along with the right amount of discussion based learning.  It should be noted though that our discussion based learning was fairly informal around the pool 🙂

One of the best parts though was that a number of Korean national team members were in attendance.  Given my love for the country that I lived in for almost four years it was great to see them in action, chat in Korean, and talk about the things that I miss, such as Korean food!  They had spent some serious time in Phoenix in preparations for their season which has a major focus of the Asian Games to be held in Incheon, Korea in September this year. They were headed back to Korea at the end of our week so I was quite lucky to have my schedule overlap with theirs.  I am quite certain that I will be heading back in November this year for a wedding so maybe I can meet up with some of them for lunch or dinner.

In the end it was an awesome week.  Staying with Dana and Tyler (speed and power coaches with the Canadian women’s Rugby 7’s program) was loads of fun and our discussions were also very insightful. Coming back to SJ was hard mostly because of the 30 degree drop in temperature but being on the track with my group has been good.  The coaching battery has been recharged, new books have been ordered, and a lot of my thoughts and ideas have been confirmed.  Are they all perfect – absolutely not – but coaching and learning are processes that never end.  So I continue to coach, study, learn, refine, adapt, change, and the cycle continues.

Korean National Team athletes and myself

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110m Hurdles 2012 Olympic Champion and World Record Holder 12.80s Aries Merritt and his coach Andreas Behm.

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Group warm up on 1st day

Rodeo with Tyler and Dana

Rodeo with Tyler and Dana

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Busy Week but WAC around the corner

Sometimes you just have those weeks where you can’t cram anything more in and it all just happens to be when you have something amazing on the horizon that makes you feel like you are back being a 5 year old on Christmas eve.

WAC banner

But I shouldn’t get ahead of myself in short here is a summary of this past week:

  • 1009 kilometres of driving (630 miles)
  • 4 6am practices with my HP group
  • 1 high school lunch hour practice
  • 1 TV show taping (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IW_hhI_pMo)
  • 1 AD meeting in Fredericton
  • 1 coaches meeting for UNB in Fredericton
  • 1 conference coaches meeting for AUS Track Coaches in Amherst
  • 1 AGM for SJTC in Saint John
  • 1 steak night fundraiser for the high school teams that I am working with for their trip to the Nike Grand Prix (http://www.highschoolgrandprix.ca)

This wasn’t normal by any means but it definitely wasn’t strange.  It was just a little nuts to have it all during the same week.  But there is some silver lining to it all.  As on Sunday I am headed down to Phoenix to spend a week at the World Athletics Centre (WAC).  Now as an athletics/coaching nerd I am always on the lookout for new educational materials and opportunities to learn, develop, and enhance my skills.  With names like Godina, Pfaff, McMillan, Behm, and others involved in the program it is a can’t miss right there.  So back in July 2013  I applied to be part of the World Athletics Centre Apprenticeship Program (http://worldathleticscenter.com/coaching/) and in October I got news that I had been selected to take part in the program but given my multiple coaching roles I had to wait until April 14-18.  So now here we are only a few days away and I am very, very excited.

I will definitely be blogging after and may even try to to get a post in mid way through.  If I had to make a prediction though I feel like my Sunday departure can’t come soon enough, the week is going to fly by, and when it is all said and done I will be left trying to figure out ways to head back ASAP.

WAC

WAC

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AC Indoor 2014

Victoria getting her bronze medal in the long jump

Victoria getting her bronze medal in the long jump

Back in March (14-16) was the first AC (Athletics Canada) Indoor Championships for youth and junior athletes.  While the weather wasn’t ideal in terms of getting there it wasn’t horrible and we ended up having a great time overall.  Only one athlete from my group ended up taking part and she came away with a bronze medal in the long jump with her third farthest jump ever 5.36m.  She had jumped 5.43m a few weeks before (February 8, 2014) in the beginning of February and 5.38m at last years Legion Nationals (August 9, 2013) which was a personal best and bronze medal performance. so I was very pleased with her differential to personal best (98.7%).  I am making a note to blog about this at a later date as it is a good topic.  That’s it for now though.  Lots of stuff to write about in the near future.

 

Very proud to take these shots.

Very proud to take these shots.

 

Making sure the medals are legit!

Making sure the medals are legit!

 

Writing notes for the wall of Five Guys.

Writing notes for the wall of Five Guys.