A Challenging Dryland Training Camp – Pushing the Limits

Imagine that you are world-class alpine skier. Every year you get about sixty days of training on snow, where you fit in up to six runs a day of about 60-90 seconds each. That’s roughly six to ten minutes a day of skiing over sixty days. Doesn’t sound like much, does it?

But when you factor in the logistics, coordination, early wake-ups, travel and endless transporting of gear, those six runs add up to one very big, long day.

According to Matt Jordan, Director of Strength and Conditioning at CSI Calgary, training for alpine skiing is not the same as most other sports. “The days are long with a lot of logistics and travel, which can be very fatiguing. Skiers get tired in a very different way than the average athlete,” he explains.

That is why, when the alpine team centralizes for a month-long training camp every summer at CSI Calgary, they put in incredibly long, challenging and diverse days of training. “With this camp, we are trying to set them up with big, long days of training with a variety of activities to develop their work capacity to handle the demands of the sport,” says Jordan.

This is the sixth camp for Phil Brown, 25, a slalom skier and team veteran. He says he enjoys his time in Calgary every year. “There are long days and it’s very focused. But everybody here has bought in and are really excited about what we have going; there is a positive vibe.”

In addition to a lot of mornings in the gym weightlifting, there are on-ice edge and gliding sessions to practice slalom turns and outdoor field workouts focused on jumping, landing and general strength.

Perhaps the most unusual session is the one in the boxing ring. Every Thursday afternoon the team takes to throwing punches instead of carving turns. The goal is to learn skills that transfer to skiing, like eye-hand coordination, but where fitness improves too. “It’s a layered workout where physiological goals are met and the skill development is tied in,” says Jordan.

Add in aerobic power workouts on track bikes at the velodrome and you have several weeks of some very diverse training. “We are pushing them in different ways,” adds Jordan. For Brown, the training is great but it’s enjoyable too. “It’s not fun to be in the gym all the time so we’ve been incorporating a lot of different activities in the afternoon sessions, which help keep the atmosphere lighter,” he says.

All of these activities develop skills that skiers rely on when they are training and racing on snow. “The idea is to foster their ability to take in environmental information, process it and generate a motor response,” explains Jordan. “This will help them on the hill where conditions are always changing and they have to react appropriately.”

The overriding goal of the camp is to ensure the athletes understand that their performance is triangulated, where the coach, strength team, para-medical team and all other support staff are working together to find as many benefits they can to help the athlete perform. Ultimately this gives the athletes confidence that they are prepared for the season.

Preparation is key, and so is staying healthy. Jordan says that because alpine skiing is such a high-risk sport they also focus on training that will help them be fit, strong and able to move in a safe way to help avoid injury. “After a camp like this they feel like they are better athletes.”

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo by: Dave Holland @csicalgaryphoto

A Legacy of Knowledge

When asked the single most important piece of advice for a young up and coming strength coach, Director of Strength and Conditioning Matt Jordan does not hesitate. “Find good mentorship.”

With this in mind, Jordan and the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) started a program in 2002 to help develop aspiring strength coaches. Since then, Jordan estimates that over 100 students have gone through the practicum experience with at least one third having gone on to work in high performance sport.

The CSI Calgary places emphasis on leading in the fields of education and mentorship because, Jordan says, “Many call the CSI Calgary a brain trust. We are essentially a legacy of knowledge and expertise that accumulates with every Olympic quadrennial. I think we are best known for blending the art and science of strength and conditioning. The course and the internship reflect this unique perspective.”

Jordan is referring to the Strength and Conditioning Internship taking place from May-August 2016 and the Strength and Power Performance Course occurring May 5-7, 2016. Although the spring session of the course is currently full, Jordan is still accepting applications from internship candidates.

The entire team of CSI Calgary strength coaches is involved in the course, with each mentor (coach) bringing a unique perspective. The course encompasses the full spectrum of strength and conditioning skills, including an optional pre-course seminar that involves a detailed workshop in the strength and power lab. The seminar covers the team’s approach to neuromuscular profiling and assessment including the asymmetry testing protocol that has become a signature assessment for the CSI Calgary.

The internship aims to provide a well rounded experience which acts as a launching pad for future success. The CSI Calgary is looking for young strength coaches who see themselves working with top level athletes. Not only will the intern work with the head strength coaches to gain experience, they will also gain experience in the strength & power lab, on the floor and partaking in the team’s weekly meetings.

Ultimately, Matt Jordan believes that the team at the CSI Calgary takes pride in prioritizing education and mentorship initiatives because, “At the end of the day, the job of an institute is to share knowledge and develop expertise. This is a key part of our purpose map at the CSI Calgary. It is our job to synthesize the relevant information and experience that we have amassed over the years in our efforts to help put Canadians on the podium, and to teach it to coaches and aspiring sport science professionals. I love sharing knowledge in this way.”

To apply for the Strength and Conditioning Internship or register for future sessions of the Strength and Power Performance Course, visit www.csialberta.ca for information.

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary Leads By Example

The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSIC) is recognized for being world-leaders in many areas of athlete development. It is due to this recognition that the CSIC has become accustomed to facilitating opportunities to learn and share information with many representatives from other sport organizations both domestically and internationally. Dale Henwood, President and CEO of the CSIC, takes great pride in the Institute's ability to help other institutions further their sport education, saying that people request to come here because the CSIC has a "reputation for having great expertise, great programs, a history of impact, and repeated performance success."

Henwood knows that the benefits of hosting both local and international visitors, and sharing some of his program's world-leading concepts, are to the benefit of everyone involved, including the CSIC. As always, everything is done with the Canadian athletes' best interests in mind, as Henwood states, "I believe you should share, and when you share everyone gets better."

Topics that are discussed between organizations vary depending on each other's strengths. For instance, at the beginning of November, a group of five women from the Japan Sport Council spent time in Calgary learning about how the CSIC has contributed to incredible success for female athletes on the international stage. The answer was simple: equal opportunity. Women within the CSIC programs are privileged to all of the same benefits that their male counterparts are, something that is not always found in sports communities around the world. This mandate has shown in Canada's Olympic results, with women winning 14.5 out of 26 Canadian medals at the Vancouver 2010 Games, 12 out of 25 medals at the Sochi 2014 Games, and 10 out of 18 Canadian medals at the London 2012 games.

This coming week, another Japan Sport Council representative is coming to discuss the main points of hosting an Olympic Games in their home country. As Calgary is world-renowned for the success of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, the organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are eager to investigate how to make their own home Games a success, both for the visiting countries and especially for their own athletes.

Plans are also being set in motion for the CSIC to host two representatives from the Sports Centre Papendal in the Netherlands. Their inquires pertain to the world-leading life services programs that the CSIC is a part of, such as the newly launched Game Plan Program and the Elite Athlete Work Experience Program (EAWEP). Both life services programs have been put in place to assist athletes with long term goals both inside and outside of sport. For example, Game Plan's main goal as Canada's athlete career transition program is to support and empower high performance athletes to pursue excellence during and beyond their sporting careers. Supporting athletes under the pillars of career, education, and personal development, the program uses a customized approach to ensure that athletes' specific needs are being met. Programs such as Game Plan and the EAWEP are significant contributors to the success of the CSIC's athletes because they give them confidence during their athletic careers that they will be well prepared for their lives after sport, relieving much of the anxiety that comes with spending early adulthood pursing sports excellence.

Be sure to visit www.csialberta.ca to find out more about the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary's programs and services!

Stay in the loop!

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @bschussler
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto
Game Plan Program: @gameplandematch, www.mygameplan.ca

Coach Driven and Expert Led: Advanced Coaching Diploma

Behind every athletic performance is a dedicated, well-trained coach. A coach who has dedicated years of their life to discovering what makes their athletes tick while working to stay current in areas such as sport science, technique and nutrition, to name just a few.

Recognizing that coaches have busy and demanding schedules, the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary), on behalf of the Coaching Association of Canada, is excited to announce a new delivery format of the internationally recognized Advanced Coaching Diploma (ACD). Instructed by an array of veteran Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute (COPSI) Network experts, Program Director Jason Sjostrom says the new ACD will thrive as a “coach driven, expert led, peer enriched, and mentor supported structured learning community – this is 21st century adult learning at its best.”

Considered the pinnacle of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), the ACD features a unique new facilitated learning format that provides adaptability for coach-learners. Within the new framework there are four different ways that coaches can take part in the program: in person, participating through live webinars, via distance learning by watching a recording of the class, or as a “parachute” coach, coming in to the classroom for certain sessions and completing other aspects remotely. Sjostrom says, “The CSI Calgary is very excited about this blended learning opportunity that will allow coaches from Alberta and across Canada to be part of our program.”

The ACD curriculum’s four core themes (Coaching Leadership, Coaching Effectiveness, Performance Planning, and Training and Competition Readiness) are instructed by experienced professionals within the COPSI Network such as Dr. Cari Din, Olympic Silver Medallist and PhD in the field of Leadership Behaviour. The curriculum is science-based and results focused. ACD coaches’ learning can be applied and evaluated in a way that compliments the sport specific training available through the National Sport Organizations in Competition Development Advanced Gradation coaching contexts. The program also boasts access to mentorship from high-level coaches and support staff with backgrounds in a wide variety of sports. In combination, the curriculum and support afforded to the new ACD coach-learners will facilitate learning opportunities that are not experienced in a traditional classroom setting.

Similar programs are available across the COPSI Network in both languages. The ACD Program lead by CSI Ontario will focus on summer sports, offering most of their learning opportunities in the winter months. L’Institut national du sport du Québec will continue to offer the program for French speaking coaches with intake in June.

Applications are currently being accepted for the session hosted by CSI Calgary. The two-year program will begin in April and run until the end of November in 2016 and 2017. Current diploma candidates are primarily from winter sports including Alpine, Biathlon, and Curling. There are also coaches from summer sports such as Basketball and Wrestling. Coaches have applied from Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick.

Don’t miss your chance to continue pursuing excellence in sport! For more information, or to register, please visit www.csialberta.ca/advanced-coaching-diploma  or contact Program Director Jason Sjostrom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications will be accepted until February 15.

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Coaching and the desire to learn

In a country as vast as Canada, it can be challenging to offer accessibility to niche education programs centred in one location. In the case of the Advanced Coaching Diploma (ACD) offered by the CSI Calgary, the program has historically been limited to those living in Calgary or those willing to relocate.

Recently, the adoption of a new online platform called D2L (Desire2Learn) has helped to reduce the ACD’s dependency on geography and opened access to coaches across Canada. “We recognized that the program wasn’t meeting the needs of the students,” says Jason Sjostrom, Director of the Coaching Program at CSI Calgary. “D2L offers access to the ACD and makes coach education accessible. It’s not realistic for everyone to move to Calgary,” he adds.

D2L is an education space that houses all the features the ACD is looking for and offers a degree of collaboration, personalization and accessibility that was missing from the program. Sjostrom says that because coaches are not always in a major centre and their schedules don’t align with traditional learning environments, D2L is needed to make the ACD more accessible and flexible for students. “The future of adult learning is asynchronous learning,” he adds. “Coaches are in the field upwards of 30 hours a week and they need access to the program on their time.”

For Dr. Cari Din, ACD Cohort Mentor and Leadership & Coaching Effectiveness Expert, D2L has modernized the learning environment. “Now we can do exercises in real time with real situations,” she says. “In the past we would create simulations for the coaches to work through, which doesn’t have the same effect.” The program is not meant to replace other forms of education however, but rather to enhance. “We’re striking a fine balance,” says Din.

In addition to increased access, one key benefit of the D2L platform is collaboration. Users can share everything in one place, whether it be assignments, class content, discussion forums and even simple voice recordings. Lorelei St. Rose is a short track speed skating coach in Prince George, B.C. For her, D2L helps coaches avoid getting stuck in their own sport. “We collaborate and share, which opens other avenues for learning from each other,” she says.

Steven Hitchings, a swim coach at the Saskatoon Goldfins Swim Club, likes the ability to personalize everything in D2L to suit his needs. “I can personalize the platform and go back and put things together in a way that makes sense to me,” he explains. “I can organize everything the way I want and go back to it later for review.”

The program has greatly simplified the delivery of the program and provided a lot of opportunities to share work in a structured place and to reflect on that work. “It’s very inclusive and it promotes that reflection from a non-traditional angle,” says Din.

St. Rose says that while it’s a bit more work to be a part of the group as compared to being there in person, using the technology to be a part of the virtual classroom comes close.

The platform, which was implemented through a partnership between the CSI Calgary, CSI Ontario and the Coaching Association of Canada, ultimately broadens the coaching education environment and enhances the ability of dedicated and motivated coaches to improve their knowledge and skills.

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover

Coaching the Coaches

For Luc Tremblay, a Montreal-based strength and conditioning coach who recently attended the CSI Calgary Strength and Power Performance Course, the drive to excel at his work is fuelled by seeing his athletes progress. “I’ve always liked to see how effort produces results. What keeps my passion going is seeing that magic with younger athletes and showing the way of being.”

This is exactly the impact that Matt Jordan, Director of Strength and Conditioning at CSI Calgary and the mastermind behind the course, is hoping to achieve. Driven by a desire to perpetually seek excellence in his work with the CSI Calgary Strength and Conditioning group, the vision for the course is to offer the best opportunities for development to other coaches and trainers at every level. Says Jordan, “If you’re leading the community, then people want to come and learn from you. We’re really committed to getting better and making an impact on the strength and conditioning community.”

The course focuses on both science and coaching, with attendees coming from all backgrounds and this year, from other countries as well. According to Tremblay, the benefits of the course include the content of the lectures and the networking opportunities. But he says the biggest value came from being able to witness and observe CSI Calgary athletes in their element.

“I was very impressed by having athletes there in real time, on the floor. Seeing how they train, how they rest between sets. I can bring that back with me and share it with my athletes. I can teach them that they need to train like a pro,” says Tremblay.

The practise of transferring and sharing knowledge within the system serves to develop coaches at every stage, from grassroots to high performance. This ultimately leads to spawning the next generation of athletes who will consequently progress to the next levels already equipped with the skills, habits and attitudes necessary to excel in the elite margins of sport.

According to Tremblay, “Having all of us there in the course is a benefit to the CSI Calgary as well, to welcome future athletes that were trained well and the right way. By enabling us with content, knowledge and expertise to work with our own top level athletes, when they reach that next level CSI Calgary can start with an athlete that has the right foundation.”

In addition to the synergistic benefits achieved for both coaches and future CSI Calgary athletes, the course helps the CSI Calgary Strength and Conditioning group improve too. Jordan says, “The participants in the course help support development in our team, which in turn helps us offer higher quality programming and courses like this one.” With conviction, he adds, “I strongly believe that we deliver to the highest level athletes, we are extremely knowledgeable and good teachers, and we can deliver this to the community.”

This limitless cycle of sharing, developing, learning and improving ultimately leads to fulfilling a mutual goal of achieving excellence in sport, at every level, for every player in the game.

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

En route vers le succès avec la Smith School of Business

Nelson Mandela a dit : « L’éducation est l’outil le plus puissant que vous pouvez utiliser pour changer le monde ». L’éducation combinée aux qualités développées dans le sport de haute performance donne sans aucun doute une grande capacité à atteindre le succès dans la vie, et même de changer le monde.

Un partenariat de huit ans entre le Comité olympique canadien et la Smith School of Business de l’Université Queen’s a été conclu en 2015 pour faciliter l’obtention d’une éducation de calibre mondial.

Le programme est offert par l’intermédiaire de Plan de match (propulsé par Deloitte), le programme canadien de mieux-être total des athlètes permettant aux athlètes admissibles (athlètes olympiques, paralympiques et des équipes nationales) de demander des bourses pour suivre divers programmes à la Smith School of Business, y compris une maîtrise en administration des affaires. Plusieurs athlètes de l’ICS de Calgary ont obtenu des bourses d’études complètes pour la Smith School of Business grâce à ce programme, dont Nathaniel Miller (water polo) et Jessica Zelinka (athlétisme).

Elspeth Murray, professeure adjointe et doyenne associée pour les programmes de maîtrise en administration des affaires de la Smith School of Business, affirme que ce partenariat donne une excellente occasion au Comité olympique canadien et à la Smith School of Business d’ajouter de la valeur à leur organisation.

« Le comité olympique canadien et la Smith School of Business ont en commun une culture de haute performance », explique-t-elle. « Chaque partenaire a un approche unique et très efficace et partage ses pratiques gagnantes lors d’ateliers et de réseautage. »

La patineuse de vitesse sur longue piste Lauren McGuire est en transition après avoir passé sa vie dans le domaine du sport de haute performance et figure parmi les athlètes de l’ICS Calgary ayant récemment reçu une bourse d’études pour la Smith School of Business grâce au programme Plan de match, tout comme le sauteur à skis Eric Mitchell qui a gagné une bourse d’études pour le programme accéléré de maîtrise en administration des affaires.

Après deux années de frustration passées à supporter une hernie discale dans son dos, Lauren a réalisé qu’elle devait explorer les options qui s’offraient à elle en dehors du sport. Elle a entendu parler des bourses d’études de Plan de match à l’ICS Calgary et elle a été intriguée.

Lauren, titulaire d’un baccalauréat en sciences biologiques et en italien de l’Université de Calgary, commencera le programme d’un an de maîtrise en administration des affaires en janvier.

Même si elle n’avait jamais vraiment envisagé de faire une maîtrise en administration des affaires (elle voulait aller en médecine ou en médecine dentaire), une expérience de travail en tant que mentor de l’équipe nationale pour filles âgées de 8 à 15 ans participant à des sports d’hiver au sein du programme « Girls Only Athletic Leadership » de WinSport l’a amenée à réaliser qu’elle adorait le mentorat et aider les autres à atteindre leur plein potentiel.

« C’était très engageant d’aider ces filles à persévérer dans le sport, qu’elles soient athlétiques ou non », affirme-t-elle. Elle mentionne également que cette expérience l’a poussée à modifier ses plans. « J’ai compris que je ne me sentirais pas aussi engagée en faisant des chirurgies dans la bouche des gens », plaisante-t-elle.

Elle estime que son engagement à tirer profiter au maximum des ateliers sur les compétences de vie offerts aux athlètes de l’ICS Calgary (comme apprendre à parler au public et l’autopromotion) lui a permis de développer des compétences nécessaires pour le programme de maîtrise en administration des affaires de la Smith School of Business. « Un petit investissement de temps au fil des années m’a permis de bâtir un bon curriculum vitæ, » dit-elle. « Ils cherchaient des gens ayant mes compétences et tout s’est passé très vite ».

Elle affirme que les athlètes de haut niveau possèdent plusieurs des caractéristiques que la Smith School of Business recherche chez ses élèves. « Ils ont des compétences en leadership, sont déterminés, savent collaborer et sont persévérants, » dit-elle. « Nous savons aussi que ces athlètes seront réceptifs à notre approche d’apprentissage en équipe. Ils savent comment contribuer à une équipe de haut niveau et seront un atout dans tous nos programmes. »

Lauren s’intéresse surtout au domaine du développement organisationnel et à l’amélioration des environnements de travail d’équipe dans les entreprises et au sein des ressources humaines. Elle affirme être impatiente de travailler avec des étudiants qui partagent ses idées au sein du programme de maîtrise en administration des affaires. « Je suis heureuse et reconnaissante d’avoir l’occasion de passer d’une super équipe à une autre, » dit-elle.

Dans le cadre du partenariat stratégique de huit ans, jusqu’à 1 200 athlètes de Plan de match sont admissibles à une bourse d’études dans 11 programmes différents. Au cours des deux ans écoulés depuis l’annonce du partenariat, 11 athlètes canadiens ont joint les rangs des diplômés de la Smith School of Business. De plus, 49 athlètes sont actuellement inscrits dans des programmes de maîtrise.

Les bourses d’études couvrent tous les frais des programmes à temps plein de Queen’s de maîtrise en administration des affaires, de maîtrise en administration des affaires accéléré, de la MBA pour cadres, de la MBA pour cadres américains, de la maîtrise en entrepreneuriat et en innovation, de la maîtrise en finances à Toronto, de la maîtrise en gestion de l’intelligence artificielle, du diplôme universitaire supérieur en affaires, du certificat en affaires et de la formation pour cadres.

Les demandes peuvent être envoyées à Plan de match à l’adresse https://www.mygameplan.ca/resources/education . *Les demandeurs ne recevront pas tous une bourse.

Institut canadien du sport de calgary: @csicalgary
Rédigé par Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo crédit: Dave Holland @csicalgaryphoto

Erdman to Receive Honours

The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSIC) is proud to announce that Kelly Anne Erdman will be awarded the 2015 Dietitians of Canada Ryley Jeffs Memorial Lecture Award. Erdman is being recognized for her passion and dedication as a registered dietitian. Her career as a Performance Dietitian began 28 years ago at the Canadian Sport Institute's inception.

Erdman will receive the honours at the Dietitians of Canada's annual conference in Quebec City on June 6. This award is given to individuals who have shown vision and pioneering spirit in their field. Erdman fits the criteria of exemplifying "the ideals of dedication to the profession and has a proven ability to chart new directions in the field of dietetics." As an award recipient, she has been asked to give a forty-minute presentation inspiring the audience to contribute to their respective professions through extraordinary work.

To describe Erdman as a pioneer in the field of Sports Nutrition is an understatement. Erdman has authored 7 peer-reviewed journal articles and was the first dietitian to research the supplementation habits and dietary intakes of Canadian athletes. Her passion for sport nutrition is grounded in her own experiences as a high performance athlete. Erdman was a member of the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Team as a track cyclist. She has worked with a wide variety of sports at the CSIC throughout her career, including the 4-time Olympic Gold Medallist Women's Hockey Team.

Erdman's involvement has been integral to the continued advancements within the CSIC. She has been a driving force in keeping the Institute and its athletes world-leading, helping to develop the popular Fuel For Gold menus, the curriculum for the National Coaching Program, sponsorships for supplements and food products, and the third-party testing of athlete supplements. Her ingenuity has also been integral to athletic communities across the country. This has been demonstrated through her work with a variety of organizations such as the Calgary Flames, whose game day nutrition plans were written by Erdman. She has also done extensive writing for several different groups such as coach.ca and the Sport Medicine Council of Alberta.

The CSIC and its athletes are proud to have an asset such as Kelly Anne Erdman on their team. Her life-long commitment to the CSIC and support of high performance athletes has resulted in research derived knowledge and athlete medals. For these reasons, the Ryley Jeffs Memorial Lecture Award could not be going to a more deserving candidate.

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Eyes on the Winter Youth Olympic Games

Canadians have an upcoming group of athletes to watch for in the near future: the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Team. The team is already en route to the Athletes’ Village in Lillehammer, Norway where they will compete from February 12-21.

The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) will be well represented at the YOG. CSI Calgary athlete alumnus Eric Mitchell, a ski jumper who competed at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, has been named as a Games Young Ambassador. As a Young Ambassador, Mitchell’s role is to live by the Olympic values while inspiring the athletes to get the most out of their Games experience.

NextGen Luge athlete Brooke Apshkrum is also part of the YOG delegation. Apshkrum is currently in Winterburg, Germany training with CSI Calgary Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Lane. Apshkrum is one of nine YOG athletes who call Alberta home. Lane says, “I'm really excited for Brooke and the rest of our Luge team to apply the skills they developed in the summer months while preparing for this opportunity. The culture of excellence that we have developed at the CSI Calgary with off-ice training has undoubtedly played a role in Brooke's approach to training on the ice as well. I'm proud of her and excited to see where this experience leads her in the future.”

Adding to the list of CSI Calgary representatives, recent Advanced Coaching Diploma (ACD) graduate Lucas McGurk has been named the Head Coach of the YOG Biathlon team. A former cross country ski racer, McGurk retired from racing in 2010. He furthered his knowledge through the multi-sport theory classes at the National Coaching Certification Program and then continued into the ACD. Although this will be his first major Games, McGurk was chosen as the team’s Head Coach through a selection process where he says, “Having the ACD helped me stand out amongst the candidates. This is an awesome opportunity.”

As for his experience with the ACD program, McGurk feels that it was a great fit for him, saying he is, “Always looking for new information and new ways of doing things. It was the start of a clear path for me in coaching. I was very fortunate to meet several high level coaches in a variety of sports and we had a lot of cross pollination of ideas. The other coach-learners were amazing. You are learning from the teachers but you are also learning from your peers.”

The CSI Calgary is represented in Norway by leaders, coaches and athletes. Don’t forget to cheer on our young Canadian competitors as they take on the world at the Youth Olympic Games! Be sure to visit http://www.lillehammer2016.com for up-to-date results.


ACD application reminder

The CSI Calgary’s next ACD session begins in April 2016. Registrations are being accepted until February 15. To register, visit www.csialberta.ca/advanced-coaching-diploma  or contact Program Director Jason Sjostrom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Kelly Anne Erdman sera honorée

L'Institut canadien du sport de Calgary (ICSC) est fier d'annoncer que Kelly Anne Erdman recevra le Prix de la Conférence commémorative Ryley-Jeffs 2015 des Diététistes du Canada. Mme Erdman est reconnue pour sa passion et son dévouement à titre de diététiste. Sa carrière de diététiste en nutrition sportive a commencé il y a 28 ans à la création de l'Institut canadien du sport.

Mme Erdman recevra ce prix le 6 juin à la conférence annuelle des Diététistes du Canada, à Québec. Ce prix est remis aux personnes qui ont fait preuve de vision et d'innovation dans leur domaine. Mme Erdman incarne en effet les « idéaux de dévouement à la profession et a démontré sa capacité à innover dans le domaine de la diététique. » En tant que gagnante du prix, on lui a demandé de faire une présentation de 40 minutes pour inspirer les gens de l'auditoire à contribuer à leurs professions respectives grâce à un travail extraordinaire.

Qualifier Mme Erdman de pionnière en nutrition sportive est un euphémisme. Elle est l'auteure de sept articles évalués par les pairs et a été la première diététiste à mener des recherches sur les habitudes de supplémentation et l'apport alimentaire des athlètes canadiens. Sa passion pour la nutrition sportive est née de sa propre expérience d'athlète de haut niveau. Mme Erdman a participé aux Jeux olympiques de 1992 à Barcelone dans l'équipe de cyclisme sur piste. Au cours de sa carrière à l'ICSC, elle a travaillé avec des athlètes d'un large éventail de sports, dont l'équipe féminine de hockey médaillée d'or olympique à quatre reprises.

L'engagement de Mme Erdman a été essentiel à l'évolution continue de l'ICSC. Elle a été l'élément moteur pour maintenir l'Institut et ses athlètes à un niveau digne des meilleurs du monde, participant à la création des menus Fuel For Gold et du programme d'entraîneurs nationaux, à l'obtention de commandites pour des suppléments et des produits alimentaires et à la mise en place de tests des suppléments des athlètes par des tiers. Son ingéniosité a aussi été essentielle aux communautés sportives de tout le pays. Son travail avec diverses organisations, comme les Flames de Calgary, pour qui elle a conçu des plans nutritionnels pour les jours de match, en est la preuve. Elle a également effectué beaucoup de rédaction pour plusieurs groupes différents, dont le site coach.ca et le Sport Medicine Council of Alberta.

L'ICSC et ses athlètes sont fiers de compter sur un atout comme Kelly Anne Erdman. Son engagement permanent envers l'ICSC et son soutien des athlètes de haut niveau se sont traduits par des connaissances issues de la recherche et des médailles. Pour toutes ces raisons, Mme Erdman est le seul choix logique pour remporter le Prix de la Conférence commémorative Ryley-Jeffs.

Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary
Rédigé par Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler
Photo de Dave Holland: @CSICalgaryPhoto

Kirsti Lay and Allison Beveridge Start the Cycling Season with World Cup Silver

The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary’s (CSIC) Athlete Development Project achieved its first international success on November 8 when Kirsti Lay won a silver medal at World Cup #1 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Lay joined the 2014 World Championship silver medalists to start off the season after being a competitive track cyclist for only two years.

Lay, a former speed skater, was forced to retire from skating in 2012 due to injury problems. Knowing that speed skaters have a long history of moving successfully to the velodrome, CSIC Athlete Development Manager Paula Jardine approached her about transferring her skills to the bike through the Athlete Development Project. The program is an initiative of the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary whose objective is to identify and fast track the development of targeted athletes into national team programs.

Lay is grateful for the opportunity to accelerate her progression as an elite athlete in another sport, saying, “Being a part of the CSIC’s development program really gave me the first step into track cycling and allowed me to see my potential in this sport. Under the guidance of Dr. David Smith, Director of Sport Science, coach Phil Abbott, and the entire sport science lab, I had a successful transition from speed skating. They identified my cycling weaknesses and continually tested and monitored my training to give me the best chance of performance. Without them, I would never have tried cycling."

CSIC is pleased to have more representation on the medal winning cycling team than their Athlete Development Project athlete. Lay joinedanother CSIC rider, Allison Beveridge, to team up with veteran track team members Stephanie Roorda and Jasmin Glaesser.

Despite being just 21-years-old, Beveridge has been a CSIC athlete for five years and has both World Cup and World Championship medals to her credit. She knows how fortunate she is to have grown up in a city where she has the opportunity to work with the Canadian Sport Institute, saying the “CSI has helped me over the past five years to provide me with a training environment in Calgary, a city that is not always ideal for riding. The services they offer have helped me make the jump onto the elite national team and continue to help me develop as a rider and athlete. Recently I have started training with a strength coach out of the CSIC that has helped me become a more balanced athlete both on and off the bike.”

The team’s next stop is World Cup #2 in London, England at the beginning of December, while their major focus for the season is on winning another medal at the World Championships in Paris in February.

To find out more on the Athlete Development Project please contact Paula Jardine, Athlete Development Manager, at (403) 819-1960.

Stay in the loop!

Writer Brittany Schussler: @bschussler
Photo Credit: Dave Holland @csicalgaryphoto
Kirsti Lay: @layk88
Allison Beveridge: @Not_Alli_Bev

Kirsti Lay et Allison Beveridge amorcent la saison en raflant l’argent à la Coupe du monde de cyclisme

Le projet de perfectionnement des athlètes de l'Institut canadien du sport de Calgary (CSIC) a connu son premier succès international le 8 novembre. Kirsti Lay a en effet remporté une médaille d'argent à la première manche de la Coupe du monde à Guadalajara au Mexique. Lay s'est jointe aux médaillées d'argent des Championnats du monde de 2014 pour amorcer la saison après être devenue cycliste sur piste de compétition depuis seulement deux ans.

Ancienne patineuse de vitesse, Lay a été forcée à la retraite en 2012 à cause de blessures. Sachant que les patineuses de vitesse passent souvent aisément au vélodrome avec succès, Paula Jardine, directrice du perfectionnement des athlètes de l'ICSC, a suggéré à Lay de transférer ses aptitudes du patinage au vélo grâce au projet de perfectionnement des athlètes. Le programme, initiative de l'Institut canadien du sport de Calgary, vise à dénicher des athlètes ayant le profil approprié et à en accélérer le perfectionnement au sein des programmes des équipes nationales.

L’institut canadien du sport de Calgary prêche par l’exemple

L'institut canadien du sport de Calgary (ICSC) est reconnu pour son excellence dans plusieurs domaines du développement des athlètes. C'est en raison de cette reconnaissance que l'ICSC s'est habitué à faciliter les occasions d'apprendre et d'échanger des renseignements avec de nombreux représentants d'autres organismes de sports, tant à l'échelle nationale qu'internationale. Dale Henwood, président et directeur général de l'ICSC, tire une grande fierté de la capacité de l'Institut à aider les autres institutions à faire progresser leur éducation sportive. Il mentionne que les gens demandent à venir à l'ICSC parce qu'il est « réputé pour posséder une excellente expertise, d'excellents programmes, un passé influent et des réussites répétées en matière de performance ».

More Than One Way to Support an Olympic Dream

Career Management, which is part of Game Plan, aims to help athletes explore and engage in different career paths. The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) takes it a step further by directly helping current and retired Olympic, Paralympic, and National Team athletes find work experiences that are flexible and purposeful.

Cara Button, Director, Stakeholders Relations at the CSI Calgary, has been instrumental in the implementation of Game Plan, a program that ensures athletes are well prepared for life beyond their sport.

Strongly believing that part of being prepared is having confidence in the workplace, she discussed the opportunity to provide a more meaningful experience to athletes by offering something different than the typical sponsorship package with Christoph Faig, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Calgary based software development company aclaro softworks.

Faig jumped at the chance, and team aclaro currently sponsors individual athletes directly. As part of the sponsorship program, they offer the ‘team aclaro’ athletes the opportunity for part-time work experience. The team is comprised of skeleton athlete Micaela Widmer, biathlete Christian Gow, biathlete Scott Gow, speed skater Gilmore Junio, and track cyclist Monique Sullivan.

“We are not a huge company, and you don’t need to be to hire athletes and to have an impact,” says Faig. “Offering employment to athletes has not been charity for aclaro – we have benefitted hugely from having athletes at our company.”

Skeleton athlete Sarah Reid was sponsored by aclaro for the 2013/2014 season. Forced to take the 2014/2015 season off due to injury, Reid began working in the aclaro office. Blogging about the value the employment program provided her with, Reid writes, “It can be a pretty frightening thing to take that big step off of the ice and into the office. I had no post-secondary education, no work experience, and a very short resume. What I did have though, what we [athletes] all have, is an abundance of very unique life experiences to bring to the table. Through sport we have learned what it means to work as a team. To succeed and to fail. To persevere. To accept criticism and to commit to something.”

As aclaro has shown, there are many ways that a company can invest in an athlete’s Olympic dream. Faig insists that the key to success when employing athletes is flexibility with hours and using the resources available through the CSI Calgary to ensure the correct athlete-company match is made.

If your company is interested in gaining a valuable employee while helping an athlete prepare for their life beyond sport, please contact Cara Button at 403-220-8184 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Further information and resources can be found at www.csialberta.ca/game-plan.

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler

Onwards and Upwards with the Smith School of Business

Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Combine education with the qualities gained in high-performance sport and the result is no doubt a profound capacity to achieve great success in life, and even change the world.

Facilitating the acquisition of a world-class education is an eight-year partnership established in 2015 between the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.

The program is offered through Game Plan, powered by Deloitte, Canada’s total athlete wellness program, where eligible athletes (Olympians, Paralympians and National Team Athletes) can apply for scholarships to pursue a number of programs at Smith, including an MBA. Several CSI Calgary athletes have earned full ride scholarships at Smith through the program, like Nathaniel Miller (water polo) and Jessica Zelinka (athletics).

Elspeth Murray, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of MBA and Masters Programs at the Smith School of Business, says the partnership provides a great opportunity for the COC and Smith to add value to each other’s organizations.

“Both the COC and Smith share a high-performance coaching culture,” she explains. “Each partner brings a unique and highly successful approach to coaching to the partnership, sharing best practices through workshops and networking.”

Long Track speed skater Lauren McGuire is transitioning out of a lifetime in high-performance sport and is one of the latest CSI Calgary athletes to be awarded a scholarship at the Smith School of Business via the Game Plan program, along with ski jumper Eric Mitchell, who won a scholarship to the Accelerated MBA program.

After two frustrating years of dealing with a herniated disc in her back, McGuire realized she needed to explore her options outside of sport. She learned about the Game Plan scholarships at Smith through CSI Calgary and her curiosity was piqued.

McGuire, who has an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences and Italian from the University of Calgary, will begin the one-year MBA program in January.

Although she had never really considered pursuing an MBA – she initially wanted to pursue either medicine or dentistry – it was an experience working as a national team mentor for girls aged 8-15 in winter sport through the Girls Only Athletic Leadership program at WinSport that made her realize she was passionate about mentorship and helping others achieve their potential.

“It was super empowering to help these girls pursue sport, whether they were athletic or not,” affirms McGuire. She says the experience changed the direction she wanted to take. “I realized I wasn’t going to get this feeling doing surgery in people’s mouths,” she laughs.

McGuire credits her commitment to taking full advantage of the life skills workshops available to CSI Calgary athletes (like public speaking and self-marketing) with building her skillset with skills that programs like the MBA at Smith are looking for. “A small investment of time over the years accumulated to a very strong resumé,” says McGuire. “They were looking for people with my skills and everything lined up.”

Murray says that high-level athletes possess many of the characteristics that Smith looks for in students. “They have skills in leadership, determination, collaboration, resilience,” she says. “We also know that these athletes will thrive in our team-based approach to learning. They “get” how to contribute to a high-performance team and have and will continue to be an asset to all our programs.”

McGuire is most interested in the field of organizational development and enhancing team environments in business and human resources. She says is looking forward to working with like-minded students in the MBA program. “I’m thrilled and grateful to have the opportunity to step from one great team to another great team,” she says.

As part of the eight-year strategic partnership, up to 1,200 Game Plan athletes are eligible for scholarships across 11 different programs. In the two years since the partnership was announced, 11 Canadian athletes have joined the Smith alumni family. Another 49 are currently enrolled in graduate programs.

Scholarships cover all program fees associated with the full-time Queen’s MBA program, Accelerated MBA, Executive MBA, Executive MBA Americas, Master of Management Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Master of Finance – Toronto, Master of International Business, Master of Management Analytics, Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence, Graduate Diploma in Business, Certificate in Business and Executive Education offerings.

Applications can be made through Game Plan, https://www.mygameplan.ca/resources/education. * Not all applicants receive a scholarship

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo by: Dave Holland @csicalgaryphoto

Post Secondary Education Support For Athletes

Athletes at the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSIC) are well prepared for life after sport thanks to tuition support provided by the Sport Canada Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) and services provided by the CSIC.

Sport Canada supports carded athletes in Calgary by paying for up to $5000 in education fees annually. The AAP contributes to athletes' "pursuit of excellence" and helps Canadian athletes combine their sport and academics. This program also allows athletes to bank their tuition support for use once their athletic careers are completed thus eliminating the pressure to take full time classes while they are in the midst of training and competing.

The Future of Triathlon: Emily Wagner

Emily Wagner did not always have her heart set on becoming a triathlete. The 18-year-old Calgarian grew up playing a wide range of community sports including ringette, soccer, and gymnastics. However, it was her prowess in competitive swimming and cross country running that prompted someone to suggest she test her abilities in a triathlon at the age of fifteen.

Three years later, the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) athlete has been named Junior Triathlete of the Year. Wagner admits, “I really was not expecting it! There were a lot of other strong junior triathletes who had a great year as well.”

Wagner has been supported by the CSI Calgary since September 2013, only three months after she competed in her first triathlon. She was seen as an athlete with great potential by the CSI Calgary’s Lead of Athlete Development Paula Jardine and became part of the Talent Lab program. Wagner says the program has been “a great platform that provided me with the resources necessary to initiate my triathlon career. The services have been a great help to my success thus far. Testing in the Sport Performance Laboratory has helped my training, giving me a base line to work with and improve on throughout the season while allowing exercise physiologists to monitor and plan my program.”

Jardine notes, "The CSI Calgary recognized Emily's potential right away and we have been working with her since she started her triathlon career to build up her structural tolerance for training. Many good female triathletes are prone to overtraining injuries and fail to sustain their performances. We put in place a long term program for Emily designed to help her make the transition from Junior athlete to Olympian by making her a more resilient athlete."

Funding provided by B2Ten helped to support the CSI Calgary Talent Lab Project in 2015. Thanks in part to their support, up and coming athletes such as Wagner have had access to strength training and physiology support, as well as medical and paramedical services through the Talent Lab. For Wagner, meeting with Registered Dietitian Kelly Drager about questions or concerns regarding her diet, working on strength training with coach Anna Aylwin, and paramedical treatment with Shayne Hutchins have been crucial.

Wagner says, “The services provided from the CSI Calgary have allowed me to grow and develop as an athlete.” Moving forward, Wagner is looking to improve on her eighth place result from last year’s Junior World Championship by finishing in the top five in Cozumel, Mexico. Next season, she will advance to the Elite category and begin training for the 2020 Olympic Games.

For more information on the Talent Lab Project, please contact Paula Jardine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary
Rédigé par Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler
Photo de Dave Holland: @CSICalgaryPhoto

Copyright © 2013 Canadian Sport Institute Calgary | All Rights Reserved | Photo Credit : Dave Holland