Advanced Coaching Diploma Delivers Quality Learning

Everyone knows that athletes work hard to improve, to achieve their goals, to win – it’s what they do and it’s why they are great. A lesser-known but equally driven cohort doing the same thing are athletes’ coaches. Quality coaches do not stand idly by while their athletes move forward - they travel alongside them, pursuing excellence in their own craft: the art and science of sport coaching. The world’s best learn from reflecting on their experiences, their athletes, peers and learning from sport scientists.

Mike Stastook, Head Coach of the WinSport Academy Slopestyle and Big Air team, is one of these coaches who has enjoyed the successes of his athletes over the years, but made a decision to further challenge himself and find ways to make his coaching even more effective. Enrolling in the Advanced Coaching Diploma (ACD) offered at the CSI Calgary, Mike revamped his ”toolbox” and is seeing results. “The things I’ve started implementing since enrolling in the ACD are making their way to the podium,” says Stastook. “Last season was the best I’ve had professionally.”

The ACD is a two-year competency-based program combining classroom study and experiential learning. The mission of the program is to develop world-class coaches who are capable of preparing athletes for podium performances in sport and life.

According to Dr. Cari Din, the ACD is designed and delivered to align with adult learning best practices, “We have translated the most current research on how the world’s best coaches learn into a dynamic learning environment for coaches who are committed to growing.” Din is the Cohort Mentor as well as the Leadership and Coaching Effectiveness Expert in the Calgary-based ACD. She says, “Coaches in our program are tasked with applying evidence-based best practice and theory from class in their unique sport context.”

The ACD also focuses on peer enriched learning. “A lot of discussion-based learning occurs in our structured learning community - coaches share, challenge and grow from each other’s experiences and unique perspectives.” Din believes that the multi-sport nature of the program adds to the richness of coach learning, “The coaches are enlivened by the diversity of the cohort – they are exposed repeatedly to ideas and practices that are totally out of their comfort zone. We have a lively and vivid culture that promotes curiosity, connection and deep understanding, it is a privilege to be part of a learning environment that is so impactful to the learners.”

Indeed, Stastook knows that the success he’s had with his team at the WinSport Academy comes from the hard work he has put in to becoming a better coach. He credits the ACD with helping him chart a new path. “When you take an athlete, that at the beginning of the year started out ranking 172nd nationally and ended up 18th in the country, you know what you’re doing works, says Stastook. “If you feel your coaching has vastly improved since starting a program like this, how can it not benefit your athletes? And in the end that’s the reason you’re doing it.”

The Advanced Coaching Diploma is a coach driven, expert led, peer enriched and mentor supported structured learning community that has been running for more than 22 years through CSI Calgary. For more information on the program contact Jason Sjostrom at Cette adresse courriel est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser..

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

Aspiring Coaches raise their game

No matter where a coach is along in their career, the Advanced Coaching Diploma (ACD) is the right destination for further professional development. Whether at a high-performing club, Canada Games or National Team level, the ACD offers a coach-driven, expert-led, peer-enriched and mentor-supported coach education program.

As a result, the ACD is comprised of a broad cross-section of coaches at various stages of development, from club to national team, and everything in between. That diversity, in both focus and competence, is one of the things that sets the ACD apart and provides each cohort with a rich and comprehensive learning experience.

“The idea is to make the content relevant for each coaching context,” explains Jason Sjostrom, CSI Calgary Director of Coaching. “If the ACD reaches a coach at the right stage of their development, whether that be a Canada Games level coach or a National Team coach, then we are the right destination for that coach.”

Shayne Hutchins, CSI Calgary ParaMedical Lead and ACD Facilitator, has been teaching Injury Prevention and Risk Management for the ACD for two years. This particular module is focused on teaching a system to enable coaches to work closely with the paramedical and strength and conditioning teams to engineer healthy athletes capable of withstanding the demands of their sport.

“What we often see, at any level, is that injury happens when the athlete can’t respond to the load of the program,” says Hutchins. “To correct the training error, there needs to be a change in exercise and or the addition of therapy to the program.” The goal is to provide the coaches with the tools and best practices necessary to prevent and manage injuries with the Integrated Support Team (IST) by their side.

Hutchins says that no matter what level the coaches are at, this particular approach is a novel one. He teaches the same methodology to everyone so that the principles of the system can be implemented by any coach. It’s particularly beneficial when coaches within the NextGen development pathway learn how to prevent and manage injuries, because their athletes will arrive at the national team with a good foundation for long-term health.

The result of this kind of teaching is that it provides the coach context referred to by Sjostrom – every coach can take what they’ve learned and apply it to their particular situation and then come back to share the outcome with their classmates. Says Sjostrom, “We support everyone’s individual development and collectively that enriches the learning experience.”

Registration for the Advanced Coaching Diploma is now open. Successful candidates will be chosen in January 2019, and the program begins in April 2019. This competency-based adult learning experience is offered both in person and online through the CSI Calgary. The ACD program is available across the COPSI Network in both French and English.

For more information and to apply, click here

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

C’est parfois l’entraîneur qu’il faut féliciter

Un des meilleurs conseils que Phil Abbott, entraîneur de cyclisme de l’ICS Calgary a jamais reçus est : « ne te place jamais dans la photo avec les athlètes! » Il a pris au sérieux ces mots qui ont guidé sa philosophie de créer un environnement d’entraînement centré sur l’athlète qui fait en sorte qu’il n’est pas le centre de l’attention quand ses protégés réussissent.

« C’est l’athlète qui doit être au centre, pas l’entraîneur », souligne Abbott, aussi entraîneur-chef de l’Alberta Bicycle Association. Sauf parfois, comme c’est le cas avec le Gala des prix du leadership sportif Petro-Canada, qui récompense les entraîneurs les plus dévoués, inspirants et accomplis.

Chaque année, les lauréats sont honorés parce qu’ils incarnent les valeurs et les compétences du Programme national de certification des entraîneurs et parce qu’ils contribuent à façonner la communauté sportive canadienne.

À la récente cérémonie tenue à Richmond, en Colombie-Britannique, Abbott s’est vu décerner un Prix d’excellence Petro-Canada aux entraîneurs pour son travail avec le cycliste paralympique Mike Sametz, qui a remporté une médaille de bronze aux Jeux paralympiques de 2016. Ces prestigieux prix récompensent les entraîneurs dont les athlètes ont excellé dans des championnats du monde, des Jeux olympiques ou paralympiques et aux Jeux olympiques spéciaux.

Malgré son attitude empreinte d’humilité, Abbott reconnaît qu’il apprécie l’honneur qui lui est fait. « C’est très agréable d’être reconnu par nos pairs, de savoir que notre travail ne passe pas inaperçu. »

Paul Ragusa, de Lutte Canada, qui a aidé à propulser l’athlète de l’ICS Calgary Erica Wiebe vers l’or olympique à Rio, a aussi été récompensé pour ses succès en tant qu’entraîneur. « Je suis très heureux de recevoir ce prix, » déclare-t-il. « C’est tout un honneur. On n’y pense jamais jusqu’à ce que ça nous arrive. »

Au fil des ans, Abbott et Ragusa ont perfectionné leurs compétences professionnelles avec l’aide d’experts de l’ICS Calgary. Les deux sont reconnaissants d’avoir eu accès à des experts comme des physiologistes de l’exercice, des nutritionnistes et des entraîneurs en force musculaire pour approfondir leurs connaissances et leurs compétences.

Ragusa affirme qu’avoir la chance de collaborer étroitement avec des experts de l’ICS Calgary l’a aidé à formuler et à poser les bonnes questions. « En tant qu’entraîneur, j’essaie toujours d’être à mon mieux et l’accès à ces experts m’aide vraiment », explique-t-il.

Par exemple, l’accès à un physiologiste de l’exercice l’a aidé à collecter des données objectives, ce sur quoi il ne mettait pas l’accent auparavant. Ragusa ajoute : « Ces données appuient souvent ce que je pense intuitivement. Je suis un meilleur entraîneur maintenant que je peux voir les données et comprendre le raisonnement qui sous-tend une partie de notre travail. »

Abbott abonde dans le même sens. Il louange l’ICS Calgary pour lui avoir donné accès à de nombreux experts. « Quand j’ai obtenu mon poste d’entraîneur, beaucoup de possibilités se sont offertes à moi et j’ai eu la chance de travailler avec des physiologistes et des nutritionnistes. Cela a vraiment accéléré mon développement en tant qu’entraîneur. »

Il n’y a pas que les fournisseurs de services de l’ICS Calgary qui ont contribué au développement des entraîneurs, mais aussi les partenariats avec d’autres organisations qui ont permis l’intégration du programme. Abbot explique : « La situation est unique. L’ICS Calgary est intégré au vélodrome et au programme de cyclisme provincial. Être en mesure de gérer la continuité de la relation entre les programmes et les entités est précieux; tout est harmonisé. J’en profite et mes athlètes aussi. »

Pour Ragusa, le partenariat entre Lutte Canada et l’ICS Calgary a été très positif, particulièrement en ce qui a trait à l’établissement d’une équipe de soutien intégré. « L’équipe est davantage consolidée maintenant et, ensemble, nous élaborons un plan formalisé grâce auquel nos projets respectifs concordent. En tant qu’entraîneur, cela m’a aidé à assurer mon leadership, à unir tout le monde. »

Jason Sjostrom, directeur des services d’entraîneur à l’ICS Calgary ajoute : « Nous pouvons compter sur de solides partenariats et nous en sommes très fier. Ces prix remis aux entraîneurs sont un exemple de cette solide collaboration. »

Malgré le fait qu’ils doivent se contenter de demeurer dans l’ombre de la réussite de leurs athlètes, les entraîneurs comme Abbott et Ragusa nous inspirent et méritent bien l’honneur qu’ils ont reçu. C’est agréable de constater que c’est parfois l’entraîneur qu’il faut féliciter.

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

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary’s Workshop Line-Up Enhanced by CAAWS

Mingling with ambitious female leaders over lunch while gaining valuable skills and insight into how to increase professional development sounds like a dream afternoon for many women. For that reason, the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary has partnered with the Alberta Sport Connection to host a series of women's empowerment and leadership workshops presented by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS).

The first workshop in the series, centered on Effective Communication, took place at the University of Calgary Campus on October 21. Led by 1996 Olympic Silver Medallist Dr. Cari Din, the workshop attracted fifteen local women who were eager to collaborate on how to improve personal development both in and out of sport. Created for all women, the CAAWS workshops series offers value for anyone looking for methods of career development, not just athletes.

Facilitator Cari Din raved about the success of the first workshop, saying it was "a fun, up-to-date workshop aimed at giving women insight and practical skills they can implement immediately. Women told me they enjoyed the opportunity to talk with and learn from women from a variety of sport and activity organizations."

World-class wrestler Erica Wiebe echoed Din's sentiments, proclaiming, "Initially, when I signed up I thought oh man, this is going to be a long 3 hours, but it turned out to fly by! It was very informative and felt like a very safe space for people to talk and share ideas."

After seeing CAAWS presentations and their subsequent results, the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary's Erin Wamsteeker and Jason Sjostrom initiated contact with the program, believing that elite athletes could benefit from the impactful messages that were being communicated. Not wanting to let the opportunity pass anyone by, they have opened up the workshops to staff members as well as any women who feel that they could use professional empowerment and encouragement from strong, independent women.

The CAAWS facilitations have been added to a full repertoire of life services workshops that aim to improve elite athletes' performance both on and off the field of play. Already featuring workshops geared towards skills such as self-marketing, social media, and public speaking, the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary prides itself on offering educational opportunities that athletes' would not normally be provided. The CAAWS workshops were a natural and seamless fit into the workshop catalog.

After the success of Din's Effective Communication workshop, there have already been three more workshops added to the calendar. The next three CAAWS experiences on the schedule are titled Conflict Management (taking place on November 18), Influencing Change (taking place on December 9), and Effective Communication (taking place on January 6).

To learn more about the CAAWS Workshops, and to register, go to

Stay in the loop!

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Writer Brittany Schussler: @bschussler
Photo Credit: Dave Holland @csicalgaryphoto

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  or contact Program Director Jason Sjostrom at Cette adresse courriel est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.. 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

Dirigé par l’entraîneur et mené par un expert : le diplôme avancé en entraînement

Derrière chaque performance athlétique se cache un entraîneur dévoué et bien formé. Un entraîneur qui a consacré des années de sa vie à découvrir ce qui motive ses athlètes tout en se tenant au courant des nouveautés dans des domaines comme la science sportive, la technique et la nutrition, pour n’en nommer que quelques-uns.

Reconnaissant que les entraîneurs ont des horaires chargés et exigeants, l’Institut canadien du sport de Calgary (ICS Calgary), au nom de l’Association canadienne des entraîneurs, est heureux d’annoncer une nouvelle mouture du programme de diplôme avancé en entraînement (DAE). Le directeur du programme, Jason Sjostrom, souligne que le nouveau DAE, enseigné par un éventail d’anciens experts du réseau des instituts de sport olympique et paralympique du Canada (réseau ISOP), sera une « communauté d’apprentissage structuré dirigée par des entraîneurs, menée par des experts, enrichie par des pairs et appuyée par des mentors; une formation pour adulte digne du 21e siècle. »

Considéré comme le summum du Programme national de certification des entraîneurs (PNCE), le DAE comporte un nouveau format d’apprentissage facilité qui offre de la souplesse aux entraîneurs apprenants. Le nouveau cadre permet de participer au programme de quatre façons : en personne, en assistant à des webinaires en direct, dans le cadre d’une formation à distance en visionnant un enregistrement du cours ou en tant qu’entraîneur « parachute », en assistant à certains cours et en complétant certains aspects à distance. Monsieur Sjostrom ajoute : « À l’ICS Calgary, nous sommes emballés par cette occasion d’apprentissage mixte qui permettra aux entraîneurs de l’Alberta et d’ailleurs au Canada de participer à notre programme. »

Les quatre thèmes principaux du DAE (le leadership, l’entraînement efficace, la planification, et la préparation à l’entraînement et à la compétition) sont enseignés par des professionnels chevronnés du réseau ISOP, comme Mme Cari Din, médaillée d’argent olympique et docteure dans le domaine du comportement des leaders. Le programme d’enseignement repose sur la science et est axé sur les résultats. L’apprentissage des entraîneurs du DAE peut être appliqué et évalué en complément à la formation sportive offerte par les organismes nationaux de sport dans les domaines du développement avancé des entraîneurs pour la compétition. Le programme permet aussi l’accès à un mentorat offert par des entraîneurs de haut niveau et du personnel de soutien ayant un bagage d’expérience dans une grande variété de sports. Ensemble, le programme et le soutien présentés aux nouveaux élèves entraîneurs faciliteront les occasions d’apprentissage, qui ne peuvent être reproduites dans une salle de cours traditionnelle.

Des programmes similaires sont offerts dans les deux langues partout dans le réseau ISOP. Le programme DAE dirigé par l’ICS Ontario mettra l’accent sur les sports d’été, et sera principalement donné durant les mois d’hiver. L’Institut national du sport du Québec continuera d’offrir le programme aux participants francophones. L’admission aura lieu en juin.

Les demandes d’inscription sont actuellement acceptées pour la session donnée par l’ICS Calgary. Le programme de deux ans commencera en avril et se poursuivra jusqu’à la fin de novembre en 2016 et 2017. Les candidats actuels sont surtout issus des sports d’hiver, notamment le ski alpin, le biathlon et le curling. Il y a aussi des sports d’été comme le basketball et la lutte. Des entraîneurs de l’Alberta, de la Colombie-Britannique, de la Saskatchewan, du Manitoba et du Nouveau-Brunswick ont fait une demande d’admission.

Ne manquez pas votre chance de continuer votre quête d’excellence dans le sport! Pour de plus amples renseignements, ou pour vous inscrire, visitez le ou communiquez avec le directeur du programme, Jason Sjostrom (Cette adresse courriel est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.). La date limite pour faire une demande est le 15 février.

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

La gamme d’ateliers de l’Institut canadien du sport de Calgary est rehaussée par l’ACAFS

Des rencontres avec des leaders féminines accomplies durant le dîner, tout en acquérant de précieuses aptitudes et connaissances sur le perfectionnement professionnel, pourraient sembler inespérées pour de nombreuses femmes. C'est pourquoi l'Institut canadien du sport de Calgary a conclu un partenariat avec l'organisme Alberta Sport Connection afin d'organiser une série d'ateliers sur l'habilitation et le leadership à l'intention des femmes, ateliers présentés par l'Association canadienne pour l'avancement des femmes, du sport et de l'activité physique (ACAFS).

Le coaching et le désir d’apprendre

Dans un pays aussi grand que le Canada, il peut être difficile d’offrir l’accessibilité à des programmes de formation spécialisée regroupés en un même endroit. Dans le cas du diplôme avancé en entraînement (DAE) offert par l’Institut canadien du sport de Calgary, le programme était offert uniquement aux entraîneurs qui vivaient à Calgary ou qui étaient prêts à y déménager.

Dernièrement, l’adoption d’une nouvelle plateforme en ligne, appelée D2L (Desire2Learn), a réduit la dépendance du DAE envers la région géographique et a élargi l’accès aux entraîneurs de partout au pays. « Nous savions que le programme ne répondait pas aux besoins des étudiants », dit Jason Sjostrom, directeur du programme d’entraînement de l’ICS Calgary. « La plateforme D2L rend la formation des entraîneurs possible en améliorant l’accessibilité au DAE. Ce n’est pas réaliste que tous les entraîneurs déménagent à Calgary », ajoute-t-il.

D2L est un espace éducatif hébergeant toutes les caractéristiques nécessaires pour le DAE et offrant plus de collaboration, de personnalisation et d’accessibilité que ce que le programme offrait. M. Sjostrom précise que puisque les entraîneurs ne sont pas toujours dans une ville-centre et que leurs horaires ne sont pas toujours compatibles avec les environnements de formation traditionnels, D2L est nécessaire afin que le DAE soit plus accessible et flexible pour les étudiants. « L’avenir de la formation des adultes passe par l’apprentissage asynchrone », dit-il. « Les entraîneurs sont sur le terrain jusqu’à 30 heures par semaine et ils doivent avoir accès au programme durant leur temps libre. »

Pour la Dre Cari Din, mentore de la cohorte du DAE et spécialiste en leadership et en entraînement efficace, D2L a modernisé l’environnement de formation. « Maintenant, nous pouvons faire des exercices en temps réel dans des situations réelles », dit-elle. « Par le passé, nous avons créé des simulations pour faire travailler les entraîneurs, mais ça n’a pas le même effet. » Le programme n’est pas fait pour remplacer les autres méthodes de formation, mais plutôt pour les améliorer. « Nous recherchons un juste équilibre », dit Mme Din.

Un des avantages clés de la plateforme D2L est la collaboration, en plus de l’accès amélioré. Les utilisateurs peuvent tout partager en un seul endroit, que ce soit des travaux, du contenu de cours, des forums de discussion et même de simples enregistrements vocaux. Lorelei St. Rose est une entraîneuse de patinage de vitesse sur courte piste à Prince George en Colombie-Britannique. Pour elle, D2L aide les entraîneurs à ne pas rester coincés dans leur propre sport. « Nous travaillons ensemble et nous partageons nos idées, ce qui nous permet de découvrir de nouvelles manières d’apprendre les uns des autres », dit-elle.

Steven Hitchings, entraîneur de natation du club de natation Goldfins de Saskatoon, aime la possibilité de tout personnaliser dans D2L selon ses besoins. « Je peux personnaliser la plateforme et revenir en arrière pour comprendre d’une manière qui me semble logique », explique-t-il. « Je peux tout organiser à ma manière et y revenir plus tard. »

La plateforme a considérablement simplifié la mise en œuvre du programme et a offert de nombreuses occasions pour partager le travail dans un endroit structuré et pour y réfléchir. « La plateforme est très inclusive et elle encourage la réflexion d’un angle inhabituel », dit Mme Din.

Mme St. Rose dit que même s’il faut un peu plus de travail pour faire partie d’un groupe que d’être sur place, l’utilisation de la technologie pour faire partie d’une classe virtuelle s’en approche.

En définitive, la plateforme, qui a été implantée grâce à un partenariat entre l’ICS Calgary, l’ICS Ontario et l’Association canadienne des entraîneurs, élargit l’environnement de formation des entraîneurs et renforce la capacité des entraîneurs dévoués et motivés à améliorer leurs connaissances et leurs compétences.

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

Photographs with Passion; Dave Holland

When Dave Holland began photographing sports for his high school yearbook committee, he did not know it could lead to a career. However, he has been fortunate to turn his passion into a position as the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary’s photographer.

Holland did not consider focusing on photography until 2009 when his friend, Jason Sjostrom, mentioned that the CSIC was in need of photos. Holland jumped at the opportunity and began shooting athletes in action at the bobsleigh track to begin fine-tuning his skills. The quality of his photographs resulted in his life-long dream of being a recognized photographer at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

Describing himself as self-trained, Holland developed his skills by studying the work of the best sports photographers. He admits that he still spends “a great deal of time in the trial and error department. But, it is just a matter of practice. Being around sport all the time really helps.” His true passion lies in photographing the best athletes in competition. He notes that his position with the CSIC is mutually beneficial, feeling privileged to have daily access to the athletes. Of this relationship, he says, “Every day I am grateful. I can't imagine any other place I'd rather be. The athletes and staff at the CSIC inspire me on a daily basis and their excellence pushes me to be the best.” Click here to see the new CSIC Training Video

Although he says that he has “many memorable shots because I know what our athletes go through to get where they are,” one of his favourite shots won the gold medal in the editorial category at the inaugural World Photographic Cup. The photo was of Canadian Alpine Skier John Kucera at Lake Louise. HolIand knew it was a good photo the instant he took it, a feeling that was reinforced when the shot became a two-page spread in Sportsnet Magazine.

Living by the motto, "It's not what you gather, it's what you scatter that counts," Holland has compiled a complete online catalogue of his work. Be sure to visit and to see his remarkable work.

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

Sometimes It Is About The Coach

Some of the best advice Phil Abbott, CSI Calgary cycling coach, ever got was, “don’t ever be in the photo with the athletes!” He took these words to heart, guiding his philosophy of creating an athlete-centric training environment that ensures he is not the center of attention when his athletes succeed.

“It’s about the athlete, not the coach,” says Abbott, also the head coach of the Alberta Bicycle Association. Except when it is about the coach – as it is with the Petro Canada Sport Leadership Awards gala, which recognizes Canada’s most dedicated, inspiring, and successful coaches.

Annually, award recipients are honoured for exemplifying the values and competencies of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) and for their influence in positively shaping the Canadian sport community.

At the recent awards held in Richmond, BC., Abbott won a Petro Canada Coaching Excellence Award for his work with Paralympic cyclist Mike Sametz, who won a bronze medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games. These prestigious awards recognize coaches whose athletes have excelled at World Championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Special Olympics World Games.

Despite his humble approach, Abbott acknowledges that the honour is appreciated. “It feels pretty good to be recognized by your peers, to know that your work is noticed.”

Wrestling Canada coach Paul Ragusa, who helped propel CSI Calgary athlete Erica Wiebe to Olympic gold in Rio, was also recognized for his coaching success. “It feels great to win the award,” he says. “It’s a great honour. It’s something that you never think about until it happens.”

Over the years, Abbott and Ragusa have developed and honed their coaching skills with help from experts at the CSI Calgary. Both credit access to experts like exercise physiologists, nutritionists and strength trainers for expanding their knowledge and skills.

Ragusa says that the chance to work closely with experts from the CSI Calgary helped him to formulate and ask the right questions. “As a coach I’m always trying to find that edge and having access to these experts is really helpful,” he says.

For example, having access to an exercise physiologist helped him collect objective data, something he didn’t focus on before. Ragusa says, “having this data often backs up what I might be thinking intuitively. I’m a better coach now that I can see the data and understand what the rational is behind some of the work we are doing.”

Abbott’s experience is very similar. He credits the CSI Calgary with fostering access to a variety of experts. “Once I was in my new coaching role, a lot of opportunities opened up and I had the chance to work with physiologists and nutritionists. This really accelerated my development as a coach.”

It’s not just CSI Calgary service providers that have contributed to coach development, but also partnerships with other organizations that have allowed program integration. Abbot explains, “It is a unique situation where the CSI Calgary is integrated with the velodrome and the provincial cycling program – being able to manage that relationship continuity between all programs and entities is valuable, everything is aligned. This benefits me and my athletes.”

For Ragusa the partnership between Wrestling Canada and the CSI Calgary has been very positive, especially in terms of establishing an IST (Integrated Support Team). “The team is more consolidated now and together we build a formalized plan that ensures the things we are all working on match up. As a coach it has helped me in terms of leadership, bringing everyone together.”

Jason Sjostrom, Director of Coaching Services at CSI Calgary, adds, “We have strong partnerships and we are very proud of that. These coaching awards are an example of that strength.”

Despite being content to remain in the shadows of their athletes’ success, coaches like Abbott and Ragusa are inspiring and worthy of the honour they have earned. It’s nice to see that sometimes it is about the coach.

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

Tackling Concussions Head-on

Injuries, especially serious ones, can be devastating for athletes. Injuries are unwelcome, difficult and challenge athletes in ways they are not accustomed to – forced rest, recovery, and exercise only aimed at regaining lost capabilities. There is one injury that can be particularly debilitating and disheartening to overcome however, one that can indefinitely suck the life out of an athlete and compromise quality of life: concussion.

A concussion is a brain injury that occurs when an athlete sustains a blow to the head, neck or any other part of his or her body that transmits an impulsive force to the brain. It results in immediate, myriad and often long-term symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, light sensitivity and blurred vision. Athletes can also experience slowed reaction times, irritability, confusion or the sensation of being in a ‘fog’.

Impaired brain function from a concussion clouds many abilities we take for granted – those that athletes depend on for performance – like reaction time, balance, concentration and judgement. The athlete’s ability to make decisions at the time when they so anxiously want to heal and return to sport is compromised. They end up desperate and powerless to answer just one simple question: “When will I feel normal again?”

Thankfully for concussed athletes, there is world-leading sport concussion expert Dr. Brian Benson, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Sport Medicine at the CSI Calgary. Dr. Benson is passionate about continuously improving the standard of care for concussed athletes. Over the last several years, he and his research team have developed a ground-breaking new protocol for assessing impairment in concussed athletes using a cutting-edge robotic device call the KINARM (Kinesiologic Instrument for Normal and Altered Reaching Movements).

With support from Own the Podium, WinSport, the CSI Calgary and Hotchkiss Brain institute, the KINARM was developed to provide objective, reliable, accurate and quantifiable measurements of brain function. When an athlete suffers a concussion, post-injury results are compared to previously established baseline testing to determine brain impairment.

“This technology and the testing we have developed is a game-changer for high performance athletes,” says Benson. “We can accurately and objectively measure things like an athlete’s split-second decision making, visual spatial planning and movement coordination, and compare that to their baseline testing, which can help us determine whether an athlete is fully recovered from a concussion or at risk of further injury.”

The testing is objective relative to human observation and may reveal additional subtle abnormalities that a clinical examination and cognitive assessment may not. This means that the KINARM can bring clarity and objectivity to the fuzzy zone of concussion recovery. Says Benson, “The testing can help the multidisciplinary management team with tough-decision making when it comes to figuring out when an athlete is ready to return.”

Jon Kolb, Director of Sport Science, Medicine and Innovation at Own the Podium says the decision to support Dr. Benson’s research and the KINARM was borne out of a need to fill a gap in concussion care. “We did it because the world was void of a valid baseline measurement,” he says. “We felt some responsibility to ensure we have a valid baseline measurement so that when athletes get concussed we can help.”

With this new tool, Dr. Benson and his team have revolutionized the way that concussions are diagnosed, monitored and managed. This is invaluable to high performance athletes because it offers a clear path to recovery as well as a safeguard against the risk re-injury can have on long-term health. As difficult as the healing process may be to endure, according to Benson, this safeguard is one of the technology’s key advantages. “You can’t fool the machine,” he says.

This technology is now available to the public through the Benson Concussion Institute and WinSport's new sport concussion program. For more information visit

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

The Right Thing To Do

The impact that a coach can have on an athlete is profound. From nurturing development to guiding performance to fostering success – the coach is integral to the athlete experience and undoubtedly has the greatest influence on an athlete’s career. Ensuring that the experience remains positive and encouraging is an enormous responsibility for any coach.

This responsibility has recently been bolstered by a new initiative coordinated by the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES). The Responsible Coaching Movement (RCM) is a system-wide movement designed to address the role coaches play with issues relating to the health and safety of athletes, both on and off the field of play.

National, provincial, territorial and community sport organizations are encouraged to sign the pledge and adopt new policies to ensure the impact of coaches is a positive one for athletes and for Canadian sport. The CSI Calgary has recently become the first multi-sport organization in Canada to sign on to the RCM.

By making the pledge, the CSI Calgary has committed to implementing supportive policies and processes that adhere to the three key areas of focus: the Rule of Two, Background Screening (including Criminal Record Checks) and Respect and Ethics Training. The Rule of Two ensures that two adults are present at competitions and training camps with minor athletes, which serves to protect minor athletes in potentially vulnerable situations.

For Dale Henwood, President and CEO of the CSI Calgary, the RCM represents an opportunity for the institute and its coaches to uphold the highest standard of care for its athletes. “The RCM helps coaching as a profession, to ensure that we have good quality, ethical people working with our athletes,” says Henwood.

The CSI Calgary has always worked towards providing a motivating encouraging and enjoyable environment for the athletes. Henwood says that the coach is an essential part of helping to create that. “We want to ensure that athletes are safe and that coaches are protected,” says Jason Sjostrom, CSI Calgary Coaching Program Director. “The CSI Calgary has a responsibility to support these policies.” Additionally, the RCM can increase awareness for all staff and volunteers involved in sport. According to Sjostrom, “when there are violations you have a vehicle to say ‘this isn’t right’. This RCM demands that accountability.”

To date, the RCM has had great success, with more than forty NSOs, P/TSOs, and community clubs taking the pledge. Luge Canada was one of the first NSOs to take the pledge and nine others have since joined as well. The long-term goal is to see all NSOs take the pledge.

Ultimately, the RCM is about providing a positive sport experience for athletes of all ages, from grassroots and community programs right up to high performance elite sport. Henwood says that from the beginning the CSI Calgary has worked to make sure coaches are having a positive impact on their athletes.

Simply put, the RCM speaks to the heart of what is good and right. For Henwood, the decision to sign the pledge was easy. “When we went to the CSI Calgary board with this, it was strongly felt it was the right thing to do.”

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

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