#PoweringPodiumPerformances Behind the scenes at CSIC

The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary is really excited to unveil our new video. The CSIC is extremely proud of the expertise of our staff, facilities and services that we provide to Canadian athletes. This video aims to share our successes through a behind-the-scenes look at the services and tools that the CSIC has provided to athletes since its inception over 20 years ago.

Many of the ways that the CSIC continues to power podium performances are shown in this 60 second video. Keep your eyes peeled for glimpses of elite athletes in their day-to-day quest for gold including bobsledder Jesse Lumsden doing strength training in the high performance weight room; speed skater Ivanie Blondin using sport science initiatives through physiological testing on a specialized skating treadmill; lugers Alex Gough and Sam Edney benefitting from biomechanic and performance analysis; and curler John Morris's attentiveness to nutrition and recovery benefits using the athlete kitchen and lounge.

The CSIC has been home to many winter and summer athletes who represent Canada. To date, CSIC athletes have won a total of 421 medals in competitions at World Championships. At Olympic and Paralympic Games our athletes have won 143 Gold, 146 Silver and 132 Bronze. We believe that this should be celebrated!

Call to action:

Please feel free to share this video by tagging athletes and sports federations that you recognize on your social media platforms and websites using the link: http://youtu.be/hkbDDNEfwW0.

We hope that both you and your fans will find it as inspiring as we do.


For athletes, coaches and federations, here are some sharing ideas:

Check out @CSICalgary's awesome new video of Olympic and Paralympic athletes behind the scenes. #PoweringPodiumPerformances http://ow.ly/R0dcT

Work behind performances! The day to day training of National Team athletes @CSICalgary #PoweringPodiumPerformances http://ow.ly/R0dcT

This is what I do! @CSICalgary #PoweringPodiumPerformances http://ow.ly/R0dcT

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

2014 : une année mémorable pour l’Institut canadien du sport de Calgary

L'année 2014 était dès le départ une année de célébration pour l'Institut canadien du sport de Calgary (ICSC). Avec les célébrations de son 20e anniversaire et les Jeux olympiques d'hiver de Sotchi, en Russie, de nombreux événements étaient au programme. Et cette année n'a pas été une déception. Que ce soit en raison du triomphe de nos athlètes aux Jeux olympiques ou de notre déménagement dans nos nouvelles installations ultramodernes, l'année 2014 aura certainement été une année mémorable. Le président et chef de la direction, Dale Henwood, nous offre un bon résumé du début de cette année 2015 : « Au début de cette nouvelle année, il est important de réfléchir au passé et d'embrasser l'avenir. C'est une période stimulante qui nous encourage à aller de l'avant et à préparer l'ICS à sa croissance et à sa réussite tout en restant conscient de l'environnement d'affaires dans lequel nous évoluons. »

2014: A Year to Remember for the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary

2014 was always going to be a year to celebrate for the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSIC). Celebrating its 20th anniversary and looking forward to the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, there were many events to anticipate. The year did not disappoint. From the Olympic triumphs of the athletes to moving into a new home with state-of-the-art facilities, 2014 was certainly a year to remember. President and CEO Dale Henwood summarizes the beginning of 2015 best, believing that, "As we start a new year it is important to reflect on the past and embrace the future. This is an exciting time to look forward and to prepare the CSI for growth and success while being mindful of the business environment in which we operate."

February's Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, was the highlight of 2014 from an athlete performance perspective. With CSIC supported athletes Kaillie Humphries, Heather Moyse, Erik Carleton, Chris Klebl, Brian McKeever, and members of the women's hockey team all coming home as Gold Medallists, the Institute's impact on success was reinforced. The success of the CSIC's winter athletes also served to give many summer athletes additional motivation as they prepared for amazing performances at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Those same summer athletes are now looking forward to the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

The 2014 move to the facilities at Canada Olympic Park was especially impactful for both employees and athletes at the CSIC. Aside from the benefits of the world-leading weight room and training facilities where the athletes are fitted with Under Armour sponsored uniforms, athletes have access to on-site services such as sport medicine, sport science testing, physical and mental consultants, and strength trainers. Included in the facility is an athletes' lounge complete with a beautiful kitchen that not only allows for prompt and proper recovery after training sessions, but has also served as the location of an increased number of nutrition information session such as the Taste Buds series. The CSIC staff have greatly benefitted from the move as well, with the new location allowing all staff members to work in one centralized location, providing increased communication and enhanced services to the athletes.

Never content with simply maintaining the status quo, the Performance Services teams at the CSIC have continued to improve their abilities and receive increasing accolades for their work. By transitioning into an Institute from a Centre there has been opportunity for increased communication amongst team members and the result has been improved integration of services. The impact on athletes has been evident, with the CSIC's highly skilled specialists continuing to be in high demand from National Sport Organizations who have requested increases in support for their athletes and coaches.

2014 also brought about exciting advancements in the CSIC's Life Services portfolio, with the long-anticipated launch of the Game Plan Program. Game Plan is a national program created with the intention of helping athletes focus on performance when it matters most while also preparing for success once their athletic careers have ended. Taking a proactive approach to both life and career planning, the program uses a customized approach to ensure that athletes' specific needs are being met. The program has already received a great deal of athlete praise over its ability to allow for optimal performances throughout every stage of athletes' careers by ensuring that they are focused on performance while also being prepared for a successful life after sport.

2014 was a year that significantly reinforced the CSIC's commitment to delivering world leading coaching development opportunities. Hosting the Global Coaches House conference during the Sochi Olympic Games in partnership with the International Council for Coach Excellence, the University of Calgary, and the Coaching Association of Canada, the CSIC continued to ensure that the vital role of coaching was not overlooked as a developing area. With 28 sessions over 10 days, Global Coaches House Calgary hosted international speakers who spoke on a variety of topics to support coaching at many different levels. The opportunity to learn from many of the world's best coaching minds attracted coaches from across Canada, including those who participated virtually. The CSIC continued to support the program during the Global Coaches House Glasgow, which offered on-site learning opportunities for coaches who were attending the Commonwealth Games.

Every year passes with successes and failures. Fortunately, 2014 went by as a year with many things to celebrate for the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary. As we move into 2015, The Year of Sport in Canada, Dale Henwood is enthused by "the huge opportunity for the CSI to have an even greater impact on the Canadian High Performance sport system." Here's to an amazing 2015 and another 20 years supporting high performance sport. Happy New Year!

Stay in the loop!

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

2018 SPIN Summit

Once again CSI Calgary is sending a strong contingent to the upcoming SPort INnovation (SPIN) Summit, hosted every year by Own the Podium (OTP) in a different Canadian city, this year in Montreal.

The SPIN Summit is Canada's leading-edge symposium for professional development and networking in the areas of applied sport science, sports medicine, and innovation. This annual conference combines experts from around the globe to build knowledge and tools, for future Olympic and Paralympic sport success through technological and scientific research.

The energetic, cutting edge conference will include one full day of applied workshops at the Institut National du Sport du Québec, providing hands-on performance enhancement opportunities in their facility. Building off these workshops, the second day will be dedicated to plenary sessions, alongside a variety of poster displays, culminating into the Dr. Gord Sleivert Young Investigator Awards.

Dr. Erik Groves, Research and Innovation Lead at CSI Calgary, says that the conference provides an opportunity for Canada’s best and brightest to collectively advance the sport science that supports Canada’s top athletes. “SPIN brings together Canadian experts who all work in amateur sport across the country,” says Groves. “It’s a chance to network, share, learn and foster relationships within the sport community.”

CSI Calgary is well represented at this year’s conference, with the presentation of findings from numerous, ongoing research projects. CSI Calgary staff will present findings in the areas of concussion, ACL reconstruction and return to sport protocols in alpine skiing, among others.

Nathaniel Morris, a graduate student at the University of Calgary and research intern at CSI Calgary, is short-listed as one of the finalists for the Dr. Gord Sleivert Young Investigator’s Awards. The awards are presented each year to the top three graduate students whose research addresses an athlete performance gap relevant to high performance sport.

Morris’ research is focused on recovery from ACL reconstruction surgery, specifically looking at the size of the hamstring muscle (which is used to reconstruct the ACL of the injured knee) post-surgery, relative to the healthy leg. The goal is to understand the impact that the size of this muscle has on the recovery period, and to provide a more objective measurement of the recovery process.

Groves, and colleague Graeme Challis, Exercise Specialist at CSI Calgary, are presenting their research on the communication of complex training and monitoring information to coaches. “It’s a pretty complicated environment,” explains Groves. “We’re looking at how to simplify the communication of this information without ignoring its inherent complexity.”

Andrew Smit, a graduate student and CSI Calgary research intern, will be presenting his research focused on the differences in physiological determinants of successful and unsuccessful athletes in long track speed skating. The goal of Smit’s research is to help Speed Skating Canada develop a better understanding of the athlete development pathway by using more objective steps in identifying what factors lead to success.

All of these projects represent CSI Calgary’s ongoing efforts to improve athlete performance through applied research and innovation. The 13th annual SPIN Summit will be held October 31st to November 2nd, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec.

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

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 Fit for the Pros

The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) has become a training hub for professional athletes looking to make offseason gains. For athletes that are typically part of large teams, the CSI Calgary is unique in its ability to evaluate the athletes’ needs and create programs that are customized to meet individual goals.

A group of Calgary Stampeders are currently calling the CSI Calgary home, including Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, Linebacker Deron Mayo and Wide Receiver Anthony Parker. Sam Hurl from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Running Back Matt Walter and Atlanta Braves draft pick Mike Soroka are also making their offseason gains at the CSI Calgary.

Strength and Conditioning Coach Chris Osmond has earned a reputation as the sought-after advisor for the professionals, with a knack for designing training programs that meet the specific needs of each pro. He notes, “It is really great to have professional athletes train at the CSI Calgary. The professional athletes that train here love working within the culture that we have created. It provides a one stop shop for them because everything they need is here under one roof.”

Matt Walter is credited with being the catalyst to the group training at the CSI Calgary. Born and raised in Calgary, the former University of Calgary Dino began working with Osmond in December 2015. He says he “knew there was a lot I needed to address physically. I had made good progress the previous offseason but did not get the results I wanted, and I felt that my body was breaking down a bit. I wanted somewhere to go where I could invest in myself, the best possible place to train at that I could find. I did my research and found the CSI Calgary. I feel that I have been on the right path ever since.”

Hearing his teammate’s rave reviews, Texas-born Bo Levi Mitchell joined the CSI Calgary because he was interested in “training next to Olympians. Those are the people that are hungry.” After doing intake testing that included body composition and cardiovascular fitness, he admits, “I had never done anything like that before.” Mitchell’s results emphasized his need for a customized program that is more cardio-based than his CSI Calgary teammates. Already he is impressed with the results, saying, “After 15 years of playing football, I have only been with the CSI Calgary and Chris for one month and I know I am in the best shape that I have ever been in. Chris knows the ins and outs of everything that we are doing. The atmosphere is better than anywhere I have ever been, and being around the Olympic athletes is fantastic.”

2014 Grey Cup Champions Walter and Mitchell are so impressed with their progress thus far that they plan to continue working with Osmond until the begining of training camp, as well as throughout the football season. As Walter emphasizes, “Chris has been the best trainer I have ever had the opportunity to work with. He is next level, and knows what he is doing to such a high degree. Everything he throws at me is making me better.”

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

À la fine pointe : Edge 10

L’industrie des données est partout. Problème de complexité? Plus maintenant, selon Graeme Challis, spécialiste de l’entraînement au sein de l’ICS Calgary. Bien qu’il ne représente qu’une proportion relativement petite des données négociées par d’autres industries, le domaine du sport de haute performance génère beaucoup d’information. Mais ces données étaient auparavant disséminées sur plusieurs plateformes de logiciels, ce qui réduisait notre capacité à les utiliser.

« Nous avions éparpillé nos données, dit M. Challis. Il y avait des feuilles de calcul Excel un peu partout! » Voici Edge 10, une plateforme centrale de stockage de données en ligne, élaborée par l’ICS Calgary, qui sert maintenant dans plusieurs sports.

Les avantages principaux d’Edge 10 sont la centralisation et la consolidation des données, qui permet une utilisation efficace des informations. Cette technologie infonuagique permet d’entrer, d’analyser, de rapporter et de partager les données sur les athlètes de façon efficace et sécuritaire. Elle est entièrement personnalisable et intégrée pour aider les organisations sportives à développer des solutions de performance qui répondent à leurs besoins spécifiques.

Par le passé, les physiologues de l’ICS Calgary comme Scott Maw, directeur de l’équipe de soutien intégrée pour le patinage de vitesse sur longue piste, passaient un temps fou à combiner les données sur un athlète provenant d’un peu partout.

« Avant, nous passions trop de temps à rassembler les données, et pas assez de temps à les analyser, nous dit M. Maw. Maintenant, je passe directement à l’analyse, ce qui m’aide à prendre de meilleures décisions, basées sur du concret. » Cette plateforme a vastement amélioré la façon dont l’équipe de soutien intégrée et les entraîneurs peuvent créer des programmes personnalisés pour chaque athlète.

Un des domaines touchés par Edge 10 est le suivi des athlètes. Au patinage de vitesse sur longue piste, ces efforts sont menés par Maw, et ont révolutionné la façon dont les entraîneurs peuvent évaluer la réaction des athlètes à leur régime d’entraînement.

« Par le passé, tout notre suivi consistait à prendre le pouls des athlètes au repos. S’il était de 10 pulsations plus vite qu’à l’habitude, on présumait que l’athlète allait tomber malade, répond à la blague Todd McClements, entraîneur de niveau 4 à Patinage de vitesse Canada. Notre suivi est désormais à des années-lumière de ce qu’on pouvait accomplir il y a à peine cinq ans. Tout avance si vite. »

Edge 10 accumule les sources de données sur un athlète, autant les bonnes que les mauvaises, comme les questionnaires subjectifs et les mesures objectives comme le pouls et la charge d’entraînement. On les analyse en parallèle avec d’autres données, comme les résultats de tests physiologiques et des évaluations en physiothérapie, pour déceler les zones de stress.

« Nous pouvons maintenant avoir une vision globale et comprendre les relations entre les différentes charges qu’on impose au corps, nous dit M. Challis. Ça permet d’isoler les facteurs importants et les changements qui pourraient avoir une influence plus importante sur un athlète donné. »

Le suivi aide à faire correspondre intention et effet. « Ce qu’un entraîneur demande n’est pas toujours bien exécuté par l’athlète, dit M. Challis. Si un athlète met trop d’effort dans un programme qui est censé être facile, les données de suivi peuvent nous avertir sur ce stress, et l’équipe de soutien intégrée peut intervenir afin d’éviter les blessures ou le surentraînement. »

McClements tient aussi à nous mettre en garde : Edge 10 n’est pas un miracle ou une boule de cristal; la performance sportive est beaucoup trop complexe. Mais il se dit reconnaissant à Edge 10 de lui fournir un moyen efficace d’analyser les données pour la prise de décision.

« Ça n’est jamais blanc ni noir, dit-il. Mais aujourd’hui, il y a beaucoup moins de gris. »

Institut canadien du sport de calgary: @csicalgary
Rédigé par Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo crédit: 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.csicalgary.ca for information.

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

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

Alberta Slalom Canoe Kayak Team Benefits from World Leading Specialists

The Alberta Slalom Canoe Kayak Team lead by High Performance Head Coach Michael Holroyd has been improving in leaps and bounds, thanks in large part to a partnership they have formed with the Alberta Sport Development Centre (ASDC) Calgary and the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSIC).

The diverse training group that has been utilizing the partnership since 2009 is currently comprised of 18 athletes at various levels in development. The group consists of 5 high performance athletes, 3 athletes one tier below high performance, and 10 additional athletes who are targeted as future stars. All have seen benefits from the organizations' unique partnership pooling their respective resources in order to provide the maximum level of support possible as opposed to dividing their respective contributions up in a less effective manner.

Coach Holroyd, a Canoe Kayak National Team member for 10 years, retired from the sport in 2007 to begin working his way though the CSIC's renowned Coaching Diploma Program. After completing the Advanced Coaching Diploma Level 4 Program, he commenced work with the team and has seen amazing improvements in many of his athletes, including Haley Daniels and Adrian Cole, who came into the ASDC Calgary program as young athletes and have progressed to the National Senior and U23 Team, respectively.

The team's biggest success stories thus far, Jessica Groenveld and Ben Hayward, are looking ahead to the Pan Am Games in Toronto in 2015. With the inclusion of Canoe Kayak in the Games for the first time, Groenveld is confident that the services the partnership has provided will continue to garner incredible international results, with the ultimate goal being to win a medal at the home Games.

Holroyd, along with all of his athletes, knows that the biggest advantage the partnership has provided has been the opportunity to work with world leading specialists from the CSIC that they typically would not have access to. These experts include Sport Scientist Kelly Quipp, who conducts physiological testing on the athletes twice annually using a Kayak Ergometer in the state-of-the-art Sport Performance Laboratory at Canada Olympic Park. The team also utilizes the exclusive High Performance Training Centre a minimum of twice weekly in order to train with CSIC Strength and Conditioning Coach John Abreu. Mental Performance Coach Clare Fewster rounds out the group of CSIC experts that have actively contributed to the team's success through the partnership. Groenveld is convinced that these opportunities have enhanced her training, saying, "The collaboration of ASDC and CSIC has enabled us to access resources that are fundamental to athlete development and success. For myself, the strength gains made this year with John, and the ability to have specific training targets from testing with Kelly, are incredibly important."

Coach Holroyd is equally thankful for the world class teamwork that goes into his program, saying, "We are really lucky here in Calgary to have the ASDC Calgary help athletes, collaboratively with our provincial association, work up to the National Team level where the CSIC programs kick in. Through this system, we have been able to use the world leading testing, strength and conditioning, and mental training service providers from the CSIC and bring it to our developing provincial athletes. This gives us consistent long-term data from testing and ensures that athletes stepping onto our National Teams are doing so with good fundamentals. This linear, consistent support has allowed our programs to help athletes to the fullest."

Stay in the loop!

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @CSICalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @bschussler
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Anonymous Donor Upgrades Sport Performance Laboratory

The Sport Performance Laboratory has been upgraded thanks to a generous donation from a party who wishes to remain anonymous.

The Sport Performance Laboratory is a critical component of the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary’s success because it is where much of the athletes’ training and monitoring takes place. Rosemary Neil, Director of Development and Strategic Programs at the CSIC, says that the $100,000 lab upgrade is “vitally important to gathering detailed information for athletes. We couldn’t function without it.”

Barry Heck, WinSport’s President and CEO, was instrumental in working with the anonymous foundation to secure the donation and make the improvements needed.

The majority of the donation was used to install a fume hood in order to properly ventilate gases. With the upgrades, the lab is now classified as a level 2 laboratory, meaning it can deal with biohazards. It also has procedures in place to handle pathogens, bringing it to a safety standard that is acceptable by Health Canada.

One of the main functions of the new equipment is to enable athletes to do the hemoglobin mass test, a protocol that uses carbon monoxide. A poisonous gas, carbon monoxide requires proper ventilation equipment, including a fume hood. The test is important to CSIC athletes because it has a high correlation with an athlete’s VO2 max, allowing the sport scientists to monitor and track an athlete’s development. These protocols, enabled by the lab upgrades, will increase the effectiveness of athletes’ training programs by allowing for the use of altitude or heat.

As very few labs in Canada have the ability to do these types of protocols, this technology is yet another way that Rosemary Neil says the CSIC will remain on “the leading edge, because we are able to perform these tests to help monitor and evaluate athletes.”

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary

Written by Brittany Schussler: @bschussler

Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Anti-Gravity Treadmill Aids Rehabilitation

The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary athletes are utilizing an advanced training device, the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill. Primarily used by injured athletes to facilitate rehabilitation, the treadmill allows the CSIC's therapists to reintegrate the functional movement of running into the athletes' training.

The treadmill can be programmed by a therapist to a specific percentage of the athletes' body weight so that the loading on the musculoskeletal system is less than normal. For example, when an athlete is returning to training from a lower body injury they can use the Anti-Gravity Treadmill and start running while bearing only 50% of their body weight. As they improve, a greater percentage of their body weight can be introduced to increase the effective training load on the body. This allows them to run at a normal tempo and speed while still practicing good technique.

The CSIC has had access to the equipment since opening its new training facility at Canada Olympic Park last year. CSIC's athletes are privileged to have convenient access to this advanced equipment, as shown through its use by "return to training" high performance athletes. Members of the public are able to purchase passes in order to accelerate their own recovery while under the supervision of a physiotherapist.

Two advocates of the training device are track and field athletes Sam Effah and Natasha Jackson, who are both recovering from injuries in preparation for their 2016 Olympic Games qualifying competitions. Effah recently stated that the regular access to the treadmill has been "a major blessing." Jackson, who suffered a ruptured achilles tendon in 2014, believes that "the Anti-Gravity treadmill has been a great tool for my recovery... allowing me to gradually build back the strength in my achilles. It has allowed me to put my body through the motion of running. In addition, I am able to work my cardiovascular system in a similar way to how I would train on the track but at a much earlier stage in the recovery process."

CSIC physiotherapist Jennifer Delich has seen athletes from a range of sports, such as figure skating and alpine skiing, benefit from using the Anti-Gravity Treadmill for rehabilitation. She is convinced that "there is nothing else like it," and notes that it has already proven to be effective in "return to training athletes" for an array of injuries such as muscle tears, ACL reconstruction, and patella femoral pain.

The CSIC's use of the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill has proven to be an advantage for many athletes. With the Pan Am Games only months away, the ability to have injured athletes ahead of their expected healing process is a vital component in keeping the CSIC's athletes world-leading.

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary

Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler

Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Are You R.E.A.D.Y.?

Olympic-bound freestyle wrestler Erica Wiebe remembers clearly the match that catapulted her onto the Canadian senior women’s team for the 2013 World Championships. On the morning of the wrestle-off that would determine who would make the team, she awoke to pounding on her hotel room door at 8:45 am. Her match was scheduled for 9:00 am. A mad rush ensued and she made it to the venue with three minutes to spare, but she was strangely calm – she was ready.

Two quick and successful takedowns saw Wiebe win the match in a matter of minutes. “From the time I woke up to winning the match was twenty minutes!” she remembers, laughing. “But I was so prepared, I had visualized the match so many times, I knew what was going to happen. All of these things went wrong, like missing my alarm, but I was still ready.”

Being ‘ready’ to compete is something all athletes aspire to. Whether it’s through determining the best pre-race routine or figuring out the ideal mindset in the weeks, days or minutes before a race, each athlete has their own way of getting ready for competition. Frank van den Berg, Director of Mental Performance at the CSI Calgary, helps athletes work towards their best state of readiness, through a concept he calls R.E.A.D.Y.

R.E.A.D.Y came to van den Berg from a story he read in a text book years ago, where a coach asks his athlete, “Are you ready?” Her reply was, “No, not quite ready, yet!” The idea is that there is room in the final days, hours or minutes before competition for flexibility and openness in routine or mindset – there is space, and time, to get the last details in place before competition.

van den Berg says, “I think it’s a good feeling to feel prepared - from training history, competition experience, routines and strategies for competition, but it’s okay to keep it open, be flexible, right up until the start.” The ‘Y’ in R.E.A.D.Y stands for ‘yet’.

In some sports the ‘Y’ might be about the taper in the last few days, where top speed is the goal, i.e. it’s a physiological component. In alpine skiing it could be about inspection of the race hill in the days leading up as well as the day of, where changes in conditions could lead to making a change in approach or strategy.

It’s all about keeping that last little bit open and flexible to be able to adapt to any situation that comes up. “When I first talk to athletes about the idea of R.E.A.D.Y they often feel a sense of freedom or relief. It gives them room to keep a few percentage points open. They don’t have to worry about it in advance,” says van den Berg.

Denny Morrison, four-time Olympic medalist in long track speed skating, feels a sense of readiness from confidence he develops in his routines in the years prior to a big competition. “Sochi was the most ready I’ve ever felt,” he says. “Ready physically but also mentally. I nailed down a routine in the two Olympics before Sochi. I just felt so dialed.”

Even still, there was room for letting himself experience how he was feeling without judgement. In the few days before his first race in Sochi he knew he wasn’t quite there physiologically but he knew that he would be ready on race day. “I always had confidence in the program that I would feel good on race day even if I didn’t feel great the days before,” he says.

Readiness can be elusive, though. Both Wiebe and Morrison recall times where they felt ready but underperformed. For Wiebe, she underestimated her opponent’s strength at the 2014 World Championships and was thrown to the mat early. “That wasn’t the best mindset,” she remembers. “The best mindset I can have is when I go into it knowing that this is going to be a really tough match.” Looking back, Morrison says he was arrogant in how good he was feeling in the days before his races at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, where he skated well below his potential.

Ultimately, maintaining openness and flexibility to adapt can help the athlete stay in the moment and achieve a state of mindfulness that is central to a good performance. “It’s not a bad thing to not feel completely ready one month before the Olympics,” says van den Berg. “The athlete is only completely ready once they get to the start line.”

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

Athlète olympique et docteure

Peu de médaillés olympiques possèdent un doctorat en neuroscience, mais la docteure Tara Whitten est une exception. L’athlète de l’Institut canadien du sport de Calgary et médaillée de bronze aux Jeux olympiques de 2012 en cyclisme sur piste a découvert avec fascination le cerveau humain en lisant un livre sur le sujet à l’école secondaire. Elle a eu la sensation que la neuroscience est un domaine où plusieurs mystères restent toujours non élucidés. Sa nouvelle passion pour le cerveau a fait naître en elle le désir d’aider à résoudre ces mystères.

Des années plus tard, tandis que Whitten finissait son doctorat, qui s’intéressait à la question de l’électrophysiologie sur l’hippocampe (une partie du cerveau importante pour les apprentissages et la mémoire), elle essayait de trouver une manière d’établir des ponts entre la neuroscience et le sport – ses deux passions dans la vie. « J’ai pensé qu’il devait y avoir un moyen de combiner les deux, » dit-elle. « Au bout du compte, j’ai pensé que la commotion cérébrale serait le sujet idéal. »

Mais d’abord, elle devait poursuivre son dernier rêve olympique. En 2016, Whitten a choisi de se concentrer sur la course individuelle contre la montre en cycliste et devenir un véritable espoir de médaille. Aussi improbable que ce soit, en mars, lors de ses derniers entraînements pour les Jeux olympiques de Rio, elle a subi une blessure débilitante au cours en faisant une chute lors d’une course d’entraînement.

Tout d’abord, la guérison de Whitten était incertaine et imprévisible – elle avait subi une commotion cérébrale et un os était brisé à la base de son crâne. Cette incertitude l’a amenée à réfléchir à son avenir. « Je me remettais toujours de mon accident à Rio et je ne savais pas comment les choses allaient se passer, » dit-elle. « Dans cette situation, je réfléchissais beaucoup à ce que j’allais faire. »

Au bout du compte, sa guérison a été remarquable et elle s’est classée au septième rang, ce qui est impressionnant. Bien qu’elle soit satisfaite de sa performance, elle se plaint toujours qu’elle aurait pu faire mieux. Elle n’aura toutefois pas le temps de regarder en arrière, car de nouveaux défis l’attendent.

Le docteur Brian Benson est le médecin-chef et directeur de la médecine sportive à l’Institut canadien du sport de Calgary et possède un cabinet de consultation à la clinique WinSportand où il s’intéresse en particulier aux commotions cérébrales sévères dans le sport. Il a été le médecin de Whitten lors de sa convalescence, mais il sera désormais son co-superviseur, lorsqu’elle deviendra stagiaire postdoctorale au sein de son groupe de recherche sur les commotions cérébrales.

Bien qu’elle ait elle-même subi une commotion cérébrale et qu’elle ait reçu les soins du docteur Benson, Whitten a trouvé ce poste de manière honnête, grâce à une recherche sur Internet d’emplois de niveau postdoctoral dans le domaine de la commotion cérébrale. « Je portais toujours le collier cervical au moment de l'entrevue, » dit-elle en riant.

Ce poste de deux ans est financé conjointement par À nous le podium et le Mitacs, un organisme de financement national à but non lucratif. Les travaux de Whitten s’intéresseront principalement à la mesure et l’évaluation des déficiences visuelles chez les patients ayant subi une commotion cérébrale. Grâce à la technologie robotique développée par le docteur Benson, Whitten établira une tâche permettant de mesurer la fonction oculomotrice, ce qui permettra d’étendre les capacités existantes de l’outil de diagnostic.

Selon le docteur Benson, il n’existe actuellement aucun programme ni tâche pour mesurer la fonction oculomotrice chez les patients ayant subi une commotion cérébrale. « Tara innovera grâce sa recherche. » Il affirme que les problèmes de vision sont communs chez les patients ayant souffert de commotion cérébrale. On parle entre autres de difficultés d’accommodation qui peuvent mener à des étourdissements, mais qui sont difficiles à évaluer dans un environnement clinique. La recherche de Whitten aidera à éliminer la composante subjective de l’évaluation et du suivi des commotions cérébrales et de l’établissement du moment où l’athlète est prêt à retourner au jeu.

Whitten n’a pas pu profiter de ces tests au moment de sa blessure, mais elle croit que ceux-ci auraient pu aider sa guérison. « Il y a eu une période où j’ai pensé que j’étais complètement rétablie, mais de temps à autre, un événement m’amenait à me questionner, », dit-elle. « Ce test m’aurait aidé à savoir si j’étais complètement rétablie ou non. »

Son expérience unique d’athlète et de neuroscientifique, ainsi que son expérience des commotions cérébrales, font d’elle la candidate idéale pour se joindre à l’équipe du docteur Benson. « Elle nous fera profiter de son expérience de la performance de haut niveau, de son diplôme de neuroscience et de sa formation en programmation et en analyse, » dit le docteur Benson. « Elle est parfaite pour notre programme sur les commotions cérébrales. »

Pour Whitten, c’est étrange comment tout s’est mis en place. Le doctorat, les Jeux olympiques et la commotion cérébrale, tout s’est assemblé au moment où elle a pris sa retraite de sa carrière d’athlète. « Je me considère très chanceuse d’avoir quelque chose sur quoi me concentrer. Je sens qu’il y a beaucoup de possibilités et j'en suis très enthousiasmée. »

Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary
Rédigé par Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo de Dave Holland: @CSICalgaryPhoto

Better People Better Athletes

High performance athletes are known for their intense focus and fierce dedication toward their sporting careers. In their quest for podium performances, well-rounded athletes look beyond their immediate sport goals and work towards balancing their lives and planning their futures. CSI Calgary has been promoting this holistic development of athletes as a core philosophy since its establishment. Over the years this culture has been nurtured and permeates the current and alumni athlete community.

Understanding that addressing “life outside and beyond” sport is a critical performance factor, the CSI Calgary delivers dedicated programs, and personnel to work alongside athletes, supporting them in a wide variety of areas. Recently, the more formalized national Game Plan program has significantly elevated the content and quality of services available.

In addition to being prepared for performance and life, CSI Calgary firmly believes that athletes who are prepared and confident off the field of play perform better. “Our aim is to prepare athletes to be responsible, confident, self-reliant and contributing citizens that are engaged with, and contribute back to the community,” says Dale Henwood, President and CEO. “Developing them as people helps them grow as athletes. Public support and connection to sport is better if we have good people representing our country.” Henwood has been a driving force promoting this philosophy for more than two decades.

Brad Spence, two-time Olympian and former CSI Calgary athlete is an example of an athlete giving back to the community. Retiring after the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, Spence decided to give back to the community by creating a not-for-profit organization, pulling together a Board of Directors that includes fellow CSI Calgary alumnus Jeff Christie. Originally Helmets for Heroes, the new Creative Impact Health Foundation focuses on concussion awareness and education to minimize the risk of traumatic brain injuries. So far they have completed 14 projects involving athletes with a CSI Calgary connection.

“As an athlete I feel I have a duty to give back,” says Spence. “I couldn’t have pursued my dreams and gotten to where I did, without the support of the community.” Spence is one of many CSI Calgary athletes and alumni using their lessons and success in sport to make our city a better place to live. Whether they are giving their time and energy sitting on non-profit Boards, contributing to existing foundations or starting their own, these athletes have embraced the concept of giving back to their community and acting as positive role models.

There are many organizations with a strong CSI Calgary connection, the following are some examples of athletes leading the development of local community programs: Fast & Female (Chandra Crawford), KidSport (Kathy Salmon), Right to Play (Clara Hughes), Ski Fit North (Becky Scott) and Wickfest (Hayley Wickenheiser).

“It is so encouraging to see the number of CSI Calgary current and alumni athletes dedicating their time towards different community initiatives,” says Cara Button, Director Stakeholder Relations and Game Plan administrator. “Seeing what athletes are doing validates our work.”

Game Plan is a world-class program developed to support national team athletes in living better lives both during their high-performance careers and beyond. The program is being delivered across Canada by the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSIN), supported by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), Sport Canada and is powered by Deloitte.

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Lisa Thomson


Better Together

Scattered about the country, Canada’s best up and coming ski cross athletes have historically been going it alone. The skiers have been isolated from one another, training solo and paying out of pocket for access to specialized programs and facilities.

It’s hard and expensive to follow a solitary path, and not overly conducive to fostering team dynamics and building a strong, competitive team. Thankfully, all that is changing.

Alpine Canada Alpin and the Canada Ski Cross program have created a Centralized Training and Education Program in Calgary, which allows athletes to simultaneously pursue post-secondary education and high performance sport. The program targets ski cross athletes from across Canada with potential who are three to six years from Olympic success.

Leveraging Calgary training facilities, including the CSI Calgary and local ski resorts, athletes will take advantage of integrated services while completing their education.

The CSI Calgary strongly supports this new initiative. Jason Poole, Director of Performance Services, says, “We are here to help and offer the team everything they need to achieve a high quality training environment,” he says. “Proximity to the National Sport School and the local universities and colleges also helps with supporting their education goals.”

Willy Raine, Ski Cross Athletic Director at Alpine Canada Alpin, has been working toward achieving this goal since starting in his role two years ago. For him it’s about more than just getting the athletes training together. “One of the key components of this program is education,” he says. “My goal is to get 75% of the team into post-secondary education. This model will help create better athletes, and help them have better balance in life.”

In addition to a focus on education however, the benefits of centralization include training together, which improves team dynamics and creates an environment where athletes support each other.

Kevin MacDonald, a Next Gen team member, says that with the team now training together they are pushing each other in workouts, something they weren’t able to do before. “We really push each other in the gym,” he says. “If I see one guy lift a certain weight I’m going to try and match or better that, it helps us work harder.”

For Raine, the primary objective is continuing to dominate on the world stage, no small feat for a program that is already number one in the world. “Ultimately centralizing the team will give us an advantage – the stronger the team is collectively the better we will be against the world. When one of us wins, we all win.”

Part of the rationale for centralization is financial sustainability. Having a centralized program that brings gym and on-snow training into one region, greatly reduces the costs to the athlete and the organization. According to Raine it’s just not economically feasible to create programs at multiple ski hills across the country. “We have to bring them together to get them the development they need. We need to push from below to keep the program growing.”

One of the goals of this new program is to develop athletes to the point where they are progressing from NorAm and Europa Cup competitions into World Cup competitions already at a high level. “We want to compress the development phase so that when the Next Gen athletes step up to the Word Cup level they are ready to start in the top 16, to make it into finals,” says Raine.

MacDonald is grateful for the opportunity to train with his team and go to school. “Now we are all doing the same thing, we can relate to each other, it makes the team better.”

Raine is equally happy to see his brainchild come to fruition. He passionately believes they are on the right track to developing both champion ski cross racers and successful students. “We need to help set them up for life, not just sport.”

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo: Alpine Canada Alpin

Biathlon bronze is fuel for the future

A historic landmark in the Norwegian consciousness, the Holmenkollenn ski park in Oslo embodies more than a century of legendary Nordic skiing competitions. For one special day in 2016, it also embodied a historic result for Canada’s men’s biathlon relay team, who took home a first ever bronze medal in the 4x7.5km team event behind the Norwegians and Germans at the World Championships.

The four-man crew, comprised of brothers Scott and Christian Gow, Brendan Green and Nathan Smith, is now being recognized for that feat at the upcoming Alberta Sport Awards, hosted by CSI Calgary partner, Alberta Sport Connection, winning the 2016 Team of the Year award.

“It was an amazing day for us,” says team veteran Nathan Smith. “Oslo is the big mecca for Nordic skiing and we were racing in front of huge crowds.” He says that although Norway took the win, it was fun to be in the battle for beating the home team. “The atmosphere around the medal was almost better than the medal,” he jokes.

Smith was tagged for doping control before the end of the race and was forced to watch the end play out for his team from indoors. He says it was nerve-wracking to see the finish but was elated when the team’s anchor skier, Brendan Green, crossed in third for the bronze medal.

For all four team members, it was a very special race and a very special day. “Winning the bronze was kind of unbelievable,” says Scott Gow. “We knew it was possible but it takes all four guys having a perfect race on the same day and we managed to do it at the World Championships.”

“These individuals and teams are Alberta’s best. We’re proud of what they’ve achieved and honoured to recognize them for their outstanding contribution to sport in our province,” says Andrew Ference, Chair of Alberta Sport Connection. “They have reached higher, dug deeper, led by example, and made our sport system better.”

The bronze medal, along with an individual silver won by Smith in 2015, has given the team an element of belief and confidence they didn’t have before. In a sport that is typically dominated by a handful of European countries, breaking through to the podium has help shift the attitude on the team.

“As a team we’ve reached a turning point,” says Gow. “Up until a few years ago, in the back of our minds there was a mental block but once the precedent is set it helps the whole team believe.”

Belief in what’s possible is what fuels the team forward as the next winter Olympics looms large in 2018. The team had its ups and downs during the season following the bronze medal performance, but is looking forward to building on the momentum it provided.

Gow says it’s a fond memory from that year, but with another a whole season completed since then they are looking to improve on it. “This coming season we are focused on our training, getting fitter and faster. The biggest factor is team positivity and confidence in both the relay and individual races,” he says.

Smith is recovered from a lingering mono-like virus that prevented him from competing most of the 2016-17 season. He has started training early this season in preparation for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang is 2018. The setback was difficult but Smith says it’s giving him extra motivation to overcome the obstacle.

For now, at least, there’s a chance to revel in the memory of the historic medal once more, before focus returns to the future. Biathlon is a lesser-known sport in Canada and Gow says this award is means a lot to the team. “It’s always really nice to win an award and be recognized,” he says.

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

Blazing a New Trail in Para Sport

There is an unfortunate reality within the realm of para sport that athletes have to contend with – they don’t always have access to services from their National Sport Organization, either due to a lack of resources or too few athletes to invest in a dedicated program.

“In para alpine skiing for example, there are not enough athletes to develop a specific para alpine training group and program”, says Reid Bilben, Manager at the Alberta Sport Development Centre (ASDC). “This gap has left many para athletes from several sports on their own, without a place to train or team to train with.”

Fortunately, the CSI Calgary, in partnership with the ASDC, is looking to change this reality with an innovative new program geared towards para athletes of all ages from any sport. The Para Sport Training Program is launching this fall at the CSI Calgary and will focus on providing sport science services to para athletes.

The central idea behind the program is to bring para athletes from a variety of sports together to form training groups that will have access to high performance sport services from experts at the CSI Calgary. Bilben says that the intention is to fill a gap in the system for developing athletes. “We are trying to get more athletes who are the only one from their sport in a training region, into a training group with other para sport athletes.”

Tessa Gallinger is an Adaptive Strength Specialist at the CSI Calgary and will lead the new training groups. She says the main goal is to bridge that gap within the para-sport system. “There isn’t a lot of availability of sport science to athletes prior to reaching the high performance level,” she says. “Most of the athletes I work with are already carded and on the national team. We’re trying to get athletes into the stream sooner.”

Gallinger, who is also pursuing a master’s degree studying muscle physiology in athletes with cerebral palsy, says that they are looking to help athletes build the right foundation in strength and skill in order to help ensure they have long careers in para sport. “We want to get these athletes in the program when they are in between sports and haven’t specialized yet, but still need functional strength work and help with structural basics,” she says.

This dedicated support will help the athletes stay healthy and strong in their sport for a long time. “We want to see them go to more than one Paralympic Games. We want their careers to be long lived,” says Gallinger. In a sport environment where athletes enter the stream at a later age and peak in their 30s or 40s, this program will serve to help younger athletes get started on the high performance path at an earlier age.

In addition to having a place to train, training partners and sport science support, one of the key benefits for the athletes is simply being in an environment where excellence is the main pursuit. For Gallinger, it doesn’t matter how impaired or abled athletes are, they all have big goals and being exposed to others with similar attitudes and goals pushes everyone to be better. “There is a huge development piece to this program,” she says. “Athletes can see other athletes who are where they want to be, and can see what it takes to get there.”

The Para Sport Training Program fall session began last week, there is still room for participants. Winter session starts January 9, 2017. For more information on the program or to register, contact the ASDC office at 403-440-8668.

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


For some athletes, moving beyond sport can be completing their education and finding a job. For others, the transition may evolve into a full-blown apocalyptic, existential crisis. Leaving competitive sport behind is a tough pill to swallow.

During the weeks and months following an Olympic Games, many athletes fall into a post-Olympic malaise characterized by a letdown after the intense build up to what is often the biggest event of their careers. Regardless of whether one returns home as a newly-minted Olympic medallist or a disappointed competitor, unease about the future emerges.

This post-Olympic period can be fraught with changes at an organizational level, in coaching staff and in program structure. This, combined with an athlete’s inner search for clarity and the desire to continue competing, can make for a tumultuous period.

In anticipation of this phase, the 2016 Game Plan Summit was held this past last weekend to explore each of the five Game Plan elements: career, education, health, network, and skill development. Game Plan is a collaboration between the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSIN), Deloitte and Sport Canada. This second event of its kind, brought together the Game Plan partners and national team athletes at the recently completed Deloitte University, a learning campus at the Deloitte building in downtown Toronto.

The Summit presented opportunities for athletes to network with alumni and industry leaders, reconnect with athletes, attend skill development workshops, and leave with concrete tools and experiences. The theme of the event was ‘Breakthrough’ and the goal was to provide athletes with access to knowledge and resources to perform at their best in and out of sport.

Jessica Zelinka, a two-time Olympian in heptathlon and CSI Calgary athlete, fell just short of her goal of competing in Rio. With lingering feelings of disappointment and love of sport, she’s not quite ready to walk away yet. While she works through what comes next in her life, she continues to train and has taken on two jobs.

In addition to the sessions and workshops at the summit focusing on the practical aspects of transition, what Zelinka appreciated deeply about the experience was the ability to connect with other athletes. “It was a really good opportunity to see everyone and hear their stories, to know that I’m not alone and that there is a lot of support out there.”

This sentiment was echoed by 2016 Olympic Champion in wrestling and CSI Calgary athlete, Erica Wiebe. While Wiebe’s schedule is currently overflowing with appearances and public speaking, leaving little time to address future plans, she welcomed the chance to connect with her fellow athletes.

“I’m so inspired by my peers,” she says. “We are all doing the same thing but we all have a unique story. It’s amazing to learn about how everyone handles the challenges in their lives.”

Cara Button, Director of Stakeholder Relations at the CSI Calgary, was a presenter at the summit. She observed was that the event provided a new connection for many athletes. “It exposed the athletes to the Game Plan program and the wealth of resources available to them as they develop their plans for the future,” she says.

The challenge of transition is not unique to athletes. One of the recurring messages at the summit was the idea that transition happens to everyone throughout their lives and the necessity of embracing it is infinite and universal. For some athletes, difficulty arises in being frank and honest about how they are truly feeling.

“The summit helped open up the conversation I was afraid to have with myself, to learn about the options and resources that are available to me,” says Zelinka. “I know there are some other things I could love but I don’t know what those are yet.”

The Game Plan program is having impact developing mentally stronger athletes who apply what they have learned as leaders in the sport to the betterment of themselves and their communities.

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

Calgary 2026?

By Ken Read

Each winter the Calgary region hosts up to seven annual World Cup events. Another four winter sports stage World Championship or quadrennial World Cups. Alberta is home to eight of the twelve winter National Sport Organizations. Canadian Sport Institute Calgary has matured into the largest of Canada’s seven Sport Institutes.

In 1981, when a fairly obscure western Canadian city called Calgary won the right to host the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, none of this existed.

So much has changed on the sport landscape in 35 years. But to really understand the legacy of 1988, you need to think back to what it was like to be in sport prior to 1981.

There was no Saddledome, no Olympic Oval. The Canmore Nordic Centre and Nakiska did not exist. Canada Olympic Park was everyone’s favourite city ski hill called Paskapoo. The administration of most winter sports operated out of Ottawa, under the watchful eye of Sport Canada. Calgary hosted the Brier and Skate Canada and had held the first-ever World Cup downhill at Lake Louise. The Flames were new in town, housed in the 6,500 seat Corral.

There certainly was a thriving winter sport community. International calibre Olympic talent had emerged from local clubs and programs in alpine ski racing, figure skating, speed skating and hockey. Local boosters wanted to run events to showcase Calgary, Alberta and the Canadian Rockies, to give home-grown athletes as well as other Canadian Olympic prospects and talent in emerging sports like freestyle and short track speed skating a chance to compete at home, to inspire local kids. But we lacked facilities and international experience.

So when Frank King galvanized a renewed Olympic bid from the Calgary Booster Club in 1979, he found a highly receptive audience and community.

I’m reflecting back to these early days of the 1988 Olympic bid, because it is so important to contrast what we take for granted today with what existed 35 years ago. No annual World Cups. No National Teams based in the province. Rare international events. No facilities.

It was an enormous amount of sweat equity, ingenuity and investment that revolutionized sport in Canada. We all know how successful the 1988 Games were. But the real success story started through the preparation and development as Calgary ramped up for ’88.

To prepare for the Games host cities are required to stage “pre-Olympic” events in all sports. A common-sense plan to test venues, give athletes a chance to train on Olympic sites, test logistics that range from transportation to security to pageantry, to train volunteers and work with partners that would include media, sponsors and funding agencies. The investment in people – volunteers and officials – delivered the capacity and know-how to organize annual World Cup events.Result: alpine skiing, bobsleigh, luge, skeleton and speed skating now are regular stops on the international calendar, with hockey, cross country skiing, biathlon, figure skating and curling hosting major events.

Successful annual events were bolstered by a will to build training environments. National Training Centres emerged as funding became available, with National Teams centralizing their year-round programs close to these venues.Result: National Training Centres are now established at Nakiska (alpine), Canmore (biathlon & cross country), the University of Calgary (speed skating), Canada Olympic Park (nordic combined and ski jumping; sliding track for bobsleigh, skeleton & luge).

With National Teams centralized in Alberta, it followed that once Sport Canada allowed the National Sport Organizations to move their head offices to logical locations (rather than Ottawa), the administration of each sport followed the athletes.Result: Calgary and Canmore are now home to Hockey Canada, Alpine Canada, Luge Canada, Bobsleigh/Skeleton Canada, Ski Jump Canada, Nordic Combined Canada, Cross Country Canada and Biathlon Canada.

As Canada established a network of Canadian Sport Centres across the country to support our athletes, with most winter sports housed in the Calgary region, it was a natural evolution that CSI-Calgary became the primary provider to winter sports. Sport Centres are the employer of the support teams that surround athletes including exercise physiologists, strength and conditioning coaches, biomechanics, dieticians, mental performance consultants, anthropometrists, biochemistry lab technicians, physicians, physiotherapists, athletic therapists, chiropractors and massage therapists.

Working with funding partners at the federal, provincial and municipal level, WinSport Canada established the Athlete Centre within Canada Olympic Park that is now one of the leading facilities for athlete training in the world.Result: CSI-Calgary has evolved to become Canada’s largest Sport Institute, now employing more than 75 professionals and working with 345 current and future Olympians/Paralympians and Pan-Am/Parapan athletes and hundreds of coaches, technicians, officials and volunteers working with sport organizations.

The steadily expanding sport expertise and availability of venues has easily accommodated the addition of new and emerging sports that were added to the Olympic program post-1988. First to be included were skeleton and freestyle (moguls and aerials), followed by snowboard (cross, alpine and half-pipe) and ski cross, then expanding to slopestyle and now big air.Result: skeleton, freestyle, snowboard, ski cross programs and events were merged into the Calgary and region sporting mix on venues that are arguably best in the world.

The circle of sport influence driven by the legacy of ’88 and the critical mass of sport expertise has continued to bring even more projects with a core sport focus to bolster the sector.Result: Canada’s Sport’s Hall of Fame, the winter offices of Own the Podium and National Sport School; complementing sport are the Human Performance Lab at the University of Calgary and Sport & Wellness Engineering Technologies (SAIT). Expertise along with bricks and mortar have gravitated to Calgary as a centre of sport excellence.

The human factor has enormous impact. From those who are passing through, to many who came and put down roots, Calgary and area have been transformed. Many recognizable names within the sport community have come from other countries and parts of Canada. They have brought professional credentials and sporting pedigrees. Their children have joined our clubs. Their leadership and expertise populate sport boards, event committees and administration of local, provincial and national organizations.Result: Hundreds of international athletes come to Canada each year for training and competition. Canadians from across the country centralize to Calgary each year for their National Team programs. Many have elected to stay. Hundreds of sport professionals who lead and support our sport programs have been recruited from around the world and now call Canada home.

Just imagine if you can, almost none of this existed in 1981.

The business of international sport is no different than any other business sector. To remain competitive, relevant and to thrive, infrastructure needs to be maintained. Excellence is fluid, with the bar constantly raised. The medium that presents sport to the world is in flux with the expectations of digital delivery and efficient broadcast servicing a requirement for all sporting events from the World Cup level and up. We have an enormous sport business now resident in the region, so a review of existing and potential facilities and the infrastructure necessary to keep our competitive edge is a prudent business decision.

It hasn’t all been sweetness and light through this journey. Mistakes have been made, but an Olympic bid is a once in a generation chance to learn, adapt and improve in the same way Calgary learned from the Montreal experience and Vancouver learned from Calgary. But on balance, without doubt, the 1988 Games have been good for the city and region, province and country and an enormous lift for Canadian sport. Even a review to evaluate a potential bid is a chance to refresh, reinvigorate, renew, redress and rebuild.

This bid is for an event 10 years from today. At the core, the focus of the feasibility study should be on where we, as a community and country, would like to see this thriving sector evolve to by 2050 and beyond. To inspire youngsters, lift the next generation of champions, transfer knowledge to new leaders and officials. At a time where diversification is high on the list of urgent needs for our economy, sport and the related sectors of tourism and communications can figure prominently.

When the IOC announced “Calgary!” in October, 1981, none of us truly imagined the possibilities. What a journey. As we now look forward, what opportunity awaits us.....

More from Ken Read’s blog: White Circus – Weiß Zirkus – Cirque Blanc

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Calgary Flames Testing at the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary

CSICalgary Flames-0556The Calgary Flames are well prepared for their upcoming season, thanks in part to their work with members of the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary. The Flames began their 2014 training camp at the WinSport Performance Training Centre at Canada Olympic Park on September 11, 2014. Assessments commenced with annual medicals and fitness testing using the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary's world-leading sport science and sport medicine teams. On ice workouts began the following day, drawing public crowds anxious to assess the team's potential for the 2014-15 season.

The players had all systems firing during their fitness testing, where intense competition combined with good camaraderie could be heard throughout the building. The Flames' support staff have continued their testing largely because of their long-standing relationship with the Canadian Sport Institute's Sport Science Director Dr. David Smith, which has enabled the team to amass years' worth of physiological testing data. The data allows for veteran Flames players to monitor their physiological improvements over time, as well as helping the coaching staff determine the fitness and strength of new players.

Ryan Van Asten, strength and conditioning coach for the Calgary Flames noted that the players and staff of the Flames organization are appreciative of the facilities, saying, "The Canadian Sport Institute is truly state of the art. It is a place an athlete can go to meet all of their physical preparation needs including performance testing/monitoring, physical fitness, recovery, nutrition, and rehabilitation. We are fortunate to have this world leading institute right in our own backyard." Van Asten's sentiment resonates with many of Canada's best sports federations, which has resulted in the Flames becoming just one of many elite sports teams that does their training and testing at the new facility. Similar testing protocols are utilized amongst many of the country's best amateur athletes including members of the Canadian Wrestling, Bobsleigh, Skeleton, Alpine, Luge, and Speed Skating teams.

In addition to the benefits provided in the sport science realm, coaches and team staff were able to use Winsport's complex to its full advantage by meeting in conference rooms overlooking the ice rinks while the players used off the ice facilities. Over the course of September, the players could be seen throughout the Centre doing weightlifting sessions, shuttle runs, bike workouts, and yoga classes.

The Flames' organization has also taken advantage of the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary's world-leading biomechanical analysis team, led by Pro Stergiou. During their past season, the team's support staff members worked with the biomechanical team to determine the amount of force placed at the ankle joint using state-of-the-art sensors, cameras, and techniques, to gather information and help bring players back from injury in a safe and expedient manner.

The Calgary Flames begin the regular season on October 8 with a home opener against the Vancouver Canucks. Be there to witness the final product of the team's astounding off-season efforts.

Stay in the loop!
Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Writen by Brittany Schussler: @bschussler
WinSport: www.winsport.ca

Calgary Roughnecks Find Value in Comprehensive Testing

The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) is excited to be part of a new venture with the National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) Calgary Roughnecks. The Roughnecks were at WinSport on November 27 to undergo testing at the CSI Calgary in preparation for the upcoming season, which gets underway on January 2.

The Roughnecks are breaking ground as the first team in the NLL to undergo comprehensive testing that is common for Olympic athletes. CSI Calgary Strength and Conditioning Coach Chris Osmond works with the Roughnecks organization and encouraged the team to take advantage of the high performance facility and staff’s extensive knowledge. He says, “The team chose to perform preseason testing at the CSI Calgary this year to take their performance to the next level. They want to invest in their players by giving them access to world leading sport science. They believe that this venture will pave the way for elevated performance this season and for years to come.”

Calgary Roughnecks General Manager and Director of Business Operations Mike Board was on site for the full day of testing. He agrees with Osmond, adding, “We wanted to centralize what we do for our fitness testing and this facility provided the opportunity to have everyone together on the same day. It is good for us as an organization and it is also a team building concept.”

Although it has never been conducted before by any NLL teams, the Roughnecks organization sees the value in preseason testing because, Board notes, “It allows us to get ready for the season knowing the players’ fitness and training zones. We are looking to find out how fit our guys are and where we need to take them. This data allows us to do that, and it is something that we have not been able to do before.”

Moving forward, CSI Calgary Exercise Physiologist Kelly Quipp will work to provide interpretation of the players’ test results. She will then offer training recommendations to elevate the conditioning level of the team for the upcoming season. This feedback will be enhanced by Osmond, who will create a training plan that can be adapted for each player.

Of the team’s first time utilizing the CSI Calgary services, Board emphasizes, “The experience has been fabulous. It’s efficient – the flow and timing of everything is very impressive. The players’ feedback was positive and the medical team was very happy.”

Best of luck in the season to the Calgary Roughnecks! The CSI Calgary looks forward to hosting you again next preseason.


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

Canadian Biathletes Have Home Field Advantage

Canadian Biathletes and fans are about to enjoy a long-awaited international competition. From February 1-7, the Canmore Nordic Centre will host the 2016 BMW Biathlon World Cup, the first in Canmore since 1994.

Canada will be represented by a strong contingent. The female competitors will be Rosanna Crawford, Julia Ransom, Sarah Beaudry, Zina Kocher and Megan Tandy, while the males will be Nathan Smith, Brendan Green, Macx Davies, Christian Gow and Scott Gow. All athletes are Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) supported, training at the CSI Calgary hub in the Bill Warren Training Center (BWTC). Owned and operated by WinSport, the BWTC is housed at the legendary Canmore Nordic Centre.

Canada’s home field advantage for the World Cup comes at a critical time. This is allowing the team to prepare at home for to the upcoming World Championships March 3-13 in Norway. It will provide the CSI Calgary’s Integrated Support Team (IST) the opportunity to be close to the athletes, giving them access to massage and physiotherapy, as well as direct contact with their strength coach, mental performance consultant and physiologist. Sport Physiologist Jessica Kryski emphasizes, “It is rare for the IST to have such great access to the athletes prior to a major championship. This will allow direct contact, which is not always the case due to costs associated with travel.”

Reigning World Championship Silver Medallist Nathan Smith is looking forward to performing on his home track, saying, “I grew into the athlete I am today on those trails. I will have a definite advantage being able to sleep in my own bed, eat my own food, and being very familiar with the range and course. On a personal level, the World Cup here is almost more important than World Championships.” Smith is proud to have the opportunity to show his home venue to the world, declaring, “I have yet to see somewhere that compares to Canmore.”

The anticipation goes beyond the athletes to the Biathlon Canada staff. High Performance Director Eric de Nys notes, “The beauty of racing at home is having the opportunity to showcase your passion to friends, family and supporters. For years the athletes have trained hard to then leave Canada and demonstrate their skills internationally. To be able to do this at home is a real honour and exudes a sense of pride.”

National Team Coach Roddy Ward is excited about the athletes’ chances to be on the podium in front of their biggest supporters, saying, “Rosanna Crawford and Nathan Smith teamed up for a silver medal in the last single mixed relay and now they will get a chance to team up again to compete for a medal. Youngsters on the team have also made huge strides this year with Macx Davies securing his first top 10 and Julia Ransom posting her first top 20.”

Don’t miss your opportunity to cheer on Canadian athletes as they fight for medals in beautiful Canmore! For tickets and information please visit http://canmorebiathlon.ca

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

Canadian Speed Skaters Putting the World on Notice

In a season punctuated by Ted-Jan Bloemen setting the 10,000m World Record and Ivanie Blondin being crowned the Mass Start World Champion, the Canadian Long Track Speed Skating Team has exceeded all expectations.

Predominantly based out of the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary), the team recently wrapped up the World Single Distance Championships where they won four medals (Blondin’s gold, a 10,000m silver from Bloemen, and bronze in the 500m from Alex Boisvert-Lacroix and the Men’s Team Pursuit).

Scott Maw, CSI Calgary Sport Physiologist and Integrated Support Team (IST) Lead with Speed Skating Canada (SSC), knew the team had what it took to be a force on the global stage. Over the past two seasons, there has been a collaborative effort between SSC, the Olympic Oval and CSI Calgary in making adjustments to team culture, expectations and accountability. It began with an overhaul of the athlete pathway to make it one program focused on performance across all levels.

The changes have lead to an increased concentration on the four main pillars that Speed Skating Canada’s program is built upon: respect, compete, accountability, and professionalism. This has come from an emphasis on team atmosphere, an element that can be difficult to emphasize in a mainly individual sport. To enhance the concept of team, all of SSC’s coaches have worked together to create a team-oriented yearly training plan that includes team training camps throughout the year.

Maw says the objective is “really about making sure each and every athlete is getting the basics right while respecting their teammates and their competitors and what it means to skate with the maple leaf on their skinsuits. This in turn gives them the confidence that they can perform when it matters.”

Following the 2014 Winter Olympics, Maw began working to develop key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine if World Cup performance was an indicator of World Championship or Olympic success. His task involved analyzing results from the previous six seasons, including thousands of races.

These KPI’s are used by CSI Calgary Mental Performance Consultant Derek Robinson to increase athletes’ emphasis on both individual and the team’s performances. By frequently reporting to the skaters on how they performed as a team relative to the other countries, Robinson is able to motivate skaters to improve for individual progression and to contribute to the team’s success.

Maw and the IST have adjusted many elements of the speed skating team’s approach. To better quantify the skaters’ response to training, SSC’s coaches have aligned how they classify training zones. This has worked in conjunction with a revamped approach to how skaters are monitored allowing IST members to hone in on how each athlete is responding to training. The athletes are also being monitored on their attention to elite habits, which include a vast array of things such as sleep and nutrition.

Despite the endless ways to monitor athletes, adjust training, and encourage a supportive environment, ultimately Maw knows, “When it comes down to it, it’s all about the skater giving their best performance on the day that counts. We are here to support that and to help them make it happen by design rather than by chance.”

The speed skaters close out their season in Heerenveen, Netherlands

at the World Cup Final March 11-13. For up-to-date results, follow Speed Skating Canada on Twitter @SSC_PVC.

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

Canadian Women Eyeing Hockey Gold

The Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team is ready to show the world what they are made of as they host the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Championship March 28-April 4 in Kamloops.

After bringing home the gold from the 2014 Olympic Games, forward Brianne Jenner says, “Having World Championships on home soil is very exciting for us and something we really look forward to. We have great fans when we play at home and it really makes for a fantastic atmosphere. The Four Nations Cup was held in Kamloops in 2014 and the crowd really got behind us. I have no doubt they will do the same in April.”

The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) will be cheering loudly for Team Canada, as it is the training home of nine team members: Bailey Bram, Sarah Davis, Brianne Jenner, Rebecca Johnston, Brigette Lacquette, Meaghan Mikkelson Reid, Jillian Saulnier, Blayre Turnbull, and Hayley Wickenheiser. The Calgary-based players rely on CSI Calgary’s Integrated Support Team in a variety of areas including nutrition, physiology, sport science, strength and conditioning, massage, and mental performance.

Two-time Olympic Gold Medallist Rebecca Johnston says, “The partnership between Hockey Canada and CSI Calgary has been amazing! I use a wide variety of the services. As a hockey player, I need treatment on a weekly basis to stay on top of my body and eliminate injuries. The CSI Calgary provides us with everything that we need and more! We are so fortunate to have the resources that we do.”

Meaghan Mikkelson Reid, also a double Olympic Gold Medallist, has recently returned to the team after having her first child. She believes this feat is in part thanks to Strength and Conditioning Coach Jeff Osadec, emphasizing, “I could not be more grateful for the amazing work that Jeff has done for me. After working with him for four years, he trained me through my pregnancy and then after I had my son. He helped me get back to full strength in approximately three months. There is no way I would have been named to the World Championship team without his knowledge, expertise, and passion when it comes to training athletes.”

The CSI Calgary’s Amy Bauerle, a therapist with Canada’s National Women’s Team, notes, “It is great to have the opportunity to work with the athletes throughout the season. These women are dedicated athletes and I am excited to see their hard work pay off in Kamloops when they get the chance to compete on the world stage on home ice. It’s an honour to be a part of this journey with them.”

To follow the Canadian Women on their quest for World Championship gold, visit http://www.worldwomen2016.com/en/.

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

Chris Osmond : un entraîneur unique au sein de l’ICSC

Chris Osmond, entraîneur en développement de la force et de la forme à l'Institut canadien du sport de Calgary (ICSC), a la lourde tâche de fournir des services personnalisés à des athlètes de sports variés. Bien que la majorité des entraîneurs de développement de la force et de la forme de l'ICSC travaille avec des groupes d'athlètes pratiquant le même sport, M. Osmond entraîne quant à lui des athlètes qui ne font pas partie d'un groupe d'entraînement.

Il travaille habituellement avec de cinq à huit athlètes en même temps, provenant tous de sports différents. Le niveau de ses athlètes s'étend d'équipes nationales juniors au niveau professionnel ou olympique. Parmi les athlètes qu'il entraîne actuellement, on trouve Joshua Riker-Fox, pentathlonien; Mike Soroka, joueur de baseball; John Morris, curleur; et Kyle Croxall, patineur de descente extrême

M. Osmond aime le défi que représente le travail avec des personnes aux parcours différents. Il précise que pour parvenir à créer le meilleur plan pour chaque athlète, « je m'instruis sur chacun des sports. Les programmes que j'élabore sont personnalisés en fonction de l'évaluation des mouvements, de la puissance et de la capacité d'effort physique ainsi que de mon analyse du sport et de l'athlète. »

Après les évaluations et les tests initiaux dans le laboratoire de haute performance de l'ICSC, M. Osmond crée un programme d'entraînement annuel. Ensuite, on en définit sa composition plus en détail avec d'autres entraîneurs qui participeront à l'entraînement de l'athlète en question. Le processus d'entraînement comprend la création de courts cycles au sein du programme d'entraînement annuel, ce qui permet aux entraîneurs de se concentrer sur les priorités déterminées lors de l'évaluation.

La relation athlète-entraîneur entre Joshua Riker-Fox et M. Osmond est encore toute récente. Cependant, l'athlète croit déjà fortement au style d'entraînement de M. Osmond. Lorsqu'on le questionne au sujet de M. Osmond, Joshua déclare : « Nous avons commencé par examiner ma situation actuelle en profondeur et définir des objectifs pour l'avenir. J'estime vraiment le fait que Chris ait travaillé avec des athlètes différents de sports variés. Il comprend que le pentathlon moderne comprend des mouvements asymétriques. Chris a clairement de l'expérience et explique les raisons de chaque exercice. J'aime vraiment son expertise et le fait qu'il me fait tant apprendre. Je me sens plus fort et c'est évidemment gratifiant d'en constater l'impact. Chris est un excellent entraîneur! »

Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary

Rédigé par Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler

Photo de Dave Holland: @CSICalgaryPhoto

Chris Osmond: A Unique Coach Within the CSIC

Chris Osmond, a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary, has the difficult task of providing individualized services to athletes from a variety of sports. While the majority of the CSIC's strength and conditioning coaches work with groups of athletes who belong to a single sport, Osmond has taken on the role of coaching athletes who are not part of a training group.

Osmond typically works with five to eight athletes at time, all from varying sports. His athletes' levels range from junior national teams to the professional or Olympic level. Some of the athletes that he is currently coaching are modern pentathlete Joshua Riker-Fox, baseball player Mike Soroka, curler John Morris, and ice cross athlete Kyle Croxall.

Osmond enjoys the challenge of working with a diverse range of individuals. He says that in order to create the best plan for each athlete, "I educate myself about each sport. The programs I create are individualized based on assessments of movement, power and capacity to do work, together with my analysis of the sport and athlete."

After the initial assessments and testing are performed through the CSIC's High Performance Laboratory, Osmond creates a yearly training program (YTP). Once the YTP has been established, more detailed programming takes place with other coaching staff who will be involved in training a specific athlete. The training process includes establishing small cycles within the YTP that enable the coaching staff to focus on priorities that have been identified through the assessment process.

Joshua Riker-Fox's athlete-coach relationship with Osmond is still in the early stages. However, he already has a strong belief in Osmond's coaching style. When asked about Osmond, Riker-Fox says, "We started with a thorough review of where I am at currently and what my goals are moving forward. I really appreciate that Chris has worked with a variety of sports and athletes. He has an understanding of the asymmetric movement in the event of modern pentathlon. Chris is obviously experienced and shares the rationale behind what we do. I really enjoy Chris' expertise and the fact that I am learning so much from him. I feel stronger and it is obviously rewarding for me to see its impact. Chris is a great coach!"

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary

Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler

Photo by 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 www.csicalgary.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

Convenable pour les pros

L’institut canadien du sport de Calgary (ICS Calgary) est devenu un centre de formation pour les athlètes professionnels souhaitant s’améliorer pendant la saison morte. L’ICS Calgary revêt un caractère unique auprès des athlètes évoluant habituellement au sein de grandes équipes, en raison de sa capacité à évaluer les besoins des athlètes et à créer des programmes personnalisés qui répondent aux besoins individuels de chacun.

Plusieurs joueurs des Stampeders de Calgary en ont fait leur deuxième maison, entre autres le quart arrière Bo Levi Mitchell, le secondeur Deron Mayo et le receveur éloigné Anthony Parker. Les joueurs Sam Hurl des Blue Bombers de Winnipeg, le porteur de ballon Matt Walter et Mike Soroka, premier choix du repêchage des Braves d’Atlanta, bénéficient également des services de l’institut pour y améliorer leur condition physique pendant la saison morte.

Chris Osmond, entraîneur de force et de conditionnement physique, a acquis une réputation de conseiller très recherché auprès de professionnels, en raison de sa capacité à concevoir des programmes d’entraînement qui répondent aux besoins précis de chaque athlète. « C’est vraiment génial que des athlètes professionnels s’entraînent à l’ICS Calgary, affirme-t-il. Ils adorent travailler avec la culture que nous avons créée. Nous leur offrons un guichet unique puisqu’ils trouvent tout ce dont ils ont besoin sous un même toit. »

On doit à Matt Walter d’avoir fait découvrir l’ICS Calgary aux membres des Stampeders qui s’y entraînent maintenant. Né et ayant grandi à Calgary, l’ancien Dino de l’Université de Calgary a commencé à travailler avec Chris Osmond en décembre 2015. « Il savait à quel point j’avais besoin d’aide au niveau physique, précise Walter. J’avais fait beaucoup de progrès pendant la saison morte précédente, mais sans obtenir tous les résultats souhaités. Je sentais que mon état physique déclinait un peu. Je cherchais un endroit où je pouvais investir dans ma forme physique, le meilleur endroit où m’entraîner. J’ai fait des recherches et j’ai découvert l’ICS Calgary. Et depuis, je sens que je suis sur la bonne voie. »

C’est en entendant les critiques élogieuses de son coéquipier que Bo Levi Mitchel, né au Texas, s’est joint à l’ICS Calgary, parce qu’il souhaitait « s’entraîner en compagnie d’athlètes olympiques; ces gens-là sont affamés », affirme-t-il. Après avoir accompli une série de tests complets, y compris la composition corporelle et la santé cardiovasculaire, Bo a admis n’avoir jamais rien fait de tel avant. Ses résultats ont souligné le besoin d’un programme personnalisé axé davantage sur le cardiovasculaire que ses coéquipiers de l’ICS Calgary. Il est déjà impressionné par ses résultats : « Je travaille avec Chris à l’ICS Calgary depuis seulement un mois, mais après 15 ans à jouer au football, je sais que je suis dans la meilleure forme physique que jamais avant. Chris connaît toutes les facettes de ce que nous faisons. L’atmosphère est incroyable et c’est fantastique de s’entraîner auprès d’athlètes olympiques. »

Walter et Mitchell, champions de la Coupe Grey 2014, sont tellement impressionnés par leurs progrès à ce jour qu’ils prévoient poursuivre leur collaboration avec Osmond jusqu’à ce qu'ils amorcent leur période d’entraînement, ainsi que tout au long de la saison de football. Et comme le souligne Walter, « Chris est le meilleur entraîneur avec lequel j’ai eu l’occasion de travailler. Il est dans une classe supérieure et possède un haut niveau de connaissances. Tout ce qu’il me fait faire me rend encore meilleur. »

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

CSIC Athletes Contribute to PanAm Success

The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSIC) athletes are making their mark on the PanAm Games in Toronto. As of July 16, half of the way through the competition, Team Canada is leading the medal standings with a total of 97 medals.

As expected, CSIC athletes have been great contributors to the results. Gold medal performances have come from Ashley Steacy in rugby, Monique Sullivan and Kate O’Brien in track cycling’s team sprint, Genevieve Morrison in 48kg wrestling, and a double gold medal performance by Lynda Kiejko in shooting. Silver medals have been won by gymnast Kevin Lytwyn on the horizontal bar and Andrew Schnell in doubles squash. The medal haul so far is rounded out with bronze medals earned by the men’s water polo team and roller speed skating’s Jordan Belchos .

Belchos is a rare two-sport athlete, who competes during the winter months in international events in long track speed skating. Belchos, a native of Toronto, was ecstatic with his performance in the 10,000m points race, saying, “It was such an honour to compete in my hometown. Travelling to and from the venues I passed by the rink where I had my first speed skating race and by the hospital where I was born. It really made things feel like they were coming full circle for me. I knew my Pan Am race would be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I knew I was a long shot to win a medal but I never wavered in my belief that I could do something special in the race.”

Belchos has been living in Calgary for a decade and attributes much of his athletic success to his training environment, noting, “I'm privileged to be supported by the CSIC and train in the professional setting and environment that they provide. So many of the steps I've taken in my career have been under the guidance of many CSIC staff including Derek Robinson, Scott Maw, and Kelly Anne Erdman.”

With many events still to be contested, be sure to keep an eye on the rest of the CSIC athletes and all of Team Canada! 

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary

Written by Brittany Schussler: @bschussler

Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

CSIC Baseball Player Mike Soroka Drafted to Atlanta Braves

The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary was thrilled with the news that Calgary-born athlete Mike Soroka had been drafted to Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves. Soroka, a right-handed pitcher, was picked in the first round, 28th overall.

The draft comes at a busy time in 17-year-old Soroka's life, with his graduation from Bishop Caroll High School occurring on June 19. When asked about the current changes in his life, Sororka is still focused on baseball, saying that his goal has always been to be a professional pitcher. He emphasized that pitching has always "been what I've loved to do...throw on the mound and be in control. That's just something that I enjoy."

Soroka has been an athlete training at the CSIC since November 2014, when he began working in the high performance weight room with Strength and Conditioning Coach Chris Osmond and using the on-site cold tubs to enhance his recovery. Osmond had previously worked with a baseball team that Soroka had played on, and based on that experience Soroka knew that Osmond's expertise would help him reach the next level of his career. Their work together has paid off, with Soroka noting that all of his training was "very well monitored. I've had other trainers that tried to just bulk me up, but Chris was very focused on being functional. All his exercises were adaptived to baseball. I also liked that I sometimes wanted to push the weight up but Chris was focused on consistency and solid improvement."

After working one-on-one with Soroka, Chris Osmond is not surprised at the Braves' decision to draft him. Osmond describes Soroka as ambitious and focused, saying, "It was a pleasure working with Mike. His determination to be a better athlete physically and mentally was evident during every training session. I'm extremely happy to see all of his hard work paying off."

As Soroka gets ready to fly off to Atlanta for medical assessments and what he hopes will be his official team signing, he is noticeably excited, saying, "It's been a whirlwind with many ups and downs, but I now have to focus on what's to come." From everyone at the CSIC, "Good luck Mike!"

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary

Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler

Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

CSIC Workshop Focuses on Weight Issues of Female Athletes

On May 11, 2015, Registered Psychologist Natasha Kutlesa gave a presentation entitled "How to Talk About Weight to Female Athletes." The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary's boardroom was filled to its twenty-four person capacity with the CSIC's coaches and support staff, underscoring the importance of the issue.

Kutlesa has been a part of the CSIC's mental performance team for ten years. After having the experience of working with many athletes who have issues with body image, disordered eating has become one of the areas that she specializes in. She conceived of the concept for this workshop after noting that there is a strong recurrence of eating disorders and body image issues among athletes. This is emphasized by research that has shown elite athletes as being more susceptible to eating disorders than the general population.

Noticing that coaches struggle to find the best ways of communicating with athletes who are battling disordered eating, Kutlesa recognized this as a good opportunity to facilitate a workshop in which coaches and therapists from different sports could share with each other and learn from others' experiences. This continuing education provided by the CSIC is one of the ways that Canadian coaches and support staff are given current relevant information.

Kutlesa put together an informative presentation that outlined the dos and don'ts of addressing the sensitive topic. She discussed signs and symptoms of disordered eating, providing methods for doing a general assessment to analyze how athletes are eating and recovering from training. She then gave suggestions for ways that staff can approach athletes' different issues using case-study examples. She reinforced the notion that if staff have concerns with one of their athletes, the first thing to do is direct them to a physician. The physician will then determine the appropriate course of action. She ensured that each person would retain the information by providing a handout titled "Coach & Athletic Trainer Toolkit."

Because of the topic's importance, Kutlesa's workshop will likely be offered again in the future. Additionally, there is discussion of forming sport-specific workshops to address the various ways that different sports uniquely influence an athlete's body image.

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

CSIC’s Morris Wins World Curling Bronze

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary athlete John Morris won bronze at the World Curling Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia on April 5th when Team Canada defeated Finland. Morris was an integral part of the home team during the tournament, which took place from March 28th - April 5th, 2015. Morris, who was a member of the gold medal winning team at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, currently throws third on a team with Nolan Thiessen, Carter Rycroft, and Pat Simmons.

The CSIC facilities at Markin MacPhail Centre recently became Morris' home training centre. The facilities were on display from January 8th-11th, when WinSport hosted the World Financial Group Continental Cup for Curling. The tournament had both male and female curlers from all over the world. During the competition, many of the top curlers used the CSIC facility.

John, is studying nutrition and working as a firefighter in the Rocky View Municipality, is an athlete who benefits from having all of their athletic needs met in a centralized location. His training regime often consists of workouts in the gym followed by treatment from Kevin Wagner, the CSIC's Director of Physiotherapy. He concludes his routine in the athletes' kitchen where he can prepare his post work out shake while sharing his experiences and getting inspired by Canada's high performance athletes from a wide variety of sports.

The Simmons team started their run earlier this year with a unique story. They began the qualifying tournament, the Brier, with Morris being positioned as the team's Skip. After a tough start, Morris made the decision to move into a more familiar position as the team's Third and have teammate Pat Simmons take over as Skip. The decision proved to be ideal for the team, who proceeded to win the Brier and go on to win the World Championship bronze.

With their win at the Brier, the Simmons rink has automatically qualified for the 2016 Brier. Defending their title will surely be a part of the team's long-term plan to train and compete together with the goal of representing Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Korea. Morris is planning to make use of the CSIC's combination of facilities and services throughout the quadrennial and hopes to bring his team members to Calgary for training camps in order for them to make use of the facility's benefits as well.

The CSIC enjoys having a world-class athlete from yet another sport reaping the benefits that it has to offer while inspiring the athletes around him. Congratulations to John and the rest of Team Canada.

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary

Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

De petits changements peuvent produire une grande différence pour les para-athlètes

La collaboration avec des para-athlètes requiert bien plus qu’une simple connaissance de l’entraînement propre au sport et de la physiologie : elle demande une créativité toute spéciale. Tessa Gallinger et Bryan Yu, préparateurs physiques de l’ISC Calgary qui travaillent avec des para-athlètes, adaptent l’environnement d’entraînement au besoin pour répondre aux demandes individuelles.

En quête de sa maîtrise ès sciences, Gallinger se spécialise dans les changements de la longueur des muscles avec un entraînement à haute vélocité à l’intention de jeunes adultes souffrant de paralysie cérébrale. Évoluant dans le milieu des sports adaptés depuis près de six ans, elle souligne qu’il est essentiel de miser sur la simplicité pour créer un programme adapté.

« Les entraîneurs qui travaillent avec des para-athlètes doivent bien comprendre le sport et le type de handicap, mais il ne faut surtout pas tout rendre complexe », explique Gallinger. « Aucun équipement hors du commun n’est nécessaire, il faut simplement faire preuve de créativité dans l’application des connaissances et les adapter pour satisfaire aux besoins de chacun. »

Yu ajoute, « Les petits changements font l’objet d’une grande réflexion. L’entraîneur doit comprendre en quoi le handicap touche la performance de l’athlète. » Il aime le défi que représente l’entraînement avec de petits groupes diversifiés et la mise au point de solutions et d’ajustements organiques. « J’adore l’aspect créatif que requiert un programme adapté. Je m’efforce de sortir des sentiers battus. »

Pro Stergiou, directeur de la biomécanique et de l’analyse des performances à l’ICS Calgary, mise sur la technologie pour évaluer la performance des para-athlètes dans les sports adaptés. Au fil des années, il a collaboré étroitement avec des athlètes de goalball, de paranatation et de hockey sur luge. Il adore travailler avec les para-athlètes et le vaste éventail d’adaptations qui peuvent être apportées pour combler les besoins de chacun. « Le travail avec les para-athlètes est très gratifiant », déclare Stergiou. « De modestes changements à l’entraînement ou à la technique peuvent produire de grandes différences. »

Gallinger, Stergiou et Yu animeront un atelier à l’ICS Calgary le 25 mars dans le cadre du colloque sur l’activité physique adaptée de 2017 organisé par l’Université Mount Royal et The Steadward Centre for Personal and Physical Achievement et commandité par Alberta Sport Connection.

Ce troisième colloque semestriel offre aux parties intéressées par les sports et les loisirs pour les personnes handicapées une occasion unique de se rencontrer et de partager des pratiques gagnantes, des défis communs et des solutions. « Nous sommes très heureux de compter sur l’expertise de l’ICS Calgary pour le colloque », déclare David Legg, professeur à l’Université Mount Royal et président du comité organisateur. « L’ICS Calgary améliore le bassin de connaissances en tant qu’un des premiers instituts internationaux dédiés à la science du sport pour les athlètes paralympiques. Les délégués auront un accès unique à certains des théoriciens les plus innovateurs de l’univers des sports adaptés et pourront voir de près la mise en œuvre de techniques avec des athlètes paralympiques. »

Qu’est-ce que les spécialistes de l’ICS souhaitent que les participants à l’atelier retiennent? Ils souhaitent que les gens comprennent que l’entraînement de para-athlètes n’a pas besoin d’être tape-à-l’œil ni complexe. En se fixant un objectif de haute performance, un programme d’entraînement optimal tient compte des besoins individuels tout en intégrant aussi peu de changements que possible.

Cliquez sur le lien ci-dessous pour obtenir plus de renseignements au sujet du colloque sur l’activité physique adaptée de 2017 du 23 au 25 mars.www.apasymposium.com

Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary
Rédigé par Lisa Thomson
Photo de Dave Holland: @CSICalgaryPhoto

Dévoilement des lignes directrices nationales en matière de commotions cérébrales pour le sport de haute performance au Canada

CALGARY (Alberta) 18 mars 2019 – La communauté canadienne du sport de haute performance a dévoilé les lignes directrices nationales en matière de commotions cérébrales liées au sport, conçues pour protéger ses athlètes nationaux et ceux de la prochaine génération.

Les lignes directrices exhaustives et normalisées en matière de commotions cérébrales liées au sport ont été élaborées par les médecins en chef du Réseau des instituts du sport olympique et paralympique (RISOP) du Canada, d’À nous le podium (ANP), du Comité olympique canadien (COC) et du Comité paralympique canadien (CPC). Elles reflètent un engagement commun à diriger l’élaboration de politiques nationales et à offrir des soins de santé de premier plan sur la scène internationale pour les athlètes de haute performance, les entraîneurs, le personnel et les officiels du système sportif canadien.

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 www.csicalgary.ca/fr/diplome-d-entraineur-avance ou communiquez avec le directeur du programme, Jason Sjostrom (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 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

Dormir et peut-être gagner

Les yeux grands ouverts, on fixe le cadran, notre cœur bat la chamade, on gigote, on se retourne, on s’inquiète de ne pas dormir... le calvaire! Un sommeil perturbé la veille d’une importante course est déconcertant pour tout athlète. Alors que l’expérience elle-même peut s’avérer troublante, ce qui est plus important quand on parle de sommeil, c’est la qualité et la durée à long terme.

Selon la Dre Amy Bender, une chercheuse universitaire postdoctorale à la University of Calgary et le Centre for Sleep and Human Performance, il est peu probable que la perte de quelques heures de sommeil avant une compétition influence les performances. C’est plutôt le manque persistant de sommeil adéquat durant une période d’entraînement ou une saison complète qui peut avoir un impact négatif sur un athlète. « Le manque chronique de sommeil est la principale préoccupation, et nous tentons de le gérer tout au long d’une saison », explique-t-elle.

« Des recherches en cours indiquent qu’il y a une association entre les performances et la durée et la qualité du sommeil », affirme la Dre Bender. Les études soutiennent le lien entre le sommeil et les performances. Cependant, il est difficile de contrôler toutes les variables, car on peut attribuer les améliorations de la performance à d’autres facteurs, dont la pratique.

Jess Kryski, physiologue du sport de l’ICS de Calgary pour les équipes de ski de fond et de biathlon du Canada, a remarqué un lien potentiel entre le sommeil et les performances de ses athlètes. Dans un cas, deux athlètes ont vécu des périodes de qualité et de quantité de sommeil réduites durant la saison de course. « Leurs performances n’étaient pas bonnes, et même si nous ne pouvons l’attribuer uniquement aux problèmes de sommeil, ceux-ci ont certainement joué un rôle », note Mme Kryski.

Le manque de récupération à la suite d’entraînements et de courses en raison d’un manque de sommeil pose des défis. D’après l’expérience de Mme Kryski, pour certains athlètes souffrant de périodes de sommeil trouble, la modification même importante de leur entraînement n’a pas réussi à régler le problème comme elle l’aurait voulu, car la récupération nécessaire n’était simplement pas au rendez-vous.

De plus, selon Mme Kryski, « en travaillant avec les équipes et en utilisant les outils de surveillance à notre disposition au fil des ans, on a constaté que lorsque l’entraînement ou la compétition ne vont pas bien, la qualité et la durée du sommeil ont tendance à être réduites ».

Dre Bender est l’enquêteuse principale de plusieurs études en cours se penchant sur le sommeil et sa relation avec la récupération et les performances des athlètes de l’ICS de Calgary. Elle collabore avec des athlètes et des équipes partout au pays afin d’évaluer le sommeil de base et l’impact de stratégies d’optimisation du sommeil. De plus, Dre Bender travaille avec des équipes afin de mettre en œuvre des stratégies de gestion des symptômes du décalage horaire composées d’un plan de voyage comportant des volets à la fois préalable et à destination.

À l’aide du questionnaire d’évaluation du sommeil des athlètes et d’un moniteur d’activité porté au poignet, Dre Bender évalue les habitudes et les tendances de veille et de sommeil types. L’athlète mettra alors des stratégies d’optimisation du sommeil en œuvre, par exemple l’augmentation du sommeil nocturne, les siestes et la réduction de l’exposition à la lumière bleue avant d’aller se coucher.

Enfin, elle évaluera le sommeil de l’athlète durant la période d’optimisation et le comparera au sommeil de base. Alors que la durée du sommeil est généralement mesurée à l’aide du moniteur d’activité porté au poignet, la qualité du sommeil est une mesure principalement subjective qu’on recueille à l’aide de questionnaires. Des données sont en cours d’analyse, et selon les résultats préliminaires, on signale la réduction de la fatigue et l’amélioration de l’humeur, ainsi que l’augmentation de la satisfaction à l’égard de la qualité du sommeil durant la période d’optimisation par rapport à la période de base.

Une des habitudes que les athlètes ont le plus de difficulté à modifier, c’est l’exposition à la lumière bleue émanant d’appareils électroniques durant les heures avant d’aller au lit, qui peut nuire au sommeil. « La lumière bleue indique à notre cerveau de se réveiller, ce qui peut influencer le temps requis pour s’endormir et les périodes d’éveil durant la nuit, explique Dre Bender. Elle réduit la sécrétion de mélatonine, l’hormone qui cause la somnolence le soir. »

Lors de la période d’optimisation du sommeil, on demande aux athlètes de porter des lunettes qui bloquent 99 % de la lumière bleue émanant des écrans. Elles peuvent réduire les effets négatifs sur le sommeil pour les athlètes exposés à des écrans dans les deux heures avant de se coucher.

Au bout du compte, l’objectif des recherches de la Dre Bender consiste à améliorer les performances au moyen d’un meilleur sommeil. Il s’agit d’une autre pièce du casse-tête pour permettre aux athlètes d’atteindre leur plein potentiel sportif. Dormir et peut-être gagner!

Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary
Rédigé par Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo de Dave Holland: @CSICalgaryPhoto

Dr. Olympian

Not many Olympic medalists have a Ph.D. in neuroscience, but Dr. Tara Whitten is an exception. The CSI Calgary athlete and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in track cycling became fascinated with the human brain upon reading a book on the topic in high school. She came away with the sense that neuroscience is a field where a lot of unsolved mysteries remain. Her new passion for the brain nurtured a desire to help solve these mysteries.

Years later, as Whitten was finishing her Ph.D., which focused on studying electrophysiology in the hippocampus (a part of the brain that is important in learning and memory), she was trying to think of how she could bridge the gap between neuroscience and sport – her two passions in life. “I thought there might be a way to combine the two,” she says. “In the end I thought concussion would be a perfect fit.”

But first there was the little matter of chasing her final Olympic dream. For 2016, Whitten chose to focus on the individual time trial in cycling and became a legitimate medal contender. Improbably, in March, during her final preparations leading up to the Games she suffered a debilitating neck injury from a crash during a training ride on the course in Rio.

At first, Whitten’s recovery was uncertain and unpredictable – she had a concussion and broken bone at the base of her skull. This uncertainty led to thoughts about the future. “I was still recovering from my accident in Rio and I wasn’t really sure how things would go,” she says. “In that situation I was thinking a lot about what I was going to do.”

In the end, she pushed through a remarkable recovery and finished an impressive seventh place in Rio. Despite good feelings about her performance, she still laments that she could have done better, but she will have no time to dwell on the past – a new challenge awaits.

Dr. Brian Benson is the Chief Medical Officer and Director of Sport Medicine at the CSI Calgary and has a clinical consulting practice in Sport Medicine at the WinSport Medicine Clinic with a special interest in acute sport concussion. He was Whitten’s physician during her recovery, but now he’ll be her co-supervisor as she begins working as a postdoctoral fellow in his concussion research group.

Despite having a concussion herself and being under the care of Dr. Benson, Whitten came across the job posting honestly – an internet search for a postdoctoral position in Calgary in concussion research. “I was still wearing the neck brace during the interview,” she laughs.

The two-year position is jointly funded by Own the Podium and Mitacs, a national, not-for-profit funding organization. Whitten’s work will focus primarily on measuring and assessing visual impairments in concussion patients. Using robotic technology developed by Dr. Benson, Whitten will develop a task to measure oculomotor function, which will expand the existing capabilities of the diagnostic tool.

According to Dr. Benson, there is currently no task or program available to measure oculomotor function in concussion patients. “Tara will be breaking new ground with her research.” He says vision problems are common in concussion patients, such as difficulty focusing, which can lead to dizziness, but are difficult to assess in a clinical setting. Whitten’s research will help remove the subjective component of assessing and monitoring concussions and when an athlete is ready to return to play.

Whitten wasn’t able to benefit from this testing herself during her injury, something she thinks could have helped her recovery. “There was a window of time when I thought I was 100% but every once in a while something would happen that made me question that,” she says. “Having this test would have helped me know if I was fully recovered or not.”

Her unique background as an athlete and neuroscientist, as well as her recent experience with a concussion injury, made her the ideal candidate to join Dr. Benson’s team. “She brings a high performance perspective, a neuroscience degree and training in programming and analysis,” says Dr. Benson. “She is the perfect fit for our concussion program.”

For Whitten, it feels strange how everything came together. Ph.D., Olympian and concussion, all converging at a time and place that feels right as she transitions away from life as an athlete. “I feel very lucky to have something to focus on. I feel that there are a lot of possibilities and I’m excited about it now.”

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

Dubnicoff Leads Cycling’s Next Generation

Tanya Dubnicoff is a Cycling World Champion, World Record Holder and three-time Olympian in addition to being an Olympic medal winning Cycling Coach. One of the most decorated cyclists in Canadian history, she now works with aspiring cyclists as the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary Cycling, Athlete Development Lead.

Coaching cycling programs from the development level all the way up to high performance athletes in the disciplines of road, track, mountain, cyclo-cross and para-cycling, Dubnicoff says that her program is unique because of the group atmosphere and appropriate stages of development for the sport, as well as the year round coached training environment. “We take the athletes’ entire well-being into account for their training and development.”

The new coaching position is the perfect fit for Dubnicoff. As an athlete, she moved from Winnipeg to Calgary in 1995 to become a member of the National Sports Centre, now the CSI Calgary. Recently starting as a coach at the CSI Calgary, Dubnicoff says that taking the position “felt like coming home, with the comforts of familiarity. There are so many people that make the Calgary training environment great, specifically the Olympic Oval and the CSI Calgary staff. This is something that people do not understand if you do not come from this training environment. There are a variety of talented individuals wanting to succeed and being provided with what they need. It is not like this anywhere else.”

Dubnicoff is particularly excited about the Cycling Development Program for youth aged seven to thirteen. Providing coaching to both able and disabled bodied cyclists, the program’s goal is to promote physical literacy while providing youth with cycling skills and awareness. The program is geared to working towards individual goals - to race or simply enjoy a ride with family and friends.

Overall, Dubnicoff is thrilled to be the face of an established cycling program, which has been strong since its inception in 1998. She raves, “Coaching at the CSI Calgary, I see the opportunity to continue to build on the strong cycling community. Athletes have so many more opportunities today. For example, top-secret training that was once reserved for the elite has now trickled down and is now being implemented as best training practices for our youth. It is fascinating to me, and there is so much potential. This excites me, this is my passion!”

For more information on the cycling programs visit http://csicalgary.ca/athlete-development/cycling-program.


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

Dustin Cook Goes the Distance

Dustin Cook wasn’t sure he would remember how to ski. But after nearly a year off snow – his longest break since he took up the sport at age two – Cook patiently and doggedly worked to recover from a catastrophic knee injury. He was pleased, and relieved, to discover that he certainly does remember how to ski.

“It feels amazing to be back on snow,” he says. “I wasn’t sure what to expect but it couldn’t have gone any better. I was a bit surprised. I was kind of assuming the worst, but everything went awesome.”

Coming off a recent two-week training camp in Chile, Cook is looking forward to a return to racing this fall. And so he should be – eight years of persistent and consistent racing on the World Cup circuit led to a breakout season in 2014-2015 that saw Cook win a World Championship silver medal in the super-G and gold and bronze medals in subsequent World Cups.

He was well poised to maintain this momentum last season when calamity struck. During a training run in Austria, Cook crashed and sustained torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments (ACL & MCL) in his right knee. His season was over before it started, he flew home to have reconstructive surgery and start a new journey – the long, painful and challenging road back to racing.

Patience and hard work helped him recover, but he didn’t do it alone. His support team at Alpine Canada Alpin and the CSI Calgary built a plan for every stage of Cook’s recovery. Jamie McCartney is the Strength and Power Coach at the CSI Calgary for the men’s Alpine ski team. He was instrumental in both planning and facilitating Cook’s rehabilitation.

“Once an athlete gets injured he becomes his own team, now we have a specific focus on that individual and the work flow becomes about getting that athlete into the proper care,” says McCartney. He adds, “We build a plan around the medical timelines we are given and adjust the protocol from that point on. It’s a concerted effort by the entire Integrated Service Team.”

In the early stages, the process is about recovery from surgery, then rehabilitation starts. This eventually crosses into pre-habilitation, where strength and conditioning can begin. The timeframe varies for each athlete depending on how recovery progresses.

Part of Cook’s recovery incorporated the use of functional testing in the CSI Calgary’s strength lab to identify deficits in strength and muscle stability. According to McCartney, jump testing using force plates is a performance marker that shows bilateral asymmetry between the injured knee and good knee. “With catastrophic injury we can see asymmetry of up to 40-50%. We are always going back to reassess whether the athlete is tracking back towards baseline results [on the injured knee].”

McCartney also works with the physiotherapist to design an appropriate training program to address the injured knee. The task can be daunting given the deficits they see. “Usually with an ACL injury the quadriceps muscles atrophy, there is scar tissue and the gluts are inactive. The body needs to be retrained to move and to rehabilitate lost movement patterns.”

Although it can be overwhelming for an athlete to endure a year-long rehabilitation program, there is potential for a silver lining. “With all the time I had to recover we made a plan to fill a gap in my training – I was able to work on improving my core strength, which I felt could be better,” says Cook. He feels stronger now than he’s ever been.

McCartney attests that he’s never seen someone be as professionally committed and focused on doing the rehab as Dustin Cook. “It was his number one priority. He trusted his team around him and did what he needed to do.” Cook is modest about his progress, “There was no magic formula to getting back,” he says. “It was just having a good team around me and doing the work.”

As it is with elite athletes, everything Cook has learned during his long journey to the top is not easily forgotten, the least of which is skiing. How to perform, how to win – that is what Dustin remembers most and it helped get him through a long year of rehabilitation. “There has never been a doubt in my mind that I could get back. I worked so hard to get there and I didn’t forget that.”

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

Dustin Cook se dépasse

Dustin Cook n’était pas sûr s’il se souvenait comment skier. Mais, après presque un an loin des pistes, sa pause la plus longue depuis qu’il a commencé à skier à l’âge de deux ans, il a travaillé avec patience et acharnement pour se remettre d’une grave blessure au genou. Il était heureux et soulagé de découvrir qu’il se souvenait comment skier.

« C’est un sentiment incroyable d’être de retour sur les pistes », dit-il. « Je ne savais pas à quoi m’attendre, mais je n’aurais pu espérer mieux. J’étais un peu surpris, je m’attendais au pire, mais tout s’est déroulé à merveille. »

De retour d’un camp d’entraînement de deux semaines au Chili, Dustin est impatient de faire un retour à la compétition cet automne. Et il devrait l’être : après huit années passées à compétitionner sans relâche sur le circuit de la Coupe du monde, il a connu une saison exceptionnelle en 2014-2015 alors qu’il a gagné la médaille d’argent au Championnat du monde au Super G et, par la suite, des médailles d’or et de bronze dans deux Coupes du monde.

Il était en bonne position pour poursuivre sur cette lancée la saison dernière lorsque le drame est survenu. Durant une descente d’entraînement en Autriche, Dustin a chuté et s’est déchiré le ligament croisé antérieur et le ligament latéral interne du genou droit. Sa saison était terminée avant même d’avoir commencé. Il est revenu au pays pour subir une chirurgie reconstructive et commencer une nouvelle aventure : le long et difficile chemin du retour à la compétition.

Sa patience et son travail acharné lui ont permis de récupérer, mais il n’était pas seul. Son équipe de soutien de Alpine Canada Alpin et l’Institut canadien du sport de Calgary ont établi un plan pour chaque étape de son rétablissement. Jamie McCartney est l’entraîneur du programme de force et de puissance de l’équipe masculine de ski alpin à l’ICS Calgary. Il a joué un rôle vital dans la planification et la facilitation de la réadaptation de Dustin.

Selon McCartney, « lorsqu’un athlète se blesse, il devient une équipe en soi. Nous portons une attention particulière à cet athlète et l’organisation du travail vise à lui donner les soins appropriés. Nous établissons un plan en fonction des délais médicaux qui nous sont donnés et nous ajustons le protocole à partir de là. Toute l’équipe de soutien intégré se mobilise », ajoute-t-il.

Au début, le processus concerne surtout le rétablissement de l’opération, puis la réadaptation commence. L’athlète passe éventuellement à la préhabilitation, moment où la préparation physique peut commencer. Les délais sont différents pour chaque athlète selon le rétablissement.

Une partie du rétablissement de Dustin comprenait des tests fonctionnels au laboratoire de force de l’ICS Calgary afin de déceler des faiblesses dans la force et la stabilité musculaires. Selon M. McCartney, le test du saut utilisant des plateformes de force est un indice de performance montrant l’asymétrie bilatérale entre le genou blessé et le bon. « Pour les blessures graves, nous pouvons voir une asymétrie atteignant 40 à 50 %. Nous comparons toujours les résultats du genou blessé avec les résultats avant la blessure afin de réévaluer si l’athlète est en voie d’obtenir les mêmes résultats. »

M. McCartney collabore également avec le physiothérapeute afin de concevoir le programme d’entraînement approprié pour traiter le genou blessé. La tâche peut être énorme selon les faiblesses qu’ils voient. « Généralement, à la suite d’une blessure au ligament croisé antérieur, le quadriceps s’atrophie, du tissu cicatriciel se forme et les fessiers sont inactifs. Le corps doit réapprendre à bouger et à faire les modèles de mouvement oubliés. »

Même si subir un programme de réadaptation d’un an peut sembler insurmontable pour un athlète, il existe tout de même un côté positif. « Nous avons utilisé le temps de mon rétablissement pour combler une lacune de mon entraînement : j’ai pu améliorer la force de mon tronc, car je sentais que je pouvais la travailler » a dit Dustin. Il se sent maintenant plus fort que jamais.

M. McCartney témoigne qu’il n’a jamais vu quelqu’un aussi déterminé et concentré professionnellement envers sa réadaptation que Dustin Cook. « C’était sa priorité. Il a fait confiance à son équipe et a fait ce qu’il devait faire. » Dustin est modeste concernant son progrès : « Il n’y avait pas de formule magique pour retourner à la compétition. Il ne s’agissait que d’avoir une bonne équipe pour m’entourer et de faire le travail. »

Comme c’est le cas avec les athlètes d’élite, tout ce que Dustin a appris durant son long parcours vers le sommet ne s’oublie pas facilement, tout particulièrement comment skier. Comment performer, comment gagner, c’est ce dont Dustin se souvient le mieux et cela l’a aidé à passer au travers de la longue année de réadaptation. « Je n’ai jamais douté que je pouvais retourner à la compétition. J’ai travaillé tellement fort pour y arriver et je ne l’ai pas oublié. »

Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary
Rédigé par Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo de Dave Holland: @CSICalgaryPhoto

En avant les moteurs

Parcourir 750 km à vélo en cinq jours autour de Puerto Vallarta au Mexique ne semble peut-être pas de tout repos pour la plupart des gens, mais pour le patineur de vitesse sur longue piste canadien Jordan Belchos, c’était juste un moyen de commencer la saison olympique du bon pied. Ajoutez quelques jours passés à la plage en mangeant des tacos, et voilà la recette d’une agréable période hors saison.

La principale saison des compétitions de Jordan s’est terminée en février après les championnats du monde de distances individuelles, mais il voulait rester en forme, alors il s’est rendu dans les Pays-Bas pour s’entraîner avec une équipe professionnelle et participer à quelques marathons. « Je voulais m’entraîner intensément sans perdre une minute », dit-il.

Son voyage d’après saison au Mexique en compagnie de quelques coéquipiers et de sa copine Valérie Maltais, patineuse de vitesse sur courte piste, s’est terminé sur un retour à Calgary où il a continué de faire des parcours faciles pour éviter de perdre la forme. « Mon objectif est de recommencer à m’entraîner sans avoir perdu mes capacités aérobiques. J’aime faire du vélo et ça me permet de garder la forme. »

L’athlète canadienne de skeleton Jane Channell a profité différemment de la période hors saison. Après trois mois passés sur la route en participant au circuit de la Coupe du monde, elle était épuisée mentalement et physiquement. Elle est donc rentrée chez elle à Vancouver pour prendre beaucoup de repos et se détendre, à la demande de son entraîneur.

« Je suis restée en pyjama pendant une semaine! », dit-elle en riant. « J’ai beaucoup dormi et je ne faisais presque rien, mais j’avais le sentiment que je devais faire quelque chose. Je me sentais molle comme de la gélatine, mais dès la deuxième semaine, j’ai de nouveau ressenti le besoin de recommencer à bouger. »

Dans la plupart des sports, la période hors saison est synonyme d’équilibre, car elle permet de prendre le repos dont le corps et l’esprit ont besoin sans perdre de force et de forme physique en restant inactif. Le choix revient aux athlètes, qui sont probablement quelque peu influencés par le type d’entraînement requis pour le sport qu’ils pratiquent.

Nick Simpson, entraîneur du programme de force et de puissance de l’équipe de longue piste de l’ICS Calgary, mentionne qu’il apprécie cette période de répit. En fait, il a lui-même pris du repos psychologique en avril, et il est conscient que chaque athlète prend sa pause de manière différente. « Plusieurs patineurs de vitesse avec lesquels je travaille aiment simplement le sport et l’activité physique. La plupart d’entre eux n’aiment pas rester assis à ne rien faire. La clé, que la pause est dépourvue de structure, peu importe ce que l’athlète décide de faire. »

Simpson ajoute que cette année, plus encore que les années précédentes, quelques athlètes ont poursuivi leur entraînement pendant la pause. « Auparavant, ils prenaient un mois entier de congé, mais cette année, on dirait qu’ils n’ont pas voulu perdre de temps », dit-il.

Plusieurs athlètes ont fait des exercices correctifs prescrits par l’équipe médicale après des séances de physiothérapie. M. Simpson mentionne que ces exercices peuvent contribuer à prévenir les blessures au cours de la saison. « Quand les athlètes prennent soin d’eux-mêmes pendant la période hors saison, ils sont plus robustes au moment de reprendre les compétitions. »

Jane admet que recommencer peut être difficile pour l’organisme. « Au début, mes articulations sont raides et mes muscles semblent moins fermes », dit-elle. « Mais je me sens bien, j’ai le sentiment d’être prête. C’est agréable d’avoir un horaire à nouveau. »

Quant à Jordan, sa décision de poursuivre l’entraînement était motivée par une grande volonté d’amélioration. « Je veux participer aux épreuves pour gagner des médailles et commencer la saison à un bon niveau, sans me retrouver derrière à tenter de rattraper ceux qui remportent déjà des médailles », explique-t-il. « Je voulais recommencer en pleine forme physique. »

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

Enhanced IST Support for Nordic Sports

With Canadian Nordic and Para Nordic athletes gaining momentum on the world stage, athlete and coach needs for CSI Calgary’s Integrated Support Team (IST) services are growing. This is where Jessica Kryski, CSI Calgary Sport Physiologist provides the necessary support.

Originally based out of CSI Calgary’s main offices, Kryski’s expertise was increasingly being utilized by Canmore Nordic athletes and coaches, and travel between Calgary and Canmore was intensifying. In June 2016, Kryski moved to Canmore to be a better on-site liason with the Nordic National teams.

Kryski assists with weekly and yearly Nordic planning, physiological testing, monitoring and she also helps at some training sessions. Being based in Canmore allows her to be more available to the High Performance Directors, coaches, skiers and other IST members. “It is very useful to be able to attend training sessions more regularly in order to properly gauge their load and impact,” explains Kryski. “Being permanently on site allows opportunity for more spontaneous conversations, and building stronger relationships and trust with the teams.”

Emily Nishikawa is a Canmore-based cross country ski athlete, primarily competing in distance events. Kryski has been working with her for the past few years, and they have developed a strong working relationship. “ I feel like I can always run questions by her and really value her expert opinion. Together with my coach, we can tailor my training plan according to test results as well as daily monitoring. Having Jessica based in Canmore just makes everything much easier and more smooth.”

Cross Country Ski Canada notices a difference now that they have a CSI Calgary IST member on site. “It’s made a huge difference having Jessica’s expertise in Canmore full time, working as a collective with all the Nordic disciplines amassing a large bank of knowledge,” says Tom Holland, High Performance Director. “Kryski’s work also extends across the country with National and Development team athletes and coaches.“

The change is also beneficial to other IST members within the CSI Calgary. Anna Aylwin, Head Calgary Strength and Conditioning Coach for Nordic sports says that Kryski’s move to Canmore has elevated the IST approach to new levels. “The way we work as an IST with Nordic sports is very hands on. Having Jessica there gives us more of an established base and knowing she’s there makes working with these athletes in a satellite location much more efficient. I feel that we’ve made a huge step forward in establishing a centre of excellence for Nordic sports.”

Cross Country Ski Canada, Biathlon Canada and Para Nordic Skiing have their home base at the Canmore Nordic Centre. With access to more than 100 km of world class trails, 31 firing lanes for biathlon, a paved rollerski loop and biathlon competition trails, more than 25 CSI-supported National Team athletes, and additional development groups train at the Centre.

Ski Nationals 2017 will be held at the Canmore Nordic Centre from March 18 – 25, 2017. It’s a great opportunity to see Canada’s best compete leading up to the Peyongchang Olympics in February 2018.

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Lisa Thomson
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Enseignement et innovation à l’ICS Calgary

L’ICS Calgary s’efforce sans cesse de faire avancer la croissance et le développement de la prochaine génération de scientifiques du sport au Canada. À cette fin, des étudiants en science du sport de partout dans le monde ont cherché à obtenir un stage à L’ICS Calgary pour parfaire leur expérience et leurs compétences. Ils viennent pour tirer un enseignement de la recherche et de l’innovation de l’ICS Calgary, qui appuie les performances des athlètes canadiens, et y contribuer.

Parmi eux se trouve Alanna Weisberg, à qui il reste un semestre à faire pour terminer son baccalauréat spécialisé en biologie et en physiologie de l’exercice à l’Université de Syracuse. Bien qu’elle étudie aux États-Unis, Mme Weisberg se fait un devoir de signaler qu’elle est Canadienne à part entière.

Les raisons qui l’ont motivée à faire un stage à l’ICS Calgary sont à la fois personnelles et patriotiques. « Je voulais utiliser les compétences apprises à l’école au profit de ma croissance personnelle, mais aussi de celle du sport dans mon pays », précise-t-elle.

Collaborant étroitement avec Pro Stergiou, directeur de la biomécanique et de l’analyse des performances à l’ICS Calgary, Mme Weisberg a assumé de nombreux rôles pendant son stage de huit mois. Elle a contribué principalement à un projet de recherche en ski acrobatique appuyé par À nous le podium.

L’étude visait à évaluer et mettre en œuvre une nouvelle technologie qui permettra aux skieurs acrobatiques dans la demi-lune de mieux comprendre et mesurer un aspect de la qualité de leurs sauts : la hauteur. « Il importe de savoir à quelle hauteur le skieur sort de la demi-lune, car c’est un critère majeur de ce sport », explique M. Stergiou. « Cette recherche offre aux skieurs un outil pour évaluer objectivement leurs figures et leurs sauts. »

Mme Weisberg a travaillé à valider la technologie et à recueillir des données dans le laboratoire. Toutefois, les compétences et les connaissances techniques ne sont pas les seules choses que les étudiants comme elle cherchent à obtenir. « J’ai surtout appris à m’adapter au changement », souligne-t-elle. « J’ai appris à mieux communiquer, à travailler de manière autonome, à résoudre des problèmes, à bien documenter la recherche et , plus important encore, à répondre à la question : ‘Pourquoi cela fonctionne-t-il?’ »

Ces compétences aideront Mme Weisberg à être une meilleure étudiante alors qu’elle entame le dernier semestre de son diplôme de premier cycle, mais ce qui l’emballe le plus, c’est de retourner à Calgary en juillet pour commencer ses études supérieures en kinésiologie. Elle attribue à son expérience de stage à l’ICS Calgary la vision et la détermination qui lui manquaient pour vraiment savoir ce qu’elle voulait faire dans le domaine de la science du sport.

L’intégration du sport, de la recherche et de l’innovation à l’ICS Calgary a laissé une forte impression sur Mme Weisberg, qui s’émerveille en pensant aux expériences qu’elle a vécues pendant son stage et qui s’étendent au-delà du milieu universitaire. « Une fois, j’ai eu un problème informatique et un athlète de l’équipe masculine de bobsleigh qui se trouvait là m’a offert de l’aide. Puis, Erica Wiebe est arrivée un jour et m’a demandé si je voulais voir sa médaille d’or olympique. Cela ne pouvait pas arriver ailleurs! », dit-elle en riant.

Pour M. Stergiou, le stage permet à des étudiants performants de faire un excellent travail qui bénéficie autant à eux qu’à l’ICS Calgary, ce qui s’inscrit parfaitement dans l’objectif global de partage et de transfert des connaissances. « Nous sommes des éducateurs. Enseigner et encadrer une nouvelle cuvée de scientifiques du sport fait partie de notre ADN », dit-il. Puis il ajoute : « C’est incroyable qu’ils viennent à nous de partout dans le monde; on sait ainsi qu’ils sont motivés et qu’ils sont ici pour travailler fort. »

La recherche et l’innovation sont des piliers de l’ICS Calgary. Les étudiants d’ici et d’ailleurs facilitent le développement de nouvelles connaissances et leur transfert potentiel au monde du sport.

Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary
Rédigé par Kristina Groves: @kngrover

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

Esau, Gallinger, and the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary Elevate Parasport Programs

McDougall Training with GallingerShane Esau and Tessa Gallinger did not set out to become the country's leading parasport exercise physiologist and strength and power para-specialist. They each had set out on traditional sport career paths at the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary and fell into the relatively unchartered world of parasport science. Now, Esau and Gallinger are running programs for 32 athletes across 13 different sports. The athletes that they train are competing in spite of disabilities that include spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, amputation, and visual impairment, all with varying degrees of severity.

Esau and Gallinger firmly believe that the work of the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary is second to none in Canada. Operating under the mission to be a key contributor to Canada's world-leading Olympic and Paralympic podium performances, Esau credits the work of the Institute's leaders, Dale Henwood, Jason Poole, Rosemary Neil, and Dr. David Smith as being "instrumental in being able to have the program we do." By blurring the line that traditionally exists between able-bodied and parasports, these industry experts have allowed for the funding, time, and research necessary to improve the training systems needed to become world-leaders in the realm of parasports.

The program has already seen success, bringing home 6 medals from the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, and 5 medals from the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Much of that can be attributed to the work done by the dynamic combination of Esau and Gallinger, who are swift to mention the support contributed by their colleague Jared Fletcher, a PhD student in exercise physiology at the University of Calgary. The parasport program, run by the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary, aims to continue its growth with the implementation of a new practicum program focusing on Paralympic strength and conditioning at the University of Calgary.

Due to the enormous range in abilities, Gallinger and Esau's positions involve conducting extensive research into every individual athlete's health concerns before creating their training programs. Even athletes with the same difficulties are treated on a case-by-case basis, because no two athletes react exactly alike to intense training.

One of the biggest challenges that Gallinger has found facing para-athletes is their unfamiliarity with basic body movements. Because of their disabilities, athletes have often been limited in their ability to participate in physical education classes and recreational sports. As an example, Gallinger points out that before working with her, "a lot of athletes did not know how to skip. Once they learn, they excel." Esau has noticed also recognized this trend, saying, "The athletes are novices in terms of learning how to move their bodies even though they are great athletes."

Esau and Gallinger are undeniably big supporters of each other's work, and have mutual admiration for the passion that their athletes exhibit. The unwavering support from the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary, along with the University of Calgary and WinSport, has enabled the parasport program to continue to grow up until this point. With a goal of being the world-leading Paralympic team in the future, the team is continuing their research and specialization by building on the incredible foundation that has been set.

Stay in the loop!
Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @bschussler
Photo by Dave Holland: @davehollandpics
Tessa Gallinger: @TessaGallinger
Shane Esau: @Parasport_sci

État d’esprit

On reçoit souvent une dose d’inspiration après un imprévu. Pour le patineur de vitesse sur longue piste canadien Ted-Jan Bloemen, ce fut le cas après une blessure au poignet subie pendant une randonnée d'entraînement qui l’a confiné à un vélo stationnaire dans son salon pour quelques semaines. Heureusement, cette pause lui a laissé amplement de temps pour regarder les Jeux olympiques 2016 à la télévision.

« Ce fut salvateur d’avoir l’inspiration des Jeux à ce moment », mentionne Bloemen, actuel détenteur du record du monde et médaillé d'argent au 10 000 mètres aux Championnats du monde de 2015. « Je me souviens d’avoir pensé : “Ok, c'est pour ça que je fais tout ça”. » Un rappel opportun et puissant pour l’un des meilleurs patineurs du monde.

Alors que le sport d’été cède sa place au sport d’hiver, et à l’approche des Jeux olympiques d’hiver 2018 de Pyeongchang, les athlètes de sport hivernal comme Bloemen se préparent à leur saison préolympique et à leurs épreuves de test olympique.

Parallèlement, les athlètes de sport d’hiver passent aussi de l’entraînement estival au mode compétition, une progression qui ne se fait pas du jour au lendemain ou par accident. En patinage de vitesse longue piste, la transition est un effort délibéré pour recentrer l’esprit de l’entraînement à la compétition.

Cet effort est le fer de lance de Derek Robinson, consultant en performance mentale de l’ICS Calgary et chef de la performance mentale à Patinage de vitesse Canada. Avec l’équipe de soutien intégré, il a passé les dernières années à élaborer une série d’épreuves et d’exercices mentaux intégrés dans le programme d'entraînement annuel de chaque entraîneur et servant à perfectionner des habiletés de compétition particulières.

« C’est très délibéré, pertinent, planifié et réfléchi, » affirme Robinson. L’idée est que les athlètes se voient présenter des occasions tout au long de la saison pour les aider à se concentrer sur la compétition. Robinson ajoute qu’ils mesurent aussi la performance des athlètes, par exemple en évaluant comment ils relèvent un défi particulier ou comment ils réagissent à un message, ce qui aide à la fois les entraîneurs et les athlètes à comprendre comment ils s'améliorent.

Dans ce contexte, les athlètes progressent aussi dans la transition vers la compétition à leur propre façon évolutive. Bloemen explique qu’il fait passer son cerveau en mode compétitif en se concentrant sur des objectifs à court terme et quotidiens. « J’ai de la difficulté à me concentrer sur des objectifs lointains, » dit-il. « Il m’est plus facile de me centrer sur ce que je peux faire maintenant; la première course de la saison. »

Il gagne confiance en progressant d’un dur entraînement estival à un retour sur la glace et à la sensation de vitesse autour de l’anneau. Ultimement, l’excitation revient et il se dit : « Oh oui, je veux encore faire de la compétition. »

C’est le genre d’attitude qui est prisée par l’équipe de soutien intégré. « Nous leur avons fait faire des simulations de compétition pendant l’été pour leur rappeler cette partie de la performance mentale. Maintenant, nous les faisons passer d’un état d’esprit général à un état plus canalisé », explique Scott Maw, physiologiste du sport à l’ICS Calgary et chef de l’équipe de soutien intégré à Patinage de vitesse Canada.

Cela englobe tout, de l’été d’entraînement au travail technique et tactique en passant par l’entraînement mental et physique. Selon Maw, c'est surtout une question de confiance en ce qu’ils ont accompli physiquement; cela joue un grand rôle dans ce qu’ils peuvent faire mentalement.

Ce mélange de préparation planifiée, délibérée, dans le programme, et de préparation centrée sur la performance est ultimement ce qui permet des performances de haut niveau. Le message clé de Robinson : les athlètes doivent apprendre à gérer un vif désir de compétition, le courage et le QI de compétition. Pour Maw, tout est une question de performance. « La performance est la véritable mesure de la réussite du programme », dit-il.

Cette saison préolympique, il ne fait aucun doute que Bloemen a du pain sur la planche, mais soyez sans crainte, il est bien préparé, fraîchement inspiré, bien entraîné et prêt pour la compétition.

Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary
Rédigé par Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo de Dave Holland: @CSICalgaryPhoto


Êtes-vous prêts?

Alors qu’elle se prépare à participer aux Jeux olympiques, la lutteuse libre Erica Wiebe se souvient clairement du combat qui lui a assuré une place au sein de l’équipe féminine senior en vue des championnats mondiaux de 2013. Le matin du combat qui devait trancher qui obtiendrait une place dans l’équipe, elle a été réveillée à 8 h 45 par des coups répétés sur la porte de sa chambre d’hôtel. Son combat était prévu à 9 h. Une course folle s’est ensuivie, et elle a même réussi à arriver sur place avec une avance de trois minutes. Malgré son réveil précipité, elle se sentait étrangement calme. Elle était prête.

Grâce à deux mises au sol rapides, Wiebe a remporté le match en quelques minutes. « Vingt minutes seulement se sont écoulées entre mon réveil et ma victoire! », se remémore-t-elle en riant. « Mais je m’étais bien préparée. Je m’étais imaginé ce combat tellement de fois que je savais ce qui arriverait. Rien ne s’est vraiment passé comme prévu, surtout mon réveil, mais j’étais quand même prête. »

Tous les athlètes aspirent à être prêts à compétitionner. Chaque athlète a sa propre façon de se préparer à une compétition, que ce soit en déterminant la meilleure routine avant une course ou l’état d’esprit idéal des semaines, des jours, voire des minutes avant celle-ci. Frank van den Berg, directeur de la performance mentale à l’ICS de Calgary, aide les athlètes à atteindre un état de préparation optimal grâce à un concept qu’il appelle « R.E.A.D.Y. » (« prêt » en anglais).

Van den Berg en a eu l’idée en lisant il y a quelques années dans un manuel l’histoire d’un entraîneur qui demandait à son athlète « Es-tu prête? », ce à quoi cette dernière répondait : « Non, pas vraiment! ». Ce concept repose sur le principe qu’il est toujours possible de faire preuve de souplesse et d’ouverture dans une routine ou dans un état d’esprit durant les derniers jours, heures ou minutes précédant une compétition. Un athlète a donc une marge de manœuvre et du temps pour fignoler les derniers détails avant la compétition.

Van den Berg précise ainsi sa pensée : « Je crois que le fait de se sentir prêt est très positif. Ce sentiment repose sur les antécédents d’entraînement, l’expérience en compétition, de même que les routines et les stratégies adoptées durant celle-ci. Mais il faut aussi démontrer de l’ouverture et de la souplesse, et ce, jusqu’au moment du départ. » La lettre « Y » dans « R.E.A.D.Y. » représente le mot anglais « yet », qui signifie « encore » en référence à cette athlète qui n’était pas « encore » prête dans l’histoire à laquelle nous avons fait référence.

Dans certains sports où la vitesse est cruciale, cette préparation de dernière minute peut consister à diminuer la cadence dans les jours précédant une compétition pour permettre au corps d’être fin prêt. En ski alpin, elle peut prendre la forme d’une inspection de la piste dans les jours précédant une compétition et le jour même, puisque toute modification de l’état de la piste pourrait exiger un changement d’approche ou de stratégie.

Il importe avant tout de faire preuve d’ouverture et de souplesse avant le grand jour afin d’être capable de s’adapter à tout imprévu qui pourrait surgir. « Lorsque je présente le concept “R.E.A.D.Y.” à des athlètes, ils ressentent souvent un sentiment de liberté ou de soulagement. Ils comptent ainsi sur une marge de manœuvre. Ils n’ont pas besoin de se préoccuper à l’avance », signale van den Berg.

Pour Denny Morrison, quadruple médaillé olympique en patinage de vitesse sur longue piste, ce sont les routines qu’il a développé au fil des années avant une compétition importante qui lui ont permis de sentir sentir fin prêt. « C’est à Sotchi que je me suis senti le plus prêt », indique-t-il. « J’étais prêt physiquement, mais aussi mentalement. J’ai établi une routine durant les deux Jeux olympiques ayant précédé Sotchi. Je me suis senti parfaitement concentré. »

Malgré tout, il sentait qu’il avait la possibilité d’explorer ses sentiments sans porter de jugement sur lui-même. Durant les jours précédant sa première course à Sotchi, il ne se sentait pas prêt sur le plan physique, mais il savait qu’il le serait le grand jour venu. « J’ai toujours fait confiance au programme. J’étais sûr que je me sentirais bien le jour de la compétition, même si les jours précédents ont été difficiles », se rappelle-t-il.

Mais le sentiment de préparation peut être furtif. Wiebe et Morrison se souviennent d’occasions où ils se sont sentis prêts à compétitionner, mais que leur performance n’a alors pas été à la hauteur de leurs attentes. Wiebe se souvient par exemple des championnats mondiaux de 2014, où elle a sous-estimé la force de son adversaire et a été rapidement envoyée au tapis. « Je n’étais pas dans le meilleur état d’esprit », se souvient-elle. « Le meilleur état d’esprit dans lequel je peux me trouver, c’est lorsque je sais qu’un combat sera difficile ». En rétrospective, Morrison croit que la confiance qu’il a affichée durant les jours précédant sa première course aux Jeux olympiques de Vancouver en 2010 – où sa performance s’est révélée en deçà de son potentiel – était une forme d’arrogance.

En fin de compte, faire preuve d’ouverture et de souplesse peut aider un athlète à se concentrer et à atteindre l’état d’esprit optimal qui est essentiel à une bonne performance. « Il n’y a rien de mal à ne pas se sentir complètement prêt au mois avant les Olympiques », rappelle van den Berg. « Un athlète est fin prêt seulement lorsqu’il s’avance vers la ligne de départ ».

Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary
Rédigé par Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo de 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.csicalgary.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

For the End Game, There’s Game Plan

(left to right: Chandra Crawford, Neil Smith, Blythe Hartley, Will Dutton)

There are many common threads woven among the athlete experience that bind athletes together in an unspoken but profound way: voluntary physical suffering, heart palpitations on the starting line, elation in victory. But perhaps the most shared and unifying thread is the inevitable end game: the end, whether by choice or by fate, of a lifetime dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in sport.

The way of transition is a challenge unlike any other faced in sport; a journey that every athlete must make. Blythe Hartley, 2004 Olympic bronze medalist, describes her transition from diving to the ‘real world’ as the most difficult challenge of her entire career. “I knew I was going to retire after 2008, but I didn’t prepare. I knew it was looming even though I finished on a high and loved my sport. It was a difficult time, I wasn’t clear.”

For Will Dutton, 26, a long track speed skater and CSI Calgary athlete, the end came by choice after a disappointing 2014-2015 season, where love of sport waned and injury swallowed his progress. He pursued carpentry but it wasn’t long before the desire to compete returned. “I missed sport. My love for speed skating came back, but I was also asking myself “Where do I want to go with my life?”

For Hartley, Dutton and countless other CSI Calgary athletes struggling to answer that question there is Cara Button, Game Plan Advisor. Game Plan is Canada’s national athlete total wellness program supporting and empowering high performance athletes to pursue excellence during and beyond their sporting career.

Button nurtures relationships with the athletes throughout their careers, which helps her craft an individual approach to supporting each one through what can be a tough ride from sport to life. “I’m a mom to 300 young adults!” she laughs.

The skills gained from being an athlete endure for a lifetime but transitioning athletes can’t always see or appreciate how to apply them to a new career. It is Button’s job to help athletes realise their potential after sport. “We offer the resources but the onus is on the athlete. Athletes forget that they have all the skills. Sometimes they just need a little push and some one-on-one time to help them focus.” she says.

Neil Smith, the COO of Crescent Point Energy in Calgary, has supported CSI Calgary athletes for years. He is working with Button to help create employment opportunities for current and transitioning athletes. “One of the most important things to me is that athletes are willing to risk failure” he says, “I guarantee that the skills developed as an athlete are specifically those needed in a new career.”

At a recent networking event jointly hosted by CSI Calgary and Crescent Point Energy, current and retired athletes had the opportunity to meet industry professionals and learn some lessons from a panel discussion with Dutton, Hartley and Smith.

For Hartley, now a successful HR Advisor at ARC Resources, the support from Button and the CSI Calgary was invaluable. “I was very lucky to have the support from the CSI Calgary in that time, it was so helpful. It’s possible to get through it.”

With a plan for the future, Dutton is now in school and training for the next Olympics. In his first season back he won five World Cup medals, something he credits to his newfound sense of purpose. “I started to believe in myself. Having something that I believe in made my performance so much better, I had something else to focus on.”

If you are interested in hiring an athlete please contact Cara Button at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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


Former les entraîneurs

Pour Luc Tremblay, préparateur physique de Montréal qui a récemment participé au cours de haut niveau sur la force et la performance donné par l’ICS Calgary, le désir d’exceller au travail est nourri par les progrès réalisés par ses athlètes. « J’ai toujours aimé voir que les efforts donnent des résultats. Observer cette magie chez les plus jeunes athlètes et leur montrer la manière de faire alimentent ma passion. »

C’est exactement l’effet que Matt Jordan, directeur du programme de préparation physique de l’ICS Calgary, et les autres organisateurs qui ont créé ce cours espèrent obtenir. Poussés par la volonté de toujours rechercher l’excellence dans son travail avec le groupe de préparation physique de l’ICS Calgary, M. Jordan et son équipe ont créé une formation dont le but est d’offrir les meilleures occasions de perfectionnement à d’autres entraîneurs de tous les niveaux. Selon M. Jordan : « Si vous menez la communauté, alors les gens vont vouloir venir et apprendre de vous. Nous sommes vraiment déterminés à nous améliorer et à avoir une incidence sur la communauté de la préparation physique. »

Des participants de tous les milieux et, cette année, d’autres pays assistent à ce cours mettant l’accent sur la science et l’entraînement. Selon M. Tremblay, le contenu des séminaires et les occasions de réseautage font partie des avantages. Mais, il considère que la possibilité d’observer des athlètes de l’ICS Calgary dans leur élément est la plus grande richesse de la formation.

« J’ai été très impressionné de voir les athlètes en temps réel dans la salle, de voir comment ils s’entraînent et se reposent entre les répétitions. Je peux rapporter cette expérience et la transmettre à mes athlètes. Je peux leur apprendre comment s’entraîner comme des professionnels », dit M. Tremblay.

Les pratiques de transmission de connaissance au sein du système permettent de former les entraîneurs du niveau local au niveau élite. Cela mène finalement à l’éclosion de la nouvelle génération d’athlètes qui progressera ainsi aux niveaux suivants en ayant déjà les compétences, les habitudes et les attitudes nécessaires pour exceller au niveau élite de leur sport.

Selon M. Tremblay : « Avoir tous ces gens qui assistent au cours profite également à l’ICS Calgary qui accueillera de futurs athlètes qui ont été bien entraînés et de la bonne manière. En nous donnant le contenu, les connaissances et l’expertise pour travailler avec nos athlètes de haut niveau, l’ICS Calgary peut travailler avec des athlètes qui ont de bonnes bases lorsqu’ils atteignent le niveau supérieur. »

En plus des avantages du travail en synergie obtenus pour les entraîneurs et les futurs athlètes de l’ICS Calgary, le cours aide à améliorer le groupe de préparation physique de l’ICS Calgary. Selon M. Jordan : « Les participants aident à soutenir le développement de notre équipe, qui, à son tour, nous aide à offrir un programme et des cours de qualité supérieure comme celui-ci. » Avec conviction, il ajoute : « Je crois fermement que nous offrons de bons services aux athlètes de haut niveau. Nous connaissons très bien l’entraînement, nous sommes de bons professeurs et nous pouvons en faire profiter la communauté. »

Ce cycle de transmission, de développement, d’apprentissage et de perfectionnement sans limites mène finalement à l’accomplissement de l’objectif commun d’atteinte de l’excellence dans le sport, à tous les niveaux et pour toutes les personnes touchées.

Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary
Rédigé par Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo de Dave Holland: @CSICalgaryPhoto

From Olympian to PhD in Leadership Behaviour

Dr. Cari (Read) Din is an Olympic Silver Medallist in synchronized swimming. She also has a PhD in Leadership Behaviour and can link these two achievements to her involvement with the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSIC). Cari believes that the CSIC impacted her synchro career, and now with her knowledge in Leadership Behaviour wants to share her experience to positively influence others.

Din's lifelong relationship with the CSIC began while using the high performance coaching and sports science services to their maximum benefit en route to her 1996 Olympic medal winning performance. She believes that she "took advantage of every service" and was inspired to stay involved in sport beyond her athletic career giving credit to her CSIC employed strength and conditioning coach. He was "the reason I made the [medal winning] team." Noting that she was "shaped by my coaches as much as my parents," this experience catalyzed her curiosity for medal-winning leadership that drove her PhD research.

Cari received the Petro Canada Olympic Torch Scholarship to complete her Master's degree in Motor Learning. Her PhD research focused on the coach and athlete leadership that preceded Canadian Olympic gold medal winning performances in 2010. She has been able to translate her evidence based research into innovative coach development and mentorship.

Wanting to use her experience and education to promote and create highly impactful relationships between coaches and athletes, Din has worked with CSIC staff and integrated support team members to enhance their behaviours and, ultimately, improve athletes' results. She has also spent time facilitating workshops that the CSIC has hosted over the past months, focusing on women's leadership and development with both athletes and staff alike

Like many high performance athletes, Dr. Din has the drive and determination to succeed both in and out of sport. Her evolution through the multi-faceted CSIC channels has allowed her to make significant impacts in high performance sport at every level. From developing athlete to Olympic Medallist, from undergraduate degree to doctorate, and from pupil to advisor, Cari has helped to improve the sport community. Staying involved with the CSIC has been a main goal, in order to give back to the organization that has helped her dreams come true, both athletically and professionally.

Stay in the loop!

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary

Written by Brittany Schussler: @bschussler

Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Fuel for Gold Provides Nutritional Niche

Food is good. Good food is better. For tired athletes looking to refuel after a tough workout, access to an affordable, healthy meal is vital. Thankfully for them, Fuel for Gold, a restaurant/kiosk located at the University of Calgary, offers just that.

The CSI Calgary undertook the opening of the kiosk in 2011 as a way to provide fresh, healthy, organic food to Canada’s top amateur athletes and the Calgary public. Additionally, the business serves to support CSI Calgary programs – all proceeds from Fuel for Gold go directly to support Canada’s athletes training in Calgary. The primary clientele are subsidized CSI Calgary athletes and Calgary Dinos, as well as University faculty and staff who are socially conscious and looking for a healthy option.

According to Kelly Anne Erdman, a CSI Calgary Performance Dietician, Fuel for Gold has been a welcome addition to the campus food scene. “What we’re finding is that faculty and students are jumping on board and are happy to have access to high quality food options. We also cater to unique nutritional requests offering vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options,” she says.

Erdman works with Head Chef Fauzy Azouz to develop new recipes and menu items, and to maximize the potential of the tiny kitchen. With limited space and a healthy demand, it can be challenging to produce enough meals every day. “What Fauzy produces in that small kitchen everyday is amazing!” laughs Erdman.

In addition to the kiosk, Fuel for Gold also offers a catering service. Clients often include local sports teams and corporate clients looking for healthy catering options. Says Erdman, “We haven’t done a lot of marketing, we mostly go by word of mouth. The city hears about us, we get calls from corporate clients throughout Calgary and we do our best to fill every order. There are other options available but they come to us.”

Lesley Reddon, Manager of Female National Teams at Hockey Canada relies on Fuel for Gold catering services for team training camps. “Fuel for Gold provides good quality meals with a sound nutritional base, which is something that is important to incorporate into our camps from the perspective of both athletes and staff,” says Reddon.

It can be a challenge to churn out over 500 meals a day and fill catering orders but Azouz takes it all in stride. Despite the occasional stressful day, Azouz loves his job and clearly takes his customers’ needs and wants to heart.

He truly enjoys working with his staff and the CSI Calgary team, but the connection to his customers is particularly special. He says they come for food, but they also come for comfort. “It’s a service industry” he explains, “But it’s not just food, we joke and laugh and sometimes the athletes will come to the back and give us hugs. Over time you build that trust with the customers.” Adds Erdman, “There is a great bond between Azouz and the athletes. He knows them by name, he knows what they order. He really understands their needs.”

Not only does the Fuel for Gold team offer a healthy homemade meal, they also offer a little bit of home – a warm and welcoming place to share a meal, share a laugh or share a tough day. For Azouz and his customers it’s the little things that make a big difference. He says, “When you see the customers happy it’s all worth it.”

Last year Fuel for Gold served more than 36,000 meals to athletes.  For more information go to fuelforgold.com.

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

Gagner de la bonne façon

(Arianne Jones, Luge)

Dans un monde où nous n’avons jamais été aussi liés les uns les autres, nombre d’entre nous connaissent des moments, des jours, des semaines ou des mois, durant lesquels nous nous sentons complètement déconnectés et totalement seuls. Cette rupture est évidente quand on constate le vaste éventail de problèmes de santé mentale qui existent; parfois, c’est une mauvaise journée, parfois, c’est une sévère dépression.

Dans le sport de haute performance, les athlètes sont en général perçus comme forts et infaillibles. Cependant, comme tout le monde, ils ne sont pas immunisés contre la maladie mentale. De nombreux athlètes sont aux prises avec des problèmes tels que des troubles alimentaires, la consommation de drogues, des troubles anxieux ou la dépression, et ils peuvent être portés à croire qu’ils auront l’air faibles s’ils cherchent de l’aide pour des questions de santé mentale ou d’ordre émotionnel.

Aujourd’hui, cependant, la situation entourant la santé mentale change radicalement. En fait, la maladie mentale constitue maintenant un problème médical légitime et sérieux dans la société.

L’une des meilleures athlètes olympiques du Canada travaille sans relâche pour amener le problème de la maladie mentale à l’avant-plan. Clara Hughes, cycliste, patineuse de vitesse et ancienne de l’ICS Calgary, est la porte-parole depuis maintenant cinq ans de la campagne Bell Cause pour la cause, qui vise à sensibiliser à la maladie mentale et à en effacer les stigmates. En racontant son combat contre la dépression, Clara a donné un côté humain à la maladie mentale et inspiré d’innombrables personnes à s’exprimer et à chercher de l’aide.

À l’ICS Calgary, la santé mentale et le mieux-être constituent depuis longtemps une priorité et le programme Plan de match offre des services de soutien facilement accessibles. « Nous avons toujours fourni des services en santé mentale à nos athlètes », affirme Cara Button, directrice des relations avec les intervenants et administratrice du programme Plan de match. « Les athlètes l’apprécient, car ils ont un endroit où aller lorsqu’ils ont besoin d’aide. Le président et directeur Dale Henwood mérite des éloges pour avoir mis sur pied ce processus. »

Frank van den Berg, directeur de la performance mentale, a travaillé avec son équipe pour intégrer la santé mentale globale dans leur champ de pratique. Cela a donné lieu à la mise en place d’options d’intervention et de programmes dans des secteurs comme l’optimisation de l’amélioration de la performance, la gestion du dysfonctionnement de la performance et le traitement de la perte de performance.

« Nous nous efforçons de “gagner de la bonne façon”, souligne Frank van den Berg. Nous nous attardons au côté humain du sport. » Cette approche holistique permet de veiller à ce que la mentalité « gagner à tout prix » n’entraîne pas le sacrifice de la santé à long terme d’un athlète, de ses relations et de son bien-être.

Frank van den Berg et Cara Button ont constaté que les athlètes parlent de plus en plus facilement de problèmes de santé mentale. « C’est beaucoup plus facile d’aborder le sujet de la santé ou de la maladie mentale aujourd’hui », mentionne Button. « Il y a beaucoup plus d’athlètes qui abordent le sujet avec moi qu’auparavant », ajoute van den Berg. « Je parle de santé mentale régulièrement avec les athlètes; quelle est leur passion, qu’est-ce qu’ils veulent accomplir dans le sport, arrivent-ils à composer avec les attentes et les pressions du sport et de la vie en général? »

Frank van den Berg souligne qu’il est primordial d’intervenir rapidement lorsque des problèmes surviennent. « Il faut souligner le fait que beaucoup de cas peuvent être pris en main efficacement avant que les problèmes ne s’aggravent ». Button acquiesce : « Il est prouvé que la dépression peut être bien traitée si on intervient suffisamment tôt. »

Aujourd’hui, l’ICS Calgary appuie la journée Bell Cause pour la cause en organisant pour ses employés et les athlètes le dîner réconfortant suprême : des « grilled cheese » et de la soupe aux tomates. L’idée est de se réunir l’instant d’un repas, de passer du temps ensemble et de bavarder. C’est simple, oui, mais il faut parfois une expérience communautaire pour que chacun s’ouvre aux autres et partage.

« C’est pour nous une façon d’appuyer la campagne Bell Cause pour la cause et d’encourager ce sens de la communauté à l’ICS Calgary, explique Button. Nous voulons souligner la journée et contribuer à bâtir notre propre communauté. »

Le 25 janvier 2017, Bell versera 0,05 $ de plus pour des initiatives en santé mentale au Canada chaque fois que vous utiliserez les médias sociaux. Pour en savoir plus : Bell Cause pour la cause.

Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary
Rédigé par Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo de Dave Holland: @CSICalgaryPhoto

Generating a Performance Solution: When the Unexpected Happens

There were moments along the road to recovery where cyclist Tara Whitten felt things were not coming back the way they were supposed to. Her head and neck were immobilized in a brace for ten weeks, so that a crack in the base of her skull could heal. In order to keep training, she rode a stationary bike. “It wasn’t going well at first with the brace,” she recalls. “I was really overheating and the position was uncomfortable.”

Inexplicably, Whitten crashed head first into the back of a parked vehicle on her way back to the hotel after her final training ride in Rio at a reconnaissance camp in March. “I don’t remember what happened,” she says. “I’m missing twenty minutes of memory. I just remember seeing the back of the vehicle, it’s almost like a memory, a flash image.” The crash resulted in a concussion and crack in her occipital bone – her bike was undamaged.

Despite the setback, Whitten was able to quickly overcome her disappointment and anger. “I surprised myself when I got back and my perspective was really good. Pretty soon I accepted that I might not recover in time. I accepted that it might not happen.” Still, Whitten approached her recovery with unwavering focus and determination to do whatever she could to get back on the bike, and on the starting line in Rio.

That meant adjusting to some creative ways of enabling her to train. Dr. David Smith, Director of Sport Science at the CSI Calgary, was instrumental in helping Whitten train through her recovery. “I lay awake at night thinking about how we were going to get her on the bike with the neck brace on.” The result was a device that allowed Whitten to ride upright so that there was no downward pressure on her neck.

Coming back from serious injury just months before the Olympics took an army of support. Even before her plane touched down in Calgary, Dr. Smith had mobilized a team to help Whitten heal and get back on track for the Olympics. The team worked closely with Whitten and made adjustments almost daily to maximize her recovery.

“The CSI Calgary was incredible,” says Whitten. “I felt so supported through the whole process. There was huge collaboration between the support team and it was the best approach. I couldn’t have asked for a better team.” Dr. Smith says that Whitten did what she needed to do. “She had total trust in the support team in providing the right training and therapy, which minimized her recovery time,” he says.

Shayne Hutchins, Paramedical Lead at the CSI Calgary, worked closely with Whitten throughout her recovery and was impressed with her internal fortitude. “Her healing capacity is something special,” he says. “Healing takes an incredible amount of energy, but that plus training, therapy and stress takes a lot from a person.“

Whitten took things one day at a time. For someone used to planning out her entire season a year in advance, not knowing what would happen was challenging. “I wasn’t sure how quickly I would come back,” she says. Dr. Smith and the team had a similar outlook, “We always said we’re just going to do our best, no matter what adversity or challenge comes our way.”

Whitten still had to qualify for the Olympic team and had just one chance at a race in Quebec in early June. Her ability to race was in question up to the last minute. “Two weeks before the race Doc questioned whether I should go,” she recalls. “But as soon as I got the brace off it was night and day. I felt awesome. Just being outside again was amazing.” Doc says, “The day after the brace was off, Tara did a workout that convinced me she was ready to go.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, she placed second in that race and was the top Canadian. “I believed it was possible,” she says. “I did surprise myself in that first race back – I was thinking ‘just race, be in the moment.’” Three weeks later at the Canadian National Championships she won the time trial by 1:18, a huge margin. It meant securing her spot in Rio and regaining her potential as a medal threat.

It’s impossible to predict where Whitten might have found herself now if the injury hadn’t happened. A fork in the road that cannot be untraveled has reshaped her journey to Rio, a turn that could have ended her career. Remarkably, Whitten is unfazed by the detour. “Right now, I feel like I’m exactly where I would want to be.”

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

Get Your Motors Runnin’

Riding 750km in five days around Puerto Vallarta, Mexico might not sound like a break to most people, but for Canadian long track speed skater Jordan Belchos it was just the thing to help him kick-start his Olympic season. Throw in a couple of days eating tacos on the beach though, and then maybe you’ve got a recipe for a nice off-season, too.

Belchos’ main competitive season ended in February after the World Single Distance Championships but he didn’t want to lose any fitness, so he first opted to travel to the Netherlands to train with a pro-team and race a few marathons. “I wanted to train super hard and not waste any time,” he says.

His post-season trip to Mexico with a few teammates and girlfriend Valerie Maltais, a short track skater, led him back home to Calgary, where Belchos continued with some easy riding to avoid losing any of that built-up fitness. “My thinking on it is to come back to training not having lost any aerobic capacity. I enjoy riding and it keeps me in shape.”

Canadian skeleton athlete Jane Channell took a different approach to her off-season. After three months straight of being on the road competing on the World Cup circuit she was mentally and physically exhausted and headed home to Vancouver for some serious rest and relaxation, prescribed by her coach.

“I didn’t get out of my pj’s for a week!” she laughs. “I slept a lot and didn’t do very much but I felt like I should be doing something. It’s sort of like melting into yourself and you become a bag of goo but by the second week you get the itch to start moving again.”

In many sports, the off-season strikes a fine balance between taking the mental and physical break the mind and body need without losing strength and fitness due to inactivity. It’s ultimately the individual’s choice and likely influenced to some degree by the nature of the training required for their sport.

Nick Simpson, the CSI Calgary strength and power coach working with the long track team, says he values the break, in fact he himself took his own mental break in April, but appreciates that it’s different for each athlete. “For many of the speed skaters I work with they just love sport and physical activity. Most of them don’t enjoy sitting around. What’s key is that the break is unstructured, no matter what the athlete chooses to do.”

Simpson says that this year, more so than previous years, some athletes kept up with their training during the break. “In the past they would take a full month off but this year felt that they didn’t want to waste that time,” he says.

Many athletes worked on corrective exercises prescribed by the medical team after physio assessments. Simpson says this can help prevent injuries over the course of the season. “With the athletes taking care of themselves in the off-season they are coming into the season more solid to begin with.”

Channell says starting up again can be a bit of a shock to the system. “At first my joints feel rusty and muscles feel loose instead of tight,” she says. “But it feels good, I feel like I’m ready to go. It’s nice to have a schedule again.”

For Belchos the choice to keep training was motivated by an intense desire to improve. “I want to be competing for medals and start the season at a good level, not playing catch-up with the guys already winning medals,” he explains. “I wanted to come back fit, in shape.”

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

Hearts in the Game

There is a moment in sport when everyone but the athlete falls away. All of the people who had input into crafting an athlete for performance excellence – coaches, physiologists, psychologists, strength trainers, physiotherapists – step back to the sidelines, left only to watch, knowing that they have done everything they can to prepare the athlete to have what it takes to perform, to be in the game.

For some, hearts race and butterflies surge; for others, there is cheering and yelling at the TV screen; for others still there is no need or desire to watch at all – the work is done. Just as each person has a different role to play in cultivating the athlete’s performance, they also have different ways of approaching their work and investment in the athletes they train. However, one constant remains: while their primary aim is to help athletes be in the game, their hearts are in it, too.

The bond that develops between support staff and athletes is professional, but over time it becomes uniquely personal, too. “You can’t help but be emotionally connected,” says Cara Button, CSI Calgary Life Services Manager. “They’re not just a name you read in the paper, you’re invested in them.” Kelly Quipp, the CSI Calgary Sport Performance Laboratory Lead, agrees, “You get to know the athletes on many levels, whether it’s spending two hours in the lab watching them breathe or taking measurements of muscle and fat (body composition).”

For many, it is the process of helping build and shape an athlete over a four-year cycle in preparation for an Olympic Games that fuels their work. Dr. David Smith, Director of Sport Science at the CSI Calgary, says all the work is done at the front and middle end of the cycle, and that’s what he is passionate about. “It’s not the end result I find exciting,” he says. Scott Maw, CSI Calgary Sport Physiologist, agrees, “To me the process is more important than the actual performance. If I just focused on the performance, it would be impossible to do my job.”

For both Dr. Smith and Maw, the reward is in seeing the athletes realize their potential. “The most rewarding thing is that an athlete goes out and does what they are supposed to do, you just want them to execute what you know they can do,” says Dr. Smith. Maw says he feels satisfaction “from doing what I can to help these athletes go out there and do what they love on the biggest stage.”

When she is working in the lab or on site, Quipp says it’s about doing what needs to be done. “I’m here to do this job and I take the emotion out of it, but when I’m watching the athletes compete the emotion comes out and I’m a proud mama again!” For Maw, all aspects of the job are fully integrated with his desire to maximize performance. “There is nothing else I’d rather be doing so if that’s passion, then I guess my emotion is always there. I just try not to ride the highs too high or the lows too low” he says.

Highs and lows are part and parcel of sport – for every moment of joy, there can be one of sorrow, too. “When the men’s water polo team qualified for the 2008 Olympics our whole office erupted, when the women’s team pursuit failed in 2010 we all cried over that,” Button remembers. “It goes both ways.”

This deep connection to their work and the athlete journey ultimately strengthens the impact that CSI Calgary staff like Smith, Maw, Quipp and Button have on sport in Canada. “We’re trained to do our job, but we’re people too,” says Button. “We’re not family but we feel like we are.”

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


High Performance Dietitian Kelly Drager Educates the Experts

Many of the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary's (CSIC) specialists have had the privilege of being recognized as national leaders within their respective fields. This list includes Registered Dietitian Kelly Drager, who recently spent time in Montreal sharing her research findings with other sports experts from around the country.

Drager presented in Montreal after being asked by Own the Podium to facilitate two different sessions at the Montreal Sport Innovation (SPIN) Summit 2014. The Montreal symposium was the 9th annual conference put on by Own the Podium, whose conferences have the goal of "developing and networking in the areas of applied sport science, sport medicine, and sport innovation."

Drager was enthusiastic about the opportunity to share her knowledge at the conference, believing that "SPIN is a great opportunity to connect in person with colleagues and other sport science disciplines. The collaborative candid conversations are often what initiates the creative thinking process, leading to future projects that will further the development of athletes to the highest level possible."

One of the topics that Drager shared her knowledge about was the concept of Relative Energy Deficiency for Sport (RED-S). RED-S is a syndrome that refers to impaired physiological function including metabolic rate, menstrual function, bone health, immunity, protein synthesis, and cardiovascular health. Along with the interdisciplinary panel of fellow specialists Shaunna Taylor, Trent Stellingwerff, and Adrienne Leslie-Toogood, Drager presented on RED-S and its implications for all coaches and Integrated Support Team members (IST). The group also introduced implications and strategies for paramedical staff, sport scientists, coaches and sport leaders who are looking to improve performance while maintaining athlete health.

The second facilitation Drager was asked to lead was titled Weight Management Consideration for Athletes. Drager's main goal for the session was to facilitate discussion for determining appropriate weight and body composition for athletes. This is a key consideration for IST members, as often managing weight is necessary for performance and body composition demands are extremely sport specific. Drager addressed issues such as how weight and body composition targets are determined for athletes, key components that should be considered when assessing if an athlete is at an appropriate weight, and what the best approaches to achieve desired changes for an athlete are.

Drager's work at the CSIC has provided her with the incredible opportunity to further her professional development while working with teams such as the National Wrestling Team and Bobsleigh Skeleton Canada. At the SPIN conference, she was able to share knowledge gained through her work with CSIC teams during one of her workshops by presenting a case study on the consequences of health and performance which reviewed current evidence based approaches to effectively facilitate fat loss while maintaining or gaining lean tissue in the athletic population. The combination of being able to elevate athletes' performances while also making progress within the ever-evolving field of nutrition is a benefit that Drager knows is enabled by the leaders of the CSIC who are always striving to be a step ahead of the international competition.

Drager recognizes that the environment created at the CSIC has helped her, along with other IST members, stay ahead of the curve when it comes to research. She acknowledges that, "At CSIC we have the ability to directly interact with the athletes on a daily basis as well as the other sport science members of the IST. Seeing the athletes train maximally everyday is motivating, creates a sense of national pride and definitely encourages everyone working within the team to do the best to foster excellence."

Stay in the loop!

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

Huynh Pins Heart on her Sleeve

The entirety of all that Carol Huynh has ever accomplished in her life made her an ideal choice for the role of Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada at the upcoming 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio. That the two-time Olympic medalist in wrestling, and CSI Calgary Next Generation coach, was handpicked for the job astonished Huynh, “I was surprised, bigtime surprised! I heard through the grapevine last fall that it might happen, but when the call came in October I was still surprised. It boggles my mind that they chose me.”

It’s a Human Thing

Despite the often accepted notion that athletes are tough as nails and can weather any storm that comes their way, the reality is that athletes can struggle with mental illness too. One in five Canadians suffer from depression, anxiety, substance abuse or other mental health disorders and only one third of those who need mental health services actually receive them. This alarming statistic is the same for athletes: mental illness is as common in athletes as in the general population.

The truth is no one is immune to mental health disorders, including the best performing athletes. It is clearly acknowledged that athletes tend to experience circumstances, pressures and expectations that are very different from non-athletes, which can result in a tendency to minimize signs of weakness and an expectation to push through certain challenges.

Sport subjects a person to a unique set of challenges and circumstances that, at times, negatively impact their mood and functioning. Additionally, there may be subgroups of athletes at elevated risk of mental illness, including those in the retirement phase of their careers, or those experiencing performance failure.

Recently, CSI Calgary staff and sport service providers had the opportunity to learn more about mental health issues and their role as stewards for the athletes they work with. The seminar, hosted by Game Plan Partner, Morneau Shepell – a human resources consulting and technology company that provides employee assistance, health, benefits, and retirement needs – served to educate staff about mental illness, how to recognize warning signs in athletes and what they can do about it.

Through the partnership with Morneau Shepell, Game Plan athletes can access a range of mental health support services. The goal is for staff and service providers to support athletes who may be suffering with mental health issues by building a bridge to professional help.

One of the key messages shared at the seminar was that mental illness is not a sign of weakness and should be taken as seriously as a physical injury. Jay Keddy, Canadian Women’s Alpine Skiing Assistant Coach, says that he is used to dealing with physical injuries in his sport but realizes that mental illness is part of the game too. “This program can help us deal with issues quickly and better than we could on our own. There is some confidence that comes with knowing that this support is available,” says Keddy.

The seminar also served to outline the symptoms of various mental illnesses, such as major depressive disorder, which can help sport service providers recognize warning signs that an athlete may be struggling beyond the day-to-day pressures of the athlete environment. Keddy adds, “Sometimes there are bigger issues than you can deal with in the sport world. It’s not always a sport psych issue, it could be depression or childhood trauma, which is more difficult to address.”

When mental health issues appear there is potentially an immediate impact to performance, but the greater concern is that mental illness will impact the athlete’s life beyond sport. For CSI Calgary Para Medical Lead, Shayne Hutchins, it goes beyond the sport experience. If an athlete shares something with him that causes concern, he will address it with great care. “For me, all of a sudden it’s a human thing, it has nothing to do with sport anymore. It’s about helping the person with their life and what they’re dealing with,” he says.

Tanya Dubnicoff is the Cycling Centre Calgary Athlete Development Lead, a World Champion, World Record Holder and three-time Olympian in track cycling. She remembers reaching out for help during a rough patch in her career. Now as a coach she recognizes the responsibility to care for her athletes and not only focus on training and performance.

Ultimately Dubnicoff says it’s okay to verbalize that something is not feeling right. “It’s the grey area we don’t necessarily talk about,” she says. “We all know to ask ‘how are you doing?’ but this is about caring for the athlete above and beyond their performance.”

Game Plan offers Canadian athletes access to services, resources and programs. Athletes and coaches are encouraged to contact their local Canadian Sport Institute to learn more about athlete eligibility requirements and services available under Game Plan. For more information visit www.mygameplan.ca, in Calgary contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

John Morris, de l’ICSC, remporte le bronze au Mondial de curling

Le 5 avril, l'athlète de l'Institut canadien du sport de Calgary (ICSC) John Morris a remporté la médaille de bronze au championnat mondial de curling à Halifax, en Nouvelle-Écosse, alors qu'Équipe Canada a battu la Finlande. John faisait partie de l'équipe locale du tournoi, qui s'est déroulé du 28 mars au 5 avril 2015. John, membre de l'équipe ayant remporté la médaille d'or aux Jeux olympiques d'hiver de Vancouver, lance présentement ses pierres en troisième aux côtés de Nolan Thiessen, Carter Rycroft et Pat Simmons.

John a récemment élu domicile dans les installations de l'ICSC du Markin MacPhail Centre pour ses entraînements. Les installations ont été mises en valeur du 8 au 11 janvier, lorsque WinSport a accueilli la Coupe Continental World Financial Group de curling. Le tournoi accueillait des curleurs et des curleuses de tous les coins de la planète. Lors de la compétition, bon nombre des meilleurs curleurs du monde se sont servis de l'établissement de l'ICSC.

John étudie en nutrition et travaille comme pompier pour le comté de Rocky View. Comme athlète, il profite du fait que tous ses besoins sportifs sont satisfaits dans un seul et même endroit. Son programme d'entraînement se compose souvent de séances d'entraînement en gymnase, suivies de traitement par Kevin Wagner, directeur de Physiothérapie de l'ICSC. Il termine son programme dans la cuisine des athlètes, où il prépare sa boisson protéinée post-entraînement, tout en racontant ses expériences aux athlètes canadiens de haut niveau d'une multitude de sports et en se servant d'eux comme source d'inspiration.

L'aventure de l'équipe Simmons a débuté plus tôt cette année par une histoire unique. Ils ont amorcé le tournoi de qualification, le Brier, avec John comme capitaine de l'équipe. Après un départ difficile, John a pris la décision de jouer à une position qui lui était plus familière : troisième. Il a nommé son coéquipier Pat Simmons pour prendre sa place de capitaine. La décision s'est avérée idéale pour l'équipe, qui est parvenue à remporter le Brier, puis le bronze au championnat mondial.

Grâce à sa victoire au Brier, l'équipe Simmons est automatiquement qualifiée pour l'événement l'an prochain. La défense de son titre fera assurément partie du plan à long terme de l'équipe qui consiste à s'entraîner et à participer à des compétitions ensemble dans l'optique de représenter le Canada aux Jeux olympiques d'hiver de 2018 en Corée. John prévoit tirer profit de la combinaison des installations et des services de l'ICSC au cours du cycle quadriennal et souhaite emmener ses coéquipiers à Calgary pour les camps d'entraînement afin qu'ils profitent eux aussi des avantages de l'établissement.

L'ICSC se réjouit de la présence d'un athlète de classe mondiale d'un sport de plus, qui récolte les avantages que l'Institut a à offrir, tout en inspirant les athlètes de son entourage. Félicitations à John et au reste d'Équipe Canada.

Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary

Photo de Dave Holland: @CSICalgaryPhoto

Kelly Anne Erdman : une pionnière

L’Institut canadien du sport de Calgary (ICS Calgary) félicite Kelly Anne Erdman pour sa récente publication, un exploit qu’elle qualifie de « plus grande réalisation de ma carrière ». Mme Erdman fait profiter les athlètes canadiens de ses vastes connaissances depuis plus de 20 ans. Mme Erdman, toujours au fait des recherches de pointe, a occupé le poste de diététiste en nutrition sportive aux Jeux olympiques de 2012 et de 2014 ainsi qu’aux Jeux panaméricains de 2011.

Elle a commencé à travailler à l’ICS Calgary en 1994, elle est une véritable pionnière dans le domaine de la nutrition sportive. Ancienne athlète olympique en cyclisme sur piste, Mme Erdman demeure toujours au sein de l’ICS Calgary, travaillant majoritairement avec l’équipe de patinage de vitesse et Hockey Canada comme diététiste en chef pour les programmes de hockey sur luge et de hockey féminin, et comme conseillère pour l’équipe masculine. Elle agit également comme conseillère pour de nombreux sports, dont la luge, l’heptathlon et le ski nordique.

En ce qui a trait à sa récente publication, Mme Erdman a été spécialement choisie par les Diététistes du Canada pour coécrire l’exposé de position de février 2016 intitulé La nutrition et la performance athlétique : position des Diététistes du Canada, de l’Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics et de l’American College of Sports Medicine. La publication se veut un rapport détaillé du rôle primordial de la nutrition dans le sport de haut niveau qui expose le savoir-faire des auteurs en brossant le tableau des recommandations faites aux athlètes en matière de nutrition.

Mme Erdman fait partie des trois auteurs qui ont récrit cet exposé de position pendant plus d’un an et demi, en s’appuyant sur des preuves actuelles. Ce sont l’Américain D. Travis Thomas de l’Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics et l’Australienne Louise M. Burke représentant l’American College of Sports Medicine qui complétaient le trio d’auteurs. Comme la science et le sport sont en constante évolution, c’est la troisième fois qu’on récrit l’exposé afin d’y mettre les renseignements à jour. Publié la fois précédente en 2011, l’exposé de position commune sera récrit en 2019.

Mme Erdman mentionne que cette refonte est davantage axée sur le besoin de personnaliser la nutrition des athlètes. Elle croit que les athlètes et leurs équipes de soutien doivent absolument savoir comment les besoins nutritionnels d’un athlète varient quotidiennement. Si elle n’avait qu’un seul conseil à donner à ses collègues diététistes en nutrition sportive, ce serait de personnaliser le message en fonction des besoins de chaque athlète.

Somme toute, Mme Erdman laisse transparaître son amour pour son métier et joue un rôle primordial dans le succès des athlètes canadiens. À l’ICS Calgary, on sait très bien que cette reconnaissance est plus que méritée, mais Mme Erdman demeure humble : « C’est un immense honneur de représenter les Diététistes du Canada, et on ne m’aurait pas donné cette occasion si je n’avais pas été affiliée à un institut de sport de haut niveau comme l’ICS Calgary. »

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

Kelly Drager, diététiste spécialisée en sport de haut niveau, forme des experts

De nombreux spécialistes de l'Institut canadien du sport de Calgary (ICSC) ont eu le privilège d'être reconnus comme leaders nationaux dans leur domaine respectif. Dans cette liste, on retrouve la diététiste Kelly Drager, qui a récemment passé du temps à Montréal afin de partager ses résultats de recherche avec d'autres experts sportifs provenant des quatre coins du pays.

À nous le podium a demandé à Mme Drager d'animer deux séances différentes au Sommet annuel du Sport et de l'Innovation (SPIN) 2014 à Montréal. Le symposium de Montréal était la 9e édition de la conférence annuelle organisée par À nous le podium. Ces conférences visent à assurer le « perfectionnement et l'élargissement de réseaux professionnels dans les sphères des sciences appliquées du sport, de la médecine du sport et de l'innovation ».

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’équipe de canoë-kayak – slalom de l’Alberta profite des conseils de spécialistes de renommée mondiale

L'équipe de canoë-kayak – slalom de l'Alberta dirigée par Michael Holroyd, entraîneur-chef de haute performance, s'est grandement améliorée, principalement en raison de son partenariat avec le Alberta Sport Development Centre (ASDC) de Calgary et l'Institut canadien du sport de Calgary (ICSC).

Le groupe d'entraînement diversifié qui utilise ce partenariat depuis 2009 est actuellement formé de 18 athlètes à divers niveaux de développement. Le groupe comprend cinq athlètes de haut niveau, trois athlètes un tiers sous la barre de haut niveau et dix athlètes supplémentaires qui ont brillant avenir devant eux. Nous avons tous constaté les avantages issus de la mise en commun des ressources de ce partenariat unique entre les organisations qui visait à offrir le plus important niveau de soutien possible au lieu de diviser leurs contributions respectives, ce qui était beaucoup moins efficace.

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