ELITE COACHING MAXIMIZES ATHLETES’ POTENTIAL
One of CSI’s most important roles is to train and mentor coaches and instructors at all levels across more than 60 sports. For example, it runs the National Coaching Certificate Program, which engages with more than 50,000 coaches every year. And for coaches who want to take the next step, it also provides the Advanced Coaching Diploma (ACD)—the highest qualification for coaching in Canada.
Jason Sjostrom, director of coaching at CSI, explains: “Elite athletes need elite coaching, so we aim to give national and regional coaches access to the best resources that Canadian sports science has to offer. The ACD isn’t a traditional learning program—it’s a competency-based program, where we’re looking for coaches to demonstrate how they bring their coaching philosophy to life.”
EVOLVING THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
As the ACD curriculum evolves, CSI’s systems and processes must evolve with it. In particular, they must be flexible enough to align with the needs of both instructors and coaches—most of whom need to fit their engagement with the program around their many other professional coaching duties.
“We have instructors and students who live a long way from Calgary, and even the local ones are often away, working at events or training camps in other countries,” says Sjostrom. “If we can’t make the learning experience easy to fit in with their busy professional lives, we’re going to lose a lot of good coaches from the program—so flexibility is key.”
SHARING AND SECURING SENSITIVE COACHING DATA
The ACD’s nontraditional methods also raise unusual requirements around student assessment and evaluation.
“Our primary focus isn’t tests and written assignments—it’s asking students to demonstrate their coaching philosophy and how they put it into practice as they work with their athletes,” notes Sjostrom. “We needed a better way for them to capture those experiences and share them with their fellow students and mentors—for example, by making and sharing videos.”
Finally, the Institute needs to ensure that its learning platforms protect highly sensitive data about coaches, athletes, and training practices to preserve Canada’s competitive advantage in international competition.
“Confidence in our technology partners is absolutely key to make sure we are the best possible stewards of our coaches’ and athletes’ data,” says Sjostrom.