As I write this I am standing in line at Costco.  Judging by the line, I have nothing but time.  Say what you want about Costco, but the place has almost everything you need.  Almost one-stop shopping.  Sure there are going to be the specialty items that will make recipes amazing, but a majority of purchases could be made at Costco.  Same thing can be said for education.  University is your equivalent of Costco.  You learn a great deal in post secondary, but there are those specialty experiences that make good coaches great, and great coaches recognized as leaders in the field.

I would be cautious to state how much I have spent on courses and learning experiences over my 15 years of coaching.  A great deal started when I met a very influential mentor who maintained that I “do not let my mind weld shut.” Canadian track coach extraordinaire Les Gramantik said it best. “I could put down all books, continue to coach with the knowledge I have, and still do a tremendous job.  But I don’t want to be known as a good coach… I want to be a great coach.” And Les has been coaching as long as I have been alive.  A good coach is seeking those opportunities to differentiate himself or herself.  And I will be the first to state that I have been to learning experiences that at first seemed to be a waste of time and money.  Learn 3 things that were beneficial and 500 that were not.  Upon further reflection I learned 3 things that worked and 500 that I would not use with any of my athletes.  There is something to be learned from every experience, and it is the sum of experiences that make good coaches great.

So hopefully someone other than my mom is reading this because as she knows, I work with some of the greatest strength coaches and physiologists working in amateur sport.  Coaches like Matt Jordan, Scott Maw, Jeremiah Barnert, Jamie McCartney, Mac Read, Quinn Sekulich, Nick Simpson, Chris Osmond, Tess Galligher and Anna Alywin.  Physiologists such as Dr. David Smith, Dr. Erik Groves, Rosie Neil, Jessica Kryski, Erin Sargent and Kelly Quipp.  You mean they are not household names. Why haven’t you heard of many of them… because they are busy coaching and helping athletes reach podiums, win World Cup titles and answering the questions that advance the field that we are coach in on a day to day basis.  Those who are humble, they shall be exalted, and these are some of the most humble of coaches and physiologists I have met. They do not coach for the money (god knows it’s not for the money) or the recognition (because many of them do not announce the teams/ athletes they work with), but for the absolute love of what they do. They do it because every day presents challenges and opportunities to rise to greatness. The very act of listening, asking questions and watching is invaluable.

For a long period of time, these experts were not available to share their knowledge unless you were in the High Performance Practicum at the Canada Olympic Oval or you were a master’s student at the University of Calgary. I completed the under graduate degrees and a masters degree, the Costco of knowledge. And I think back to all the courses that I have attended over the years, the specialty items you may say, that have helped me to become part of this inner circle. There were some courses that were better than others, but none will compare to this May. This group of highly recommended strength coaches and physiologists are going to share their information and experiences. Is this a pitch? No, it’s a statement that this is something that young and aspiring strength coaches can gain invaluable experiences. That established strength coaches could confirm and reassure that they are at the top of their game and develop great connections. This is something that if I was in a different position could not afford to miss. This is that specialty item that can make the recipe of a young strength coach amazing. And don’t worry; I will not bring down the intellectual average of the group. I unfortunately (fortunately for me as I love this team) will be traveling with a team. If I wasn’t I would be there learning with hopefully all of you. Mom, not sure you would enjoy the week though.

Looking for information, here’s the link

Strength and Power Course



2 thoughts on “Great Learning Opportiunities

  1. Jess Kryski

    And in recognition of International Women’s Day, which occurred yesterday, great strength coaches such as Anna Aylwin and physiologists such as Kelly Quipp, Erin Sargent and Jodi Hawley. Hopefully some strong passionate women are interested in this opportunity as well 🙂

    1. jeffosadec

      Yes, all of the staff at the CSIC who have shaped the institute. You are in that group too Jess. Hopefully everyone is involved in the teaching of the practicing… Not just the coaches and physiologists that I mentioned in the post.


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