Monday, September 07, 2009
The season has wrapped up for the Kronos and what a year it has been. We had the highest membership ever and mixture of athletes that really bonded. As Coach, Athlete Development Director, and mentor to Bart Ujack, I am very proud of our success as a club this year.
Every single one of our athletes improved this year, and many beyond their own expectations. I have coached athletes on an individual level for many years but this was the first time I had the responsibility for putting together a yearly plan for approximately 40 athletes. Our athletes were split up by distance of the events they were competing in: KOS, Junior (sprint distance), Olympic distance, Half Ironman distance and IM distance. That meant 5 different plans! The periodization plan, and the monthly plans that followed worked beautifully. Each month the confidence level of athletes improved, and Bart’s worries about how athletes would perform in events lessoned.
When an entire group improves, as the Kronos did, you know that you are doing something right as a coach. Regardless of whether the athlete came with years of experience or someone with little experience, the results of how they improved were the same. Everyone performed a personal best this year. It all started with a 5km run in March and ended with either the Half Ironman in Calgary, Kelowna Olympic Triathlon, Canada Summer Games, or Ironman Canada!
I had the pleasure of watching our athletes at Ironman Canada and the excitement of their finishes. It was an awesome experience! My biggest regret for the year is not hopping on a plane to watch Jeremy Roles and Taylor Lick compete at Canada Summer Games (darn me for not using my travel privileges with WestJet for this). It was an awesome experience working with these two young men this year and watching them grow and develop as athletes. Both improved massively this year but they worked hard and adapted very well to the plan I put together. It was disappointing not to be at the Games as their coach though. However, Bart was there as the Triathlon Alberta Manager. So they had great support from our club. I also had the pleasure of working with Taylor on his mental game during the weeks leading up to the Games. A few years back I worked with Grant Burwash on his mental preparation prior to his win at Canadian National Duathlon and relished the opportunity as I did with Taylor.
We have some great up and coming athletes in our club including Taylor and Jeremy as already mentioned, but also Tegan Owens, Jason Doornbos, Johnnie Hamil, and Charlie Caunt who will no doubt continue to move up the ranks in races. In the masters (over 40 year olds) guys like Craig Bean and Byron McLean surprised themselves as well as others in their age group. Our Kids of Steel program will continue to draw more entrants and the move of some up to the Junior ranks.
First time Ironman entrants and now FINISHERS included: Kristy Blanchette, Jen Walker, Emily Langevin, Debbie McLean, Bryon McLean, Mike Fitzpatrick, and Ann Formaz-Preston. Peter Gabris also competed as a veteran. All finished in times ranging from 10:40ish to just under 14 hours.
Our registration for the 2010 season has started and it looks like our club is going to be expanding. I am looking forward to the new season and some new faces to join our team!