TargetShooting Canada

Re: The SFC, HPC and Coaching in Canada

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Posted by Patrick ( on October 29, 2008 at 00:12:52:

In Reply to: Re: Can anyone explain the SFC HPC to me? posted by LW on October 27, 2008 at 21:42:10:

Hi LW.

: And where do you plan on paying for these coaches out of? And really there isnt one location where all the athletes are to be a training center to have a paid coach working at. Lets think about some of the logistics of what you are saying.

The problem is that volunteerism isn't working because it costs the volunteers too much. There were paid coaches in the past. While they didn't get huge sums, they got something. Now, they've been done away with and get nothing.

In the past, you might get a coach to step in and volunteer because they hoped to develop themselves to the point where they could become the National Coach. Athletes train and compete. Coaches train and, well, coach. Unfortunately, now there aren't head coaches for rifle, pistol and trap. There is a head coach for the disabled team and one for skeet, I believe. Nobody else.

Athletes can still bust their butt and make it to the National Team, but Canadian coaches can't. The carrot has been revoked. The best that one can hope for is to become a personal coach. Its the same work; but, it lacks prestige. Well, if we're not being paid with prestige, then somebody better come up with pay.

Did you know that many carding structures (like Ontario's Quest for Gold and the national Sport Canada card) mandate that the athlete has a certified coach? No certified coach equals no certified cheque. Of the coaches whose names are being used on funding requests, I wonder how many get compensation?

And on top of this, now there is no point in pursuing the NCCP beyond Level 3. Why? Well, you need Level 3 for coaching (volunteering) for the Canada Games. In the past, you needed Level 4 or 5 to be the National Coach, but, now those roles are dead. As personal coaches, the athlete decides who will coach, and they probably won't dictate any level of certification at all. You pick who you have faith in, and move on.

So where are we now? The SFC coaching committee has no active coaches sitting on it. The HPC has three vacant coach positions on it. Three of five head coach positions are vacant and replacements are not being solicited. There is no longer any reason to pursue certification beyond a basic level 3 in Canada. Finally, volunteers are not treated well, nor are they rewarded.

What are the logistics? The SFC has made it pretty simple: good luck, you're on your own. This applies to athletes and coaches alike.

Personally, I'm looking out for the athletes I work with. I work with a trusted coaching mentor who keeps me focused on my own development. I take courses and look for coaching opportunities elsewhere to develop myself. This February, I hope to head out to coach a USA Junior Development Camp at the OTC again. Furthermore, I help develop coaches in my area. (Coaching course announcement coming out this week.)

I think that we have to stop hoping that the SFC will change for the better, and take our destinies into our own hands. Either take the SFC reins ourselves, or replace it with an organization that works. In the meantime, keep working on what individually matters.

The logistics are screwy any way we look at it.


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