We hope you have had a wonderful summer and are starting to prepare for the upcoming ski season.The enclosed information package includes:
I. Letter to Club President
II. 2003 Cross Country Alberta Financial Statements
- Excerpt from the 2003 CCA Annual General Meeting Minutes: The final Financial Statements were approved by the CCA Board of Directors and are to be mailed to each CCA member club and AGM delegate.
Planning Meeting Notes (May 3, 2003)
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2. Athlete Development
3. Alberta Cup
4. Technical Areas
IV. 2003 Annual General Meeting Planning Workshop (May 24, 2003)
1. Planning Jeopardy Notes
Hosted by: Cross Country Alberta Technical Committee: Kevin Baggott, Eliot Frosst, Deb Whitten
Facilitator: Rose Mercier
Organizers: Erin Cameron,. Hannah Chalkley: Jean Funk
2.Athlete Development: Key Focus Elements for Each Developmental Level
There was a presentation and small group discussion/feedback which discussed the progression of the elements of activities/training, social (camps and teams), events and competition and leadership/coaching.As part of the morning, there was a discussion of the choice between age groups for the Alberta Winter Games and the primary focus of the Alberta Cup Series.
(click on a link to jump to that section of the notes)
2.1 Athlete Development Program Presentation By Kevin Baggott, Athlete & Youth Development Director
2.1.1 Athlete Development Experience Continuum
2.1.2 Youth & Athlete Development Power Point Presentation
2.2 Group Discussion Flip Chart Notes: regarding the presented Athlete Development Presentation
2.3 Alberta Winter Games Discussion
3. Alberta Cup Technical Package
This was an overview of the key elements of the package with an opportunity for feedback/questions related to specific topic areas: licenses, categories, CCA support for events, formats and distances.
3.1 The Alberta Cups: an emerging consensus
3.2 Group Discussion Flip Chart Notes: regarding the Alberta Cups
4. Assessing the Current State of Technical Areas
The group reviewed the technical areas and considered the current strengths and areas of challenge. This discussion will provide some focus for the upcoming strategic planning work as well as provided some direction for the Technical Committee, the CCA Board and clubs.
4.1 Group Discussion Flip Chart Notes: assessing the current state of technical areas by Rose Mercier, CCA Consultant
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2.1 Athlete Development Program Presentation
By Kevin Baggott, Athlete & Youth Development Director
Mission: To establish and promote a broad-based mass participation system of athlete development programs that allow athletes to reach their potential in the sport of cross-country skiing
Vision: To Provide the BEST provincial athlete development system in Canada
Athlete Development Program Goals:
1.to create clear and progressive development steps for young athletes to pursue
2.to create a forum for recognizing athletic and coaching achievements at various levels
3.to provide support (financial and / or facilitative) for athletes to attend regional and provincial programs - camps
4.to create opportunity where all Alberta athletes and their respective coaches can enjoy the benefits of training together social and motivational as well as educational (sports science initiatives at various levels)
5.to respect the critical role of Club and National programs and coaches in the ongoing support and development of these athletes
Objectives of Regional-based Camps:
1.provide for young athletes within a region the opportunity to train together in a FUN low-key environment with minimum travel and costs
2.provide camp experience for training and athletic-learning
3.bring coaches in a region together to
a)share ideas and coaching methods
b)support athletes within the region with limited coaching support
Objectives of Provincial Camps:
1.provide training and educational environment for athletes striving towards higher levels; opportunity for development-level athletes to train together
2.provide opportunity for club coaches to learn and gain experience working with higher level coaches (Club and National Program)
3.for older athletes, incorporate common testing and monitoring (aerobic, strength and flexibility) of AB Team athletes
4.social and motivational interaction of athletes and coaches
5.support athletes with limited coaching support
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2.2 Group Discussion Flip Chart Notes:
Regarding the presented Athlete Development Presentation
· Promotes clubs working together (e.g., hosting clubs)
· Continuum /sense of continuity
· Meets needs of boys and girls
· Links club-provincial-national in clear progression
· Opportunities for involvement in inter-provincial groups
What Needs Clarification?
Role of clubs with athlete development
· Role of clubs is relatively clear up to level of Development Camps, but more confusion about how clubs fit after that point: clarify role of club up to national
· Options that are available to the athlete: role of regional camp v/v full service club
· Broaden regional camps
· Show to clubs how inter-club activities fit in the mix: dont leave clubs to do these things
· Need to have communication that supports vision of progress for clubs, parents, athletes and supports the sharing of resources
· Want large community of contributing members not a lot of small communities
· How will clubs contribute?
· How can model respect athletes achievement and progress regardless of how they that progress?
· There is a challenge of clubs that pull back or isolate themselves (problem is for club and ski community)
· Challenge then is how to make benefits meaningful enough to the athletes in order for them to pressure the clubs to be in.
· Clubs are providing "more" of services (shown in model) to athletes, particularly at regional level
· At Mini-midget (and younger), clubs are providing most activities
· Dynamic flow within model
· Narrative that provides more details about the model
· Reflect the # (%?) of athletes that ought to be involved at a level
· How can the model show the flow back and forth between a level
· Are bubbles larger and wider that show cross-fertilization across ages and levels
· The model needs to show where athletes fit who are part of racing community but not part of National Team stream
· There is lots of experience, lots of passion and strong leaders in the middle BUT, not the opportunities to progress
· Whats missing is the development of new coaches (both an environment in which this can happen and program
· There are strong teachers who get athlete invited at right age but there is only a handful (how does CCA promote skiing in schools and development into /link with club)
· How to involve coaches in regional+ level programs in order to progress
· Question to CCA is how to provide support at club level (both self-initiated and provided) to foster coach linkages and inter-development the challenge is the lack of trust among clubs, the belief about coach ego, lack of strong technical (neutral) person at CCA to run programs (vision of club development)
· Framework for evaluation of impact of programs/means to achieve (vis a vis objectives)
· Clubs dont develop without parents buying in
· Similarly if a club doesnt buy in into provincial program then athletes dont have access to programs
· Therefore, athletes and parents create the pressure for clubs to be involved
· Therefore only clubs that support would be given access to support from province
· Contrary: a club can operate on their own and provide all services to their athletes
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2.3 Alberta Winter Games Discussion
This information was used in the development of the 2004 Alberta Winter Games Technical Package.
- Will lose 1/3 of program (Juniors will not be included in the 2004 AWG)
- Need more warning before changing age groups; expectation for 2004 already exists
- If in 2004, less than 50% of the zones fill their allotment, then change
- There is a new fill policy in which zone can only add up to 2 or 3
- Need to make it more challenging to make the team
- Alternating years to sustain enthusiasm so how to build Youth Championships: create the motivation (and make it more challenging to make the team)
- Add rationale/purpose of program against which to measure
- Prepare coaches to prepare athletes for Games environment
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3.1 The AB Cups An Emerging Consensus
The following is Rose Merciers restatement of the points that were made during the discussion of the Alberta Cup that are offered as a way to continue the discussion.
-There seems to be a relative priority of needs that AB Cups attempt to serve:
- Provide quality higher-level events for developmental skiers (Midget, Juvenile maybe Mini Midget and Junior) that acts as step in progression to provincial and inter-provincial level racing
- Serve as selection events for developmental skiers which may include the Alberta Ski Team, Canada
Games Team, Alberta Development Team, etc.
- Ensure events are feasible for organizers to run
- Provide an exciting and glamorous competition that attracts the best skiers
In order to meet these needs, a number of actions are taken:
- Individual starts / timing for developmental skiers where points are awarded
- Cups are open to several categories to increase the number of paying participants, including younger/older categories of skiers
- Recognition and competition is provided to fit within the different level of fees that are paid
· As a result of the above action, there are several results:
- Different categories of participants pay different fees and receive different level of benefits (no individual time/mass start vs. individual start/time, recognition not the same and provided at different schedule)
- Families travel to events and observe different level of benefits and experience a sense of inequity in the quality of the event for different groups
- Younger age groups may travel too much
- Larger events require more volunteer labour to organize
Strategies to Move Forward:
- clear statement /consensus on relative priority of the needs to be served and outcomes to be avoided (e.g.., young age groups travelling, overt inequities)
- Communicate broadly the consensus viewpoint
- look for event models that serve mixed purposes
- provide information to coaches/clubs to manage expectations of skiers and their families
- work with organizers
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3.2 Group Discvussion Flip Chart Notes: regarding the Alberta Cups
- Relative priority of needs
- Who is the AB Cup for?
-families with a range of kids (confused about what AB Cup means)
-parents get upset when older races get different rewards
- Events to encourage more skiers treat them the same
- Give points to Midget and up
- Same timing for younger categories
- More equitable** treatment to all regardless of points or not look for models of how to do this (Marshall Oat?)
- If treatment is equitable, should fees be similar?
- Individual start times
- Timing and type of recognition
- Treated with equal respect
- AB Cup points for older: focus on Midget, Juvenile, Junior
- Points = price
- Quality events higher level races to progress to provincial level, inter-provincial level
- Need to have larger events to make it financially feasible for organizers
- Large events also require more volunteers
- Open up more categories if similar
- Dont want to encourage younger age groups to travel too much
- Coaches need information to manage expectations for younger skiers
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4.1 Group Discussion Flip Chart Notes: assessing the current state of the technical areas by Rose Mercier, CCA Consultant
There were four main themes that could be derived from discussion of the Athlete Development Model. Under each theme heading, I have identified key questions and the related points of view from the discussion.
a. Is it possible to develop a similar schematic for coaching?
i. One could argue that this schematic shows the different coaching contexts on which Competency Based Education and Training will be developed. However, for the time being, it may be helpful to develop the means to show how the coaching of an athlete changes over the continuum.
b. What are the conditions necessary to bring new coaches into cross country skiing? To develop the coaches in the middle?
i. Coaches in the middle have experience, passion, strong leadership but not enough (any?) opportunities to progress.
ii. How can the CCA support clubs in a way that fosters coach linkages (either self-initiated or designed programs) for the purpose of developing coaches? There are challenges in doing this: lack of trust among the clubs, perceived/real egos, lack of strong neutral technical person, vision of club development.
iii. How can coaches be involved in regional+ level programs to support their development?
iv. There are a handful of strong teachers who get athletes involved at the right age but arent involved in club coaching and how can we leverage existing programs to encourage cross country skiing in school programs?
c. Whats missing is the development of coaches both an environment in which this can happen and program development.
2. Role of Clubs in Athlete Development
a. What is the role of clubs in continuum after the developmental skier level? Its clearer at the lower levels, but somewhat nebulous beyond that. There is a need to clarify the role of club up to national level.
b. Are there different options for athlete development? Some clubs are full-service clubs: Can they provide for the full range of needs of a skier? And if they can, does the model respect an athletes achievement and progress, independent of the route they follow to get there?
c. Do we want a large community of contributing members or a lot of small communities? Those who believe the large community is a preferable model hold that it whats needed is for the benefits of regional/provincial programs to be meaningful enough for the athletes in order, that they create the pressure for their clubs to be involved.
i. Clubs that pull back or isolate themselves present challenges to themselves and for the ski community.
d. Is there a schematic that can portray the role of the club through the successive levels of athlete development? At Mini-Midget and lower, clubs are providing most of the activities. Clubs provide more of the activities to athletes up to and including regional level.
e. The model needs to show where athletes fit who are part of the racing community but not part of the National Team stream.
3. Role of CCA in Club Support/Development
a. What type of communication would support a vision for athlete development? Clubs, parents and athletes need to be aware of model and communication should support the a vision of progression and the sharing of resources. Clubs wont develop without parents buying in.
b. What is vision for club development? What are the CCAs roles in this development? How can the CCA foster the sharing of resources, inter-club activities, interchanges among clubs etc.?
c. What clubs should the CCA support only those that athlete development model? Or others? What athletes should the CCA support only those from clubs who buy into provincial program? Or should there be a way to provide different support to clubs that operate on their own and provide all services to their athletes?
d. There are strong teachers who get the athletes involved at the right age. The questions is how does the CCA promote skiing in the schools and development into / link with clubs?
e. How will CCA evaluate the impact of programs vis a vis its objectives for these programs?
4. How to Portray the Dynamic Flow
a. Include the narrative that provides more details
b. Reflect how many or the percentage of athletes that ought to be involved at a level.
c. How can the model show the flow back and forth between a level, i.e., an athletes progress is not always straightforward.
d. How can the model show cross-fertilization across levels and ages.