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The March 9, 2018 Powering Podiums on the high performance coach pathway explored a number topics that would assist coaches in achieving the knowledge, skills, experience and background necessary to coach athletes in the high performance of excellence stages of long term athlete development.   Central to the discussion was articulating a two dimensional model (see below) identifying the stages of mastery that coaches progress (Lara-Bercial, S et al. 2017), versus the qualification pathway aligned to the athlete context.  Many challenges exist in identifying an ideal coach pathway to ensure that:

  1. Expert coaches are valued and capable of coaching across a variety of athlete contexts.
  2. Educational opportunities, while aligned to athlete context are accessible and meaningful for most coaches.
  3. Mastery in coaching is not dependent on coaching record or high performance success.
  4. Professionalization of coaches should ensure minimum standards in experience, qualification and athletes coached.

Ultimately the model presented may be useful for identifying and or hiring high performance coaches.  One dimension in hiring and identifying coaches is the minimum coaching qualifications and athlete achievement in the pathway.  In this dimension, the coaching qualifications are linked to the athlete pathway and opportunities that exist for coaches to challenge certification through evaluation, but also identify unique professional development activities that suit the context of athletes coached.  The second dimension that could be considered is the coaches’ mastery and experience.   While one’s experience is important and informs the background of the coach, it may not identify how coaches move through the stages of mastery.   It should be recognized, like any profession, that only exceptional coaches can “excel to expert”, or truly move toward expertise by demonstrating qualities of deliberate practice which may include;

  1. The investment of time to reflect on practice and make changes or improvement to their coaching,
  2. Seeking innovative approaches to coaching practices, and
  3. Making use of available resources to maximize both coach and athlete performance.

High Performance Coach Pathway

From this perspective the quest for mastery never ends.

To help identify opportunities for coaches to progress through the model, a number of presentations were made to help coaches navigate opportunities for on-going development.  The workshop was live streamed with links to each topic area presentation.   A number of brochures were also available and can be accessed by the links below.

  1. CSI Pacific (David Hill) Workshop Introduction and High Performance Coach Pathway
  2. ViaSport (Kate Kloos) Entry to HP Coaching – Competition Development
  3. CSI Pacific (Andrew Latham & David Hill) Advanced Coaching Diploma and UBC Masters in HP coaching and Technical Leadership
  4. Cross Country BC (Maria Lundgren) Competition-Development Advanced Gradation
  5. Rowing Canada (Colleen Millar) Competition-High Performance and Accrediting National Team Coaches
  6. Own the Podium (Laura Watson) Coaching Enhancement Program
  7. CSI Pacific (David Hill) Professionalization of Coaching and Responsible Coaching

Please click here for a copy of the Powerpoint Presentation.



Lara-Bercial, Sergio  et al. (2017) The European Sport Coaching Framework. Human Kinetics, Champaign, Illinois.