2009 Program News
10/16/09: Week 5 Recap- ICECP Completes First Week at US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs
They came to Delaware from all over the world in September. Then they were shipped out to every corner of the US for their apprenticeships.
For the final portion of ICECP’s educational program, the 2009 participants reunited at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for Week 5.
The move to the mountains and winter weather of Colorado was a 180-degree reversal for some participants, like the judo coaches coming from sunny South Florida or the basketball coaches coming from the city atmosphere of Philadelphia.
Some had a decidedly easier time with the transition, like Milos Tomic, the Serbian national alpine skiing coach, who came from the glacier of Saas Fee, Switzerland, the training site of the US national team. It may even be a warmer climate in the Rockies than where he spent his apprenticeship.
The participants took a day off on Sunday to relax, recover from their travels and prepare apprenticeship site presentations. They were officially welcomed to the OTC on Monday with a tour of the complex from facility manager Rick Miner and a presentation about USOTC structure from facility director Glen Werner Roseboom.
“The facilities here are awesome,” said Ernesto Selva, a coach on the national track and field team in El Salvador. “If I spent my country’s entire budget for a year, I might be able to build a facility like this. You have everything you need here.”
Michael Faddoul, a national boxing team coach in Dominica, said that the OTC differed from anything he had seen so far because “there are sport-specific facilities and equipment” for many Olympic sports.
He also said that the center and its programs were well-organized and that it was clearly an excellent place for athletes to train and develop.
“The set-up is simple and because the organization and management of everything is top-notch, it is really effective [for athlete development],” Faddoul said.
Also on Monday, coaches from each apprenticeship site spoke to their peers about their experiences. They shared where they went, their interactions with the coaches and trainers they met and the overall apprenticeship experience. The presentations gave the participants an opportunity to see what everyone else did and learned during their apprenticeships.
Through photos and video, the presentations took the group on a virtual tour of all 13 apprenticeship sites. The swimming coaches presented videos from their interview with Bob Bowman, head coach of North Baltimore Aquatic Club.
Aleksandr Vodovatov, the national kayak coach in Kyrgystan, brought video of one of the athlete’s training out on the water at Chesapeake Boathouse (Oklahoma City).
The basketball coaches compiled a photo-tour of the Philadelphia Big 5 basketball programs, the Drexel University basketball program, Philadelphia 76ers training camp and an NBA game.
Besides their presentations, the participants attended 16 classes with 12 experts throughout the week. They also had a group work and problem-solving exercise and took two field trips.
Topics in Week 5 included environmental factors and performance, overtraining, energy systems, training design, planning and periodization, testing and evaluation, biomechanical video analysis, performance services, trip preparation and vision and promotion of sport and Olympism.
Dr. Allison Williams, who is working in the USOC’s Performance Services division while on sabbatical from Grove City College, gave two in-depth presentations. The first was on the effects of environmental factors on performance and the second discussed overtraining, including how to recognize and prevent the condition. Dr. Williams’ topics both created involvement from the participants and a flurry of questions and discussion.
Planning and periodization was discussed by resident strength and conditioning coach John Carlock. Carlock provided examples of periodized training programs and taught the coaches how to better plan elite athlete training.
“The planning and periodization stood out to me because it directly applies to my project,” Faddoul said. “It helps me understand peaking, training organization and training management, which are all parts of my project.”
Adam Mohamed, the national swimming team coach in Maldives, concurred. “[Carlock explained] laying the foundation for training, answering the how, when, why and how much in a training program,” he said.
Scott Riewald, the senior sport technologist in Performance Services, showed the participants how they could use video for biomechanical analysis. He gave an overview of techniques, applications and available technologies. Afterwards, he challenged each coach to come up with a use for video and a plausible application of video analysis in their programs. Several coaches shared their ideas with the class.
The coaches learned about the USOC’s Sport Performance division from team leader Christopher Vadala. Vadala discussed the administrative structure of the USOC and their relationship with each sport’s national governing body.
To get more information on the administrative side, Lindsay Mintenko, USA Swimming’s managing director, spoke about trip preparation and travel logistics. Mintenko, an Olympic gold medalist in freestyle swimming, quickly caught the attention of the audience because of her athletic success and her understanding and application of sport administration and planning on the national and international level.
Haili Ripley, the women’s national basketball team coach in American Samoa, noticed a difference in the types of class from Delaware to Colorado Springs.
“Classes here are more focused on sport administration and structure, whereas at Delaware there was more about coaching education.”
He said that the curriculum here in Colorado Springs “gives [him] better insight on how national Olympic committees and federations are structured and run,” allowing him to get a better understanding of the behind-the-scenes operations. He also noted the high quality and expertise of the presenters, which made him confident he was learning from the best.
The participants also got out of the classroom and in to the community while on field trips to Carmichael Training Systems (CTS) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) headquarters.
CTS focuses on endurance athletes, especially cyclists, and uses cutting-edge technology to create better training plans and methods for clients, which range from the average triathlon participant to Lance Armstrong.
“CTS was a great example of the integration of technology into sport,” said Rota Onorio, the national basketball team coach in Kiribati.
While at the NSCA site, the coaches saw a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning center and learned newly developed workouts and exercises from Katie Krall, the human performance center manager.
Ripley described the NSCA site as a “goldmine” of strength and conditioning and said, “I wish I could take that facility back home.”
“We don’t have facilities like that in our country,” Onorio explained. “We were able to ask specific questions about exercises related to our sport, and they showed us things we could do and cheap equipment we could get. They also gave me web resources I could refer to for strength and conditioning, because I’m not an expert and we don’t have experts like this at home, either.”
Ripley said that acquiring these resources and knowledge is “what we are doing here.” He noted how ICECP embodies the values of Olympism and allows international coaches to learn how things are done in the States and apply whatever they can in the homelands, regardless of financial capabilities.
“It’s great that the USOC invited us here and is willing to open up and share what they are doing.”