Mike D'Antoni, former NBA head coach now working with the USA Basketball men's national team, addresses the opening of the fifth edition of the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program.

Olympic training

Coaches from around world participate in Olympic enrichment program

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11:59 a.m., Oct. 2, 2012--The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), the University of Delaware and the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Olympic Solidarity department are partnering for the fifth edition of the International Coaching Enrichment Certification Program (ICECP), welcoming 31 national coaches representing five continents, 31 countries and 11 sports.

The program began at UD on Sept. 23and will run until the final module concludes May 1, 2013, at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. 

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“In continuing our partnership with the IOC and the University of Delaware, we are able to help deliver a program that has a lasting impact on sport around the globe,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “We are proud to be involved with the ICECP, which provides resources to countries that are working to develop strong sport infrastructures.”

The program consists of lectures, guest speakers, participant presentations, group work and field trips. Topics include sport nutrition, sport medicine, injury management and prevention, sport psychology and physiology, sport administration, and coaching methods. 

The following 31 countries will be represented in the fifth edition of the ICECP: Australia, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bosnia, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Indonesia, Jordan, Lesotho, Macedonia, Malaysia, Maldives, Nigeria, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Taiwan, Uruguay, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The program has four modules. In the first, participants spend two weeks at UD attending lectures and presentations from experts on a variety of coaching education and sports science topics from Sept. 23 to Oct. 7. The keynote speaker at the ICECP opening ceremony on Sept. 23 was Mike D’Antoni, assistant coach of the U.S. men’s national basketball team and former coach of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks.

“As a coach you need to create an environment that respects the individuality of the athlete but also an environment where they buy into the vision of the overall team,” D’Antoni said. “Talent is important but it is the coach who is able to bring those talents together in a single purpose. The USA Basketball staff under Mike Krzyzewski has been able to do this to achieve excellence with the USA team in the Olympics and World Championship.”

The second module will take place from Oct. 7-14 and is a sport-specific apprenticeship that allows participants to observe and interact with coaches from National Governing Bodies (NGBs), university athletic teams or elite sport clubs in each of their respective sports.

Apprenticeship sites include the ICC Table Tennis Center in Milpitas, Calif.; North Baltimore Aquatic Club in Baltimore, home of Olympic champion Michael Phelps; the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Queen City Gymnastics Center in Cincinnati; Princeton University; Penn State University; George Mason University; American University; the Washington Wizards NBA franchise; Peak Taekwondo Club in Margate, Fla.; and the U.S. Tennis Association’s Billy Jean National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. 

The third module will take place from Oct. 14-26 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and consists of a continuation of lectures and group work activities during a two-week period taught by USOC sport performance and coaching experts.

In the final module, participants will present the projects they completed over the course of the program to the ICECP Academic Board, and again to their peers, at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne from April 27 to May 1. The projects will focus on improving the coaching infrastructure in their home countries. 

“The University of Delaware supports the high ideals of the Olympic Movement and is pleased to offer a well-structured, comprehensive and in-depth course of study,” said Bruce Weber, dean of the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. “We are proud and excited about hosting this year’s class of ICECP participants.”

The program is headed at the University by UD sport management program director Matthew Robinson, professor of sport management, Jeff Schneider, director of strength and conditioning at the High Performance Figure Skating Center. 

“We are looking to build on the success of our last four years as well as the momentum of the Olympic spirit generated at the London Games from this summer,” Robinson said. “We have a committed and passionate group of participants who will return to their native countries to impact the grassroots levels all the way up to the highest levels of competition in their respective sports. We could not be more proud or more excited about working with the new ICECP group. We also appreciate all of those in the UD community who contribute to make the program a success each year.”

The aim of Olympic Solidarity is to organize assistance to National Olympic Committees (NOCs), particularly those with the greatest need for help. Assistance is a joint effort between the IOC and the NOCs, along with technical help from the International Federations, if necessary. For more information about ICECP, to view program photos or to read blog entries from the 2008-12 programs, visit the website.

Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson

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