Alpine Ontario Alpin (AOA), along with Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA), the four AOA Divisions: Lake Superior Division Alpin (LSDA), Northern Ontario Division (NOD), National Capital Division (NCD) and Southern Ontario Division (SOD) and the 40 AOA member clubs are pleased to announce a new U16 Development Program (U16DP) for the 2017-18 season. The U16DP will offer development opportunities for athletes and coaches who want to take part in the high performance stream of the Provincial ski racing long term pathway. This program includes holistic athlete development including organizations, teachers, coaches, and other educational experts working together.

The program includes training, development, and supportive opportunities in the following areas:

  1. Social / Emotional
  2. Physical
  3. Technical / Tactical
  4. Psychological

Why is AOA doing this and what is the goal of the program?

Over the last number of months AOA has been in consultation with Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA), The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) and many clubs and organizations in Ontario, across the country and around the world with the goal of learning how we as an organisation can support our clubs more proficiently to help raise the game and overall level of consistently in producing long term high performance athletes. With this program AOA & partner clubs is looking to develop high performance athletes and well-rounded human beings while also beginning to feed a coaching education system that is more unified and involved in the process. These athletes will be able to use skills that will help them to adapt to any environment, thus enabling them to focus on their personal performance in any given situation.

Program Description:  

• AOA & partner U16 coaches will select a maximum of 30 U16 athletes, born in 2002 & 2003. AOA may take fewer than 30 athletes.
•  The program runs 11 months from May 1st to March 31, 2018
• Approximately 28-30 days in training camps which include:
o 2-day opening weekend May 6-7 at The Pan Am Sports Centre in Toronto
o 7-day leadership camp July 1-8 at the Youth Leadership Camp in Orillia
o 12-day on snow, August 7-20, Saas Fee Switzerland. This camp will be lead by a Level 4/PL trained coach from Ontario and include a guest European coach. Opportunities to train alongside the OST and SOD teams will be available as these teams will be training at the same location and time.
o 2-day development camp October 14-15 (location tbd)
o 5 day on snow speed camp in February (date & location tbd)
• 10/15 hours of personal mentorship – each athlete will be assigned their own high performance mentor
• 10/15 hours of reflection assignments
• 40 week fitness program design with the Canadian Sport Institute staff using a combination of teaching, guided discovery, and self-driven development
• Optional December on-snow Mont Tremblant camp (additional cost)
• Option Norway race & training camp, April 2018 (additional cost & selection process tba)

The October development weekend will be designed around the specific needs of the group of athletes. In addition to this and via the mentorship program, mentors and staff  will be evaluating the development of the athletes. Patterns of behavior or improvement in certain skills or performances can be addressed. Development opportunities will be designed and offered at this section of the program.

The U16DP program is designed to work alongside club and district programs and in no way replaces the existing club programs and their club/district camps and training days. Athletes would remain members of their existing teams and clubs.

STAFF

The AOA Athletic Director, Mark Marshall is the lead on the program. Working alongside Mark will be the U16 club coaches with participating athletes, several Level4/PL certified coaches leading aspects of the program and on-snow camps, one lead athletic trainer, staff at the Canadian Sport Institute and experts in athletic mentoring and sport development.

LEADERSHIP

Good athletes inspire themselves, Great athletes inspire others” Youth Leadership Camps Canada

Athletes will learn about themselves, about others, and how to apply their new skills, including leadership styles, group dynamics, effective communication, problem-solving, organizational skills, debriefing and self-reflection. AOA will offer additional components, such as how to pack, nutrition, basic cooking, budget planning, healthy diet plans, tips on travel.

MENTOR PROGRAM

The program will include a mentorship aspect where a personal mentor will be assigned to each athlete. This personal mentor will organize 2-3 in person, one-on-one meetings during the program, and scheduled monthly emails (or Skype/Facetime) interviews. Each mentor will receive AOA training on the methods of guiding and mentoring their assigned athlete include support, guidance, advice to develop a two way relationship that is safe and engaging in a respectful environment.

FITNESS PROGRAM & FACILITY

The program will include a 40 week fitness program using a combination of teaching, guided discovery, and self-driven development. The Pan Am Sports Centre in Toronto will be the host location for the program’s fitness testing with state of the art facilities, cutting edge equipment and staff who work daily with Canadian Olympic and National athletes. Canadian Sports Institute (CSI) will to work in tandem with the National ski centre in Calgary offering a sport specific testing and tracking.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

The program will feature coach mentorship and certification for Divisional staff using a consistency in terminology and methodology for coaches and athletes. The athletes themselves will also be exposed to new coaching methods and styles of coaching and for some athletes an opportunity to take the entry level coaching course. The program will also include high school credits in Leadership and Ethics with access to an education guidance consultant (high school credits etc.)

APPLICATION & SELECTION CRITERIA

Applications are now open (see link ) below until April 10th.  Athletes considered for the program will be asked to conduct in-person interviews via skype or in person.  Please read the documents regarding scoring and selection criteria.

COST

The program value is approximately $10,000 per athlete.  AOA in collaboration with our corporate partners including the NZ Foundation will be subsidising each athlete to lower the costs to approximately $5,000.

OUTCOME

An outcome is expected to develope high performance athletes and well rounded human beings. These athletes will be able to use skills that will help them to adapt to any environment, thus enabling them to focus on their personal performance in any given situation.

MORE INFORMATION/PARENT MEETINGS AT OCUP FINALS

Two parent meetings are planned during the upcoming U16 & U14 OCUP FINALS. AOA Executive Director Scott Barrett is hosting a Parent information meeting on Saturday, March 11th at 7pm at the Algoma’s Water Tower Inn & Suites, 360 Great Northern Road, Sault Ste. Marie.

AOA Athletic Director, Mark Marshall is hosting a Parent information meeting in Ottawa at the U14 OCUP FINALS on Thursday, March 16th at 7pm the Marriott Courtyard East Hotel, 200 Coventry Road, Ottawa, ON

Parents who cannot attend either of these meetings please contact Mark Marshall mmarshall@alpineontario.ca or 705-444-5111 x 121. Parents may also find this information summarized here: Parent handout U16DP_2017

Nothing gives an athlete confidence like knowing they have done everything they possibly could – to the best of their ability in training and preparation.”