Modern Day Training for Competition

Since the early 1990s, Canada has made a concerted effort to have sport coaching recognized as a profession. This led to two significant events: in 1997, Canada became a founding member of the International Coaching Council for Education (currently “Excellence”) and saw an increase in research into motor and technical skill development, investigating what makes an effective coach, and how can these be improved. What was learned? Coaches relied on observing the behaviour (Behaviour Training, or BT) of an athlete/rider to give instruction or feedback when developing skills, and found that not all technical, tactical, or mental skills are observable. Training that incorporated the cognitive aspects (focus/concentration, pattern recognition, memory retrieval, problem solving, decision making) made significant improvements in the quality of an athlete/rider’s performance and long-term retention over behaviour training. Further outcome from this research led to a new approach to coaching - Decision Training (DT) model and the…

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