A Coaching Philosophy

I recently wrote this story about how my coaching and athletic experiences and connects to my professional life as an educator. I share this post here (mirrored from my professional site) to get you thinking about how sport carries over into other areas of your own life.

My view is that good teaching is a lot like good coaching.

Trading my Team Canada t-shirt for a Team Mexico shirt at the 2008 ITU World Championships - a highlight as an athlete

Trading my Team Canada t-shirt for a Team Mexico shirt at the 2008 ITU World Championships - a highlight for me as an Athlete

Athletes and Coaches from Team Canada (Red) & Team USA (Blue) at the Pan American Junior World Cup, circa 1999 - a highlight from my Coaching experiences

When I reflect on my experiences in sport, I find that there is a lot of carry over into to the realm of education. For example, my involvement in high-level amateur athletics taught me the importance of goals. Celebrating success, how to deliver and receive effective feedback, and how to tap into motivation are all things that I’ve learned about in sport and now focus on in my teaching. I also think that the collaborative relationship that successful coaches and athletes share mirrors a good educator – student relationship. Building on these reflections, I believe that it is my role as an educator to encourage students and to coach them for success.

As a bit of background information about myself, I’ve been involved in sport for many years. I’ve participated in high-level amateur sport, enjoyed recreational leagues, and coached Junior (<19) as well as Masters (40yrs+) athletes. As I tell the story of my athletic experiences, a few achievements stand out as highlights including a 4th place finish at the Pan-American Junior Track & Field Championships, a 2nd place finish in the Honolulu marathon, National Team carding in the Olympic Hopeful category during my university years, and more recently my finish at IronMan Canada.

Throughout all of these experiences, I’ve been lucky to have interacted with some very talented coaches and mentors. My earliest teaching experiences are based in coaching. These experiences range from: coaching experiences in track and field at highschool, university, and provincial levels; being a guest speaker for Sun Run clinics; designing and coaching marathon training programs; participating in NCCP level II certification courses as a guest speaker and participant. Here’s a few more highlights from my own coaching experiences:

  • 2000 & 1999 National Team Manager, Canadian Junior Racewalk Team, Athletics Canada.
  • 2001 – 1995 Head Coach, Racewalk West Track and Field Club.
  • 2000 Coach, Honolulu Marathon Training Program, Joints in Motion, Arthritis Society.
  • NCCP Level I, Level II (theory) Coaching Certification for Track & Field, specialization Racewalk

Involvement in sport is a life long passion for me. In addition to being personally fufilling, I’m constantly learning about myself, about good coaching, and about scenarios for success. I’m happy that I can make these connections between two of my passions in life: 1) being active in sport, and 2) being an effective educator.

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