Well its been quite the journey over the past decade. After coming to North America in 2000 and setting up my base in Toronto, Canada it was certainly not my initial focus to become a career coach but sometimes things have a funny way of working themselves out. in 2005 I was encouraged to work with the Provincial Association (OCA) to help develop BMX athletes to compete at the National and International level. Many people warned me that the position wouldn't be an easy one and based on history they had every reason to be right.
There were some very important things to consider:
1) The season is only 7 months long at best
2) For a Province with 5 million people there was
only 400 licenced BMX athletes (not that I had 400 to choose from)
3) There were 2 tracks - One was being re built that season
4) There were NO expert riders racing in the US and many were hesitant to travel due to competitiveness and cost.
5) Eastern Canada had traditionally been the weakest part of Canada when it came to BMX. BC and Alberta were dominant with both Provinces having over 1600 riders in each system and a much better coaching structure within the club and Provincial environment.
6) There was NO coaching. And by NO coaching ...I mean ZERO
7) There was NO permanent indoor training facility
8) Ontario had recently switched from an American organization (NBL) to a Canadian sanction. This itself posed many issues in terms of competitiveness, system alignment and control over competition structure.
in 2006 we had 2 riders make mains at National Championships in Challenge classes and NO riders make finals in Championship classes. This task was going to be a long one but something that I believed could be done with some solid structure, patience and belief in a system building approach.
After attending NBL Grands in 2006 and seeing the best Ontario riders struggle in Intermediate it was an eye opener for me considering the goal was to help these athletes achieve International standards.
Well a decade later and its USA Grands time and currently in the Ontario Training Group we have 3 riders in the top 35 of the USA standings, 3 in the top 20 and 4 in the top 10.
Its been a fantastic 10 years and although its been a long road it been a very rewarding and satisfying process. As I start a new chapter in my coaching career I want to thank all the athletes, coaches, parents and tracks for the support. Sometimes you get knocked down and when you do you have to get up again. There will be critics and you cant please everyone. I want to thank the athletes for a fantastic journey and wish all of them the best this week in Tulsa. #trusttheprocess #enjoythejourney #ontariostrong
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!