Coaches Corner Vol 9 hero 1130x600

Coaching Newsletter - Volume 9

By: Jon Tarkington  August 22, 2023

With the racing season winding down, it's time to start looking forward to what should be a very transformative winter for the USA Cycling Coaching Program.

Last month summarized many of the program changes coming this fall and winter. The next few newsletters will discuss more about the program objectives that are the core principles of our education revisions. First, let's talk about fishing.

Yes, that widely used quote comes up, "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."

If one aspect of coaching bike racing has become evident over the past 20 years, it is that the sport and coaching it changes and evolves regularly. Coaching bike racing is also a craft that is extremely diverse, with many disciplines, levels of engagement, and pathways to success. Hence, formulating a program that provides details on exactly what to do (fish) can provide little value long term. Meanwhile, focusing on teaching coaches how to learn and develop over time allows them to create their own unique identity and pathway to success in the sport.

In looking at our curriculum, it has been clear that teaching our diverse coach population the tools they need to succeed far into the future is a primary goal, especially as automation of workflow continues to rapidly advance. Hence, when our three-tiered system is overhauled, a coaches experience could be summarized by:

  • Level 3 - Present the tools
  • Level 2 - Refine the tools
  • Level 1 - Perfect the tools

So what are the tools? Stay tuned next month as we talk through our first program objective, AKA tool.

October Clinics - Bentonville

Registration is open with more details!! This will be your last chance to level up your skillset until 2024, so come check out Bentonville!

The Thaden School in Bentonville will be hosting our clinics. Bikes are highly encouraged for transportation and a group ride or two. Look for a dedicated e-mail with hotel info and a reminder to register shortly!

Don't miss this chance to experience our significantly updated Level 2 curriculum as well as some changes and additions to Level 1.

Coach of the Year - Closing Soon!

Coach of The Year - Nominate NOW!

Every year, USA Cycling recognizes excellence in our coaching ranks. We have several categories that are in line with the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Coach of the Year awards.

  • Elite Coach of the Year

    • Coach of a national-level team, or the coach of an elite athlete who competes at the highest level of their sport

  • Junior Coach of the Year

    • Coach at the youth club, high school or junior level, or a coach directly responsible for training athletes to reach the junior and/or elite level

  • College Coach of the Year

    • Coach affiliated with a Collegiate cycling program

  • Development Coach of the Year

    • Coach who aggressively grows the sport through bringing in new athletes and helping them develop a life-long, healthy love of competitive cycling

  • Volunteer Coach of the Year

    • Coach who does not receive payment in any form for their involvement in coaching at any level

Coaches who are awarded this recognition have been selected from a pool of highly qualified nominations based on:

  • Their impact on the sport

  • Their impact on their athletes

  • The strength and depth of their nominations

The 2023 Coach of the Year Nominations are currently open. The nomination window will close on September 20th.

Please carefully review the nomination form and consider your answers before submitting. Multiple USA Cycling members are encouraged to work together on a single nomination for a coach.

Fast Talk Labs - Training Through Menopause, with Dr. Stacy Sims

Training Through Menopause
by Dr. Stacy Sims

For some athletes, menopause can be a tumultuous time, disrupting their training routine, lifestyle, and emotional well-being. Dr. Sims encourages coaches to engage in the menopause conversation with their athletes. By offering a perspective that is rooted in female physiology and flexibility, coaches can ease the athlete’s experience and keep their enjoyment of sport intact.

TrueSport - Cohort for Change

Moving forward, USA Cycling will begin connecting our coaches with opportunities to further develop as coaches and supplements our existing education program. These opportunities are encouraged for continued education and coach identity creation but are not mandatory. First up is a fantastic chance to learn more about coach and athlete mental wellness in the youth (junior) sport movement through one of our new content partners, TrueSport.

The Cohort for Change will bring together sport-focused practitioners from across the country to activate TrueSport lessons and resources to not only further the mission of creating a more positive sport experience rooted in mental and physical wellness but also to create a more mentally well and balanced experience for leaders in sport.

Cohort Coaches will be provided mentorship opportunities with peers (both as a mentor and as mentee), as well as resources to support the sharing of strategies and tools with the athlete populations they serve.

Participants in the Cohort must attend the November 5-7, 2023 training and TrueSport Talks Symposium, implement the wellness-centered tools provided to help them prioritize their well-being, teach the TrueSport lessons within their unique sport programs, and provide feedback on their experience.

We encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and ability levels to apply. The Cohort will consist of:

  1. 12 Coaches (paid or volunteer), physical educators, and/or community program facilitators of athletes ages 6-18.

  2. Individuals who are open-minded, creative, inclusive, and passionate about creating a sport professional space rooted in physical and mental wellness.

  3. Coaches in consistent contact with athletes through their sport program for a season(s).