2011 USOC OTC Blog - Colorado Springs, Colorado

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Elroy Agard, Athletics, Barbados
This is a day of mixed feelings! I miss my daughter and I really want to hold her again so much. However, I have developed such an appreciation for my new “world-family.”

I sit and watch my colleagues present and I am moved at how much we have grown over the last six weeks. The presentations were a display of confidence and passion about their projects and the language barrier has been weakened.

I heard people thanking Dr. Robinson, Jeff, Dana and the Delaware team and Carolina, Regina, Jennifer and the Colorado team, all the tutors and I don’t know how to thank them enough. I know that we all have had an opportunity of a lifetime and if I can speak for everyone, it has changed our lives. We too want to make a difference in the lives of many, we want to be heroes like you guys are and we have that opportunity with the implementation of our projects.

We will make you proud!

One thing that was observed was that we helped each other a lot. This will always stand out in my mind as one of the cementing aspects of this fellowship we forged these six weeks.

Let’s all meet again in Lausanne. I missed everyone while on my two-week apprenticeship. And the reunion was timely, so you know I am missing you guys already.

I was trying to hold out so Dana would keep sending me mail each day but she will have to find something else to email me for now because this is my blog entry folks.

See you guys soon.

Hope Chisamanga, Basketball, Malawi
It was a beautiful day, with clear skies and sun, but with snow and chill weather. The atmosphere was filled with joy, excitement and sorrow as it was the last day of the ICECP. Of course, excitement because everyone was looking forward to meeting with their families’ and loved ones back home, and sorrow because of the separation with coaches who became friends and part of the day to day life for six weeks.

The day started with coaches’ presentations. The room was packed with ICECP officials, tutors and participants. Andile Mofu started the show and one after another we took turns presenting our projects until Larry said thank you. It was the last word to be said by the coaches, and indeed it was the last day of the program in USA.

After the presentations, there was some urgency from some coaches to pack and at 5:45pm Carolina started the briefing of procedures of Lausanne, signs of the last day of the ICECP in USA.

At 6:00pm, it was dinner time as we went downtown by bus. As we were waiting for dinner to be served, everyone looked busy, some playing pool, taking photos. To pass time as Jeff and Regina were busy fixing the PA system.

The highlight of the occasion was an ICECP slideshow and afterwards the speeches as a young lady was overwhelmed by the chants, “Dana!! Dana!! Dana!!!” Oh yes, it was an appreciation from the coaches for the job well done by Dana (young mom to 32 coaches). As I went outside the room, I realized that indeed it was the last day of program, a day worth remembering, and the conclusion of an amazing six weeks of a wonderful experience.


Saturday , 5 November 2011

Marlies Kiefer, Basketball, Austria
After a few long and intense days with highly interesting lectures, this weekend has scheduled a lot of time for us to work on our individual projects and meet our tutors who all arrived yesterday evening or today. This morning we basically had off. A lie-in was much needed for many of us and together with a late relaxed breakfast we re-filled our energy tanks. The late morning was then used to work on our projects. Some of us met in the athlete community room, some met in the lobby area to gather thoughts, refine ideas, read, research and start to put together some slides for the upcoming presentations. In the early afternoon all of the coaches and tutors came together. Some tutors we know well; it was good to see Dr. Robinson and Jeff again. We had already made acquaintance with some of the other tutors, including Barbara Daniels from the UK, Mike Williams, and Scott Riewald from the USOC who we had the privilege of listening to yesterday. However, some of the tutors we haven’t met so far. Josep Escoda from Spain who impressed us in his introductory presentation with high standard IT, Sarah McQuade from the UK who has vast experience in the realm of coaching education, and Peter Davis whose very entertaining presentation about his CV made everyone feel quite insignificant. Afterwards we all split up in groups with our respective tutors and talked about our projects, clarified uncertainties, talked about the next steps and set a schedule for tomorrow. Having dinner with our tutors put an official closure to this day. The remainder of the evening was free for us to work, chill-out, etc.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Kiry Hem, Swimming, Cambodia
Today our class started at 9:00am. We had group presentations about Sport Psychology. In my group there was Marko, Yoko, Jeffrey, Morgan and me and we talked about a volleyball team problem! At 10:45am we had a presentation on Biomechanical and Technology Application by Scott Riewald and then we had lunch! At 1:00pm all the coaches went to visit the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and after we came back to the OTC we also had a tour of the Sport Performance Lab. We finished at 5:00pm and we all tired but it's good to see all of these different places.

Rawlson Morgan, Athletics, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
It was interesting to see several of us taking part in the fitness workout at the NSCA today.  I laughed to myself when I realized that we were given a dose of our own medicine.  It was interesting to see the workout suits, jeans and t-shirts, tights (could you imagine a coach in tights?), shorts, etc.  Some of these are among the clothing that we will not allow our athletes to even come close to our training sessions in, but it was all in the name of getting first-hand knowledge of how the different exercises were to be conducted.  Elroy was great, but Heather proved that she wasn't called Flo Jo for nothing.  All in all, we had a great time. 

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Marja Woortman, Archery, Namibia
It was a chilly morning which turned into a lovely sunny day. After breakfast, at 9h00 sharp our first lecture started. Jennifer Dodd informed the coaches about the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency). At the end the coaches had to answer a questionnaire on ethical behaviour, where different opinions were raised. Dr. Larry Bowers ended the session with more interesting detail on the drug testing side. After the jet lag talk presented by Randy Wilber, the coaches will definitely return home with minor jet lag. We enjoyed lunch and proceeded with a very interesting presentation on overtraining. In the future we will surely know how to try and avoid overtraining. A short “tea-break” followed, and then after the coaches gave their group presentations on their case studies of energy systems and nutrition. Nanna Meyer evaluated the presentations with her expertise, which was appreciated by many coaches. As a surprise we had two delicious birthday cakes for the coaches. Happy birthday to them! We ended the day with an outing to the mall, Best Buy and Wall Mart. Thank you for another interesting and fun day.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Nasrullah, Athletics, Pakistan
I got up early in the morning and after preparation I came out of my dormitory to go to the dining hall. I was surprised to see snow all around outside. This was the first experience of my life. I walked slowly towards the dining hall and enjoyed snow in the cold weather and took some pictures there. When I came to dining hall I found out that our class was going to start at 10a rather than 9a. So I took a lot time there and enjoyed all kind of foods. Soon after that I had a chat with my wife for half an hour because it was the most suitable time to chat in my country. So I took advantage of this delayed start of our studies. The class started at 10a and I enjoyed the psychology lectures by Mr. Sean McCann and Mr. Alex Cohen. These were very much useful for me and for my coaching enrichment as well. Next I finished my lunch which was great for me today because I ate seafood. We started our next session at 2p.
At 2pm I attended the lecture of psychology by Mr. Peter Haberl, which was very much required for my National teams. At 3:45 we attended the lecture on Practice Plan Assessment by Mr. Scott Schnitzspahn. After finishing with the studies, we took two hours rest and then came back for Sports Psychology group work at 7p after dinner. We made our presentation for Sports Psychology to present on Friday morning. At about 9p, I came back to my room and after some rest I started writing about today’s work. Now I have completed this and after some chat with my wife I’ll go to sleep.

Yoko Tanabe, Judo, Japan
In the morning, it was snowing. It was very beautiful in Colorado Springs. Wednesday had Psychology and Training on the schedule, which was very interesting. The first lecture was about Imagery and Mental Preparation for Competition. We studied offensive mental skills and defensive mental skills. The second lecture was about Conflict resolution, Effective Relationships. The important points were coach-athlete training program principles of Behavior Management. The third lecture was important for Team Building and Cohesion. Key words are “Forming” “Storming” “Norming” “Performing” and “We”. The final lecture was Practice Plan Assessment. We studied practice plan assessment and talked about performance based skill learning.
After dinner we had Sports Psychology Group Work. Today was fruitful.

Jener Sato, Archery, Brazil
The Archer’s group arrived in Colorado on Out 27th, at 11:50pm, after a 14 hour trip (Gainsville/Fl, Charllote, Chicago, Colorado Springs).  The US Olympic Training Center is outstanding. I've never seen something like this. Facilities, staff, food, every detail has been planned. Today, we had Mental Imagery & Competition preparation (Sean C. McCann), using Imagery for analysis, creative problem solving, technical assistance, self-hypnosis, and motivation. Conflict Resolution/Effective Relationships (Alexander Cohen), noncompliance vs. defiance conflicts, and coach-athlete training. Program and Case Studies: breaking team rules, coach's actions, behavior management and problem solving communication. Team Building and Cohesion (Peter Haberl), had excellent examples of team spirit, cohesion and cooperation, even in individual sports like Archery.Practice Plan Assessment (Scott Schnitzspann) - Practice x Competition should be as similar as possible. Evaluation performance, improvement, using video analysis, communication (coach x athlete) and correct athlete engagement.
I have gotten a lot of new information and techniques useful for me as a coach and for myself.  And today we have SNOW, 1/2 foot, beautiful.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Husnija Kajmovic, Judo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Today we had a very intense day where we got a lot of valuable information. Different things we learned include Using the Rate of Adaptation to Guide Training, Energy Systems in Sport, Meal Planning for Training and Pre-Competition and Recovery and Hydration Strategies. At the end of the day we were divided into groups by sport to discuss energy systems, energy demand and sport nutrition in sports specific with the task to make a Nutrition presentation for Thursday.


George Abzianidze, Swimming, Georgia
On Tuesday, 1st November we had very important and interesting lectures. The first lecture was: “Using the Rate of Adaptation to Guide” (Physiology). Dr. Genadijus Sokolovas explained to us about Swimming Training Adaptation in various workload volumes. The second lecture: “Energy Systems” (Physiology) by Charlene Boundreau was very interesting. We received interesting information about conditioning all of the energy systems to perform at their maximal capacity to enable athletes to perform at theirs. The next two lectures: “Meal Planning for Training and Pre competition,” by Nanna Meyer and “Recovery & Hydration Strategies,” by Jennifer Gibson (both lectures about Sport Nutrition) were so interesting and important. We learned a lot of modern information about Fundamentals: Sports Specifics Aspects, Physiologic Demands, Environmental Conditions, and Training & Competition Periodization, Travel Issues, Common Nutrition Issues, Culture and others. We also received interesting information related to hydration and recovery nutrition, sport fluid recommendations and others. In the evening we had Sport Nutrition Group Work for our presentation on the 3rd of November. This day was very interesting, busy, and important for us.

Diehl Langkilde, Basketball, American Samoa
Tuesday started off with Dr. Genadijius Sokolovas’ use of rate of adaptation to guide training, which I thought was amazing. The usage of rate adaptation to assist athletes with work load, intensity and volume has never occured to me during my training. There was a lot of information and I believe I can apply this study into my project for younger athletes. Charlene Boudreau was our next presenter and she talked about Energy Systems through physiology in discussing the types of foods and the usage of energy from those different types of food. We learned everything from the anaerobic to aerobic aspects. The energy system also can be a good planner for athletes to make a chart of how they perform during training and competition. Nanna Meyer presented meal planning for training and pre-competition through sports nutrition. Back in American Samoa, our athletes are never concerned about the intake of food or the benefits of proper nutrition. In learning good meal planning, I can provide my athletes a plan of what to eat and monitor their nutrition levels. Our last presenter was Jennifer Gibson, who just returned recently from the Pan-American Games. She talked about Recovery & Hydration strategies and she shared some great ideas and information about athletes who are not hydrated properly and not recovering in time for another competition. She brought some great ideas for me for to educate my players about proper hydration and recovery times. I look forward to implementing this back home. We also have a nutrition presentation to give for Nanna Meyer on Thursday and my group that consists of George, Jerome, Cornell, Franco, and Marko has already begun our project for the presentation. Plus, I got to see some snow last night falling at the end of the project development. COLD DAY TOMORROW? 

Monday, 31 October 2011

Shu-Hwa Wang, Athletics, Taiwan
Happy Halloween! The big gift for us on Halloween was Ann’s project. Every ICECP member did an excellent job on it, and I am proud of you guys. Keep Smiling!

Adisu Hurgessa Duguma, Taekwondo, Ethiopia
On Monday I was sick and because of that I didn't go to the site visits from 8:45-12:00pm.
The afternoon program started at 2:00 pm with the coaches presentations of their Training Model Designs. Anne Pankhurst from the United Kingdom oversaw the presentations and she commented on all of the presentations with a lot of humor. I love her presentation a lot because of her jocks, but at the same time her comments of the coaches’ presentations. I learned different training model designs from the coaches in ICECP. I was especially impressed by the presentation of the boxing group. The program continued after a 15 minute break and Anne gave a presentation on Talent Identification and Development until 5:45pm and then class ended.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Muharram Mchume, Volleyball, Tanzania
This Sunday was one of the most hectic and more historical for most of the ICECP students.
Apart from being Halloween Eve, we actually witnessed Halloween at the zoo, with many children dressed up with their parents. As a parent I enjoyed the scenario. Before going to the zoo I passed through the main stadium in Denver where a big football game was to take place. There was a long queue of crazy fans but they were in a well-disciplined manner entering to see their local team the Broncos. At the zoo we enjoyed to see different animals including the beautiful colored marine species. From the zoo we went to see the NHL match between local team Avalanche playing the LA Kings. It was also a fantastic game as the Avalanche crushed the visitors 3-2 to break the jinx. Generally this Sunday was one of my most memorable days. I don’t want to forget the good hospitality of the ever smiling Caroline Bayon at the pizza dinner from "Papa Johns," mind you not the late one from the Vatican.

George Williams, Basketball, Cook Islands
Today was a jam-packed, action filled day. The whole class had a day trip to the city of Denver, which is approximately a 1 hour and 20 minute drive from Colorado Springs, with beautiful scenery to enjoy along the way. Once we arrived in Denver, the group split into two. The majority of the group went to the Zoo, however five football enthusiasts, Dana, Jerome, Marko, Diehl, Matthew, and myself, went to the game between the Denver Broncos and the Detroit Lions. The opening was totally awesome; we watched 4 skydivers land in the middle of the field at full speed. The music was pumping as each team entered the arena. There were lots of boos as the Lions entered, and the crowd went wild when the Broncos arrived. Balloons were released and fireworks blasted into the air. The national anthem began and a huge American flag appeared on the field. This was a very patriotic moment. There was a lot of hype this week around the starting quarterback Tim Tebow for the Bronco’s, but unfortunately he did not deliver. The final score was 45-10 in favour of the Lions.

We then started our 15 minute walk to the Pepsi Arena to watch NHL game between the Colorado Avalanche and the LA Kings. This is where we met up with the rest of the group and for most of us, enjoyed our very first hockey game. The game was very intense, with the Colorado Avalanche walking away with the win, 3 to 2. So the Furious Five enjoyed two professional sport games in one day, NFL and NHL games. The only thing missing was an NBA game, but let’s not go there. We started our journey back to Colorado Springs. Needless to say everyone was tired from today’s events. Big thank you to Jenny, Dana and our drivers for organizing the awesome day today. Big high five to you all.





Saturday, 29 October 2011

Meshal Alotaibi, Archery, Saudi Arabia
Saturday was a very enjoyable day, but a long day as well. I woke up at 8:30 am and had breakfast. Then we went sightseeing at the beautiful Rook mountain. We got back to the USOC at 11 and had lunch. At 12 we visited other places in Colorado Springs. The landscape was amazingly beautiful. In fact, I can’t explain how amazed I was. We got back to USOC at 7 pm. After an early dinner I went back to our building to discuss the designing program until 11pm. After a long day of activities I went to bed.

Ahmed Adel, Basketball, Egypt
We went to the Garden of the Gods. It was very nice walking there, especially taking photos with the group with the flag of my club (Zamalek Club). We then went back to the OTC for lunch. We started again for the Manitou Springs Emma Crawford Coffin Races, which was really amazing to share in. It was a Halloween celebration. I took photos with different characters, and my son and many of my friends on Facebook liked my photo with the Smurfs. After finishing this festival we went to Red Rocks, which also was a very nice place with very nice views All around, we walked a lot, and we took many great photos. Really it was a very good day, like all of the days I’ve spent here.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Kenny Lidise, Volleyball, Fiji
We had a tour of the Olympic Center in the morning which was absolutely awesome. The apprenticeship presentations that followed clearly showed that everyone had a very enriching experience. However, what touched my heart this morning was the motivational 10 minute clip about American athletes at the Olympic Games. It was the perfect way to start my day.
God Bless America.

Heather Samuel, Athletics, Antigua and Barbuda
Well, another of classes and a cold one too. There is snow on the ground and also on the mountain. It is a beautiful site but boy it is cold. coming from the land of 365 beaches, I am having a rough time.It was exciting to see our colleagues again and to hear about their apprenticeships. We were all happy for the opportunity to visit these places such as Penn State University, North Carolina, Florida, Boston to mention a few. Although our experiences were different, we all learned things to encourage us as coaches and also to take valuable knowledge back to our countries. We also got valuable information for our final projects.

Jeffrey Nedd, Boxing, Aruba
Well, Friday the 28th, was indeed a wonderful day, after being reunited the night before with most of my colleagues (some I saw Friday morning) after their respective apprenticeships. It's really amazing to see how close we have become, after only about four weeks. Then it was back to academics.