After a decade as a world-class athlete and NCAA track and field coach, Jennifer Joyce switched careers to start coaching athletic developmental for youth athletes as the lead coach at the Canadian Sports School in Victoria. After national team coaches complained athletes lacked the tools to train at a high level, they sought to fix that by building a program to teach the fundamentals to rising stars. On this episode of the podcast Joyce explains her approach to building a foundation and the key elements of athletic development.
Notes and Quotes
As mentioned, Joyce was a world-class athlete. Her resume is deep, including Canadian records and many nationals teams. She continues to stay active in athletics as a member of the Athletics Canada Board of Directors and IAAF Athlete Commission. For the past five years, though, she has been the lead coach at the Canadian Sports School Victoria. She talks about her experiences in coaching, as well as lessons learned as an athlete and from training under coaches like Anatoliy Bondarchuk.
Coaching developmental athletes
- 6:00 – Transitioning from track coach and athlete to strength coach.
- 8:10 – About the Canadian Sports School
- 13:15 – The first two year curriculum at the Canadian Sports School and its genesis: “Athletes, no matter the sport, need a general foundation of skills to move up the pathway. “
- 16:40 – Early specialization and the decline of physical education.
- 20:00 – Using gymnastics to teach kinesthetic awareness.
- 23:10 – Progressions – “It starts with the core, if you can’t control your core nothing else is going to work.” “After you learn the the basics, it’s about exploring the body in space. “
- 27:30 – Nick’s approach to building an athletic foundation. “The foundation of all buildings are made of the same materials. Only after you have the foundation does the building start to look different. “
- 29:15 – Setting up a foundation program for athletes of varying experience level. “If an athlete is already familiar with something, I just have them add more load. “
Lessons from Bondarchuk
- 32:00 – Lessons from training with Bondarchuk: “For speed power athletes, you have to do a lot of fast movements. “
- 36:15 – Building on Bondarchuk: “Athletes sometimes need the reassurance that they are making progress. “
- 40:00 – Building a better warmup: “We periodize the warm ups to introduce skills, perfect skills, and retain skills. “
- 43:30 – “Life after sport is also part of high performance. “
To hear more on these topics, listen to the full episode above. Also be sure to subscribe to our podcast and review it on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
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- You can learn more about Joyce on Instagram (@coachjennjoyce), Facebook (@JenniferJoyce.HammerThrow) and Twitter (@jenniferkjoyce).
- You can learn about the Canadian Sports School on their webpage, including details about their staff.
- We discussed warming up in detail. For more on that listen to Episode 58 and watch Lesson 2 in the HMMR Classroom.
- Learn from Nick in person at the Wisconsin Track Coaches Annual Clinic. More information is available here.