Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
"Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic."

Well, let me tell you, in the past few years, we’ve gone from dominant to dominant. We must not be fooled by the dominance of Michael Kingsbury who puts a certain veil on the setbacks of the rest of the team.

I have always felt uncomfortable criticizing the sport in which I developed. Moreover, I have never done it in public, not wanting to be accused of bias, but nothing is going on there. Since the last Olympics in 2018, we’ve seen Canada’s decline in figure skating. It is normal in a healthy and competitive sport to have a certain alternation between nations at the top.

To those who distorted Canadian results when we were regularly three or four skaters, men and women, in the top 10, I would always answer by saying that it was because we had better programs and coaches than the rest of the world. Many Canadian coaches have already been willing to work with other countries such as Japan, Russia, Sweden, China, France and the United States.

So why, all of a sudden, should I dare speak up and ask questions? Because right now, the devastation of our Canadian workers. After three World Cup events, with the exception of Michael Kingsbury, Canada had only one place in the top 10 [dans la discipline olympique] The British-Colombian title, Sofiane Gagnon, ranked ninth.

With the Olympics approaching, this situation is more than worrisome. It’s too late to change anything in the organization, but even if we win more than one medal in Beijing, we should definitely review the entire system. In addition to the coaches, we must also assess what is happening in the clubs and provinces. Even if we have the best coaches in the world in charge of the national team, if talents are not developed in the provinces, we will achieve nothing.

I’ve been saying this for a long time, the most important coach isn’t the guy at the top of the track at the Olympics, it’s the coach at the bottom of the mountain with his feet frozen watching young skiers from all over the day .10 or 12 years old. He or she is responsible for sharing his passion for sports, not technology. Passion, love of sports, that is what is important at this age. If this task is done well, then the base of the pyramid will be solid.

We need to get to know the coaches of the clubs and the provinces better. They should be part of the discussions. But unfortunately, here, we like to pretend that these coaches know nothing and that when the athletes reach the national team, everything has to be rebuilt.

Conversely, we also hear county or club coaches saying that the national team will destroy the potential of their players.” This is not an exclusive reality for figure skating. We hear it in many sports, everyone blames themselves, especially when things are bad.

In my opinion, it is the duty of the national team to standardize and properly align its levels of development from the bottom up, not just from the top down. Can you build a paper house starting with the roof? National teams can’t manage their ivory tower; They have to go out to the field and work with the clubs and the provinces. We should even distribute the force a little and highlight everyone’s contribution instead of mounting bell towers.

To solve this problem, I propose to copy what is done in American football. When we introduce a player, they often tell us what software that player developed to get into the NFL. It would be more motivating for a regional club or coach to find out Son of Michael Kingsbury He goes to the Olympics, his work will also be recognized.

With the current drift of our senior team, the pressure will be very strong on the Canadian team at Mont-Tremblant as there will be two events that count towards the Olympic selection, on January 7th and 8th. It’s also a chance to turn the tide, because with two races in two days at home we can hope it’s a wake-up call for our forces.

I’d like to see a big crowd to give them positive energy, but I’m afraid other than families there won’t be crowds at the bottom of the track. If only Kingsbury made it to the podium at Tremblant, or even made it to the final, we’ll have to be realistic in our expectations for Beijing and hire an architect to rebuild a new home out of the cards.

Fortunately for Canadian snowboarders, things can change very quickly, as seen in long-track speed skating. This team has been neglected since Sochi 2014. On the eve of the Beijing Olympics, we can certainly expect the best medal harvest since Vancouver 2010. What happened? However, CEO Susan Ochs didn’t make many friends with her tougher approach. It’s clear that she definitely did good things. Having a good team of coaches and, above all, a slightly more flexible approach to them, centered on the individual, has a lot to do with the team’s current success.

In Quebec, for example, with coach Gregor Jellonic and his team of interlopers, the human behind the athlete is always a priority. We now understand that an athlete who feels good about himself, and enjoys what he is doing, will inevitably perform better, over a longer period of time.

We also learned recently, in an article in the language Globe and Mail That Kristen Nesbitt was on a dangerous diet as the trainer wanted to lose weight at any cost. In her own words, she said she would never have won the Olympics had she not deviated from the schedule set by her coaches.

These cultures of oppression, where it is believed that in order to train an athlete you have to be tough on him or her, they no longer work. Sorry, that didn’t work. It’s just that at that time we didn’t dare ask questions.

I know, I really quit my original topic, but my point is that when the successes or failures persist and nothing goes well, you have to reconsider everything. Let’s not go to the ostrich: in figure skating, in Canada, nothing goes well.

I never thought I’d ever write these words.

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