Coaches Rate WiCAP
Beth Ali, based in Toronto, was part of LTAP. She holds a full-time job as a program manager at the University of Toronto (U of T) in the Faculty of Physical Education and Health. Before being selected to LTAP, she was head coach of the U of T women's varsity field hockey team and the Field Hockey Ontario women's high performance program, and she became an assistant coach with the women's national team in 2000. It was LTAP that ensured that she continued, in an official capacity, as an assistant coach with the national team from 2000 to 2003, working closely with Dru Marshall, then the team's head coach, as her mentor (see below, The Joys of Being a Mentor Coach). During this time, Beth assisted Dru with talent identification camps across Canada. She travelled extensively with the team, including an Americas Cup Final in March 2001, where the team placed third. When Dru left to devote her energies to her work as a professor at the University of Alberta, Beth was responsible for implementing and monitoring the training program for the team from March 2001 to July 2001 until Butch Worth, the new national coach was hired. Beth has continued as the assistant coach, working with Butch and coaching the team at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and the 2003 Pan American Games. From March 2003, in preparation for the Pan American Games, Beth took a leave of absence to work with the team and develop its physical training program and a strategic plan for the next four years.
The apprenticeship program enabled Beth to take an International Hockey Federation coaching course in Perth, Australia, which she successfully completed. "I would not have been able to pursue my international certification without funding from the apprenticeship program."
The Women in Coaching Apprenticeship Program ensures that each coach works closely with a national-level coach as a mentor. Beth worked alongside Dru in that capacity. Beth herself has gone on to mentor two young field hockey coaches, Sherry Doiron and Ann Doggett. What began as an informal mentoring with Sherry, who has been part of the National Coaching Institute (NCI)-Atlantic, an Atlantic regional coach, and a junior national team assistant coach, has developed into a more formal process as Sherry becomes part of the two-year NTAP. Ann has been involved with the NCI-Ontario, and Beth has been working with her at the Ontario Training Centre. She is an assistant coach of the U of T team and an assistant with the senior Ontario team.
"LTAP has given me an invaluable opportunity to work at and really come to understand the high performance environment in women's field hockey," says Beth. "I feel that as a result of this program and what I have learned in the three years, I am now capable of coaching the senior national program. I feel confident in my abilities and I know what is required to work successfully at this level of field hockey."
Heather MacFarlane, who grew up in Portage la Prairie, Man., was a competitive swimmer and began coaching swimming at the age of 18 years. She attended the University of Manitoba (U of M), obtaining a BA in philosophy and psychology. She also attended the NCI in Winnipeg and coached at the U of M from 1997 to 2002 with Vlastimil Cerny. Encouraged by Sport Manitoba, she applied for and was accepted into PAGCAP and was able to be part of the Canadian swim team at the 1999 Pan American Games. During her apprenticeship, Heather was part of the coaching staff for the 1999 World Short Course Championships in Hong Kong. She was also part of LTAP and attended the Mare Nostrum Tour in Europe and several World Cups with the athletes from the Manitoba National Swim Centre. In January 2003, she was an assistant coach with the junior national team competing in Australia at the Australian Olympic Youth Festival.
"The apprenticeship program provided me with so many opportunities to get exposure to international competition, coaches, and athletes, and for those with the national program to get exposure to me. As a result of this program, I believe I have gained respect in the swim community, from both athletes and other coaches, and I now have the opportunity to talk with these coaches at every meet I attend. There is no doubt in my mind that these opportunities would not have occurred without the apprenticeship program. I now have a much broader picture of athlete development and what it takes to coach at the different levels of our sport. I think you often just get snapshots of what is required, but I was able to see the complete picture of what it takes to be an athlete at the national and international levels and what it takes to coach at those levels. The program has definitely made me a much better coach."
Heather moved to Quebec and the Université Laval in 2002 to coach with Michel Berubé. "I met Michel in Hong Kong in 1999 and I really liked his philosophy of coaching and his skills. I have been an assistant to Michel at Laval's swim centre, responsible for a number of athletes during training and competitions. At this time, I'm not sure what is going to happen regarding my future with the national program and the centre because my funding has been cut. I will be coaching with an age-group program developing young swimmers next season. It is not exactly what I had planned, but I will still be doing what I love coaching."
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Publisher: Anna Mees , Program Manager, Women in Coaching, Coaching Association of Canada
Editor: Sheila Robertson
Copy Editor: Heather Ebbs
Translator: MATRA gs Inc.
© 2003 Coaching Association of