Coaching in our Club is overseen by Nick Schultz, Coaching Coordinator with coaching plans for each group based on the Long Term Athlete and Participant Development Plan from Speed Skating Canada and support from the Speed Skating Alberta Skater Development Committee. This ensures that each night, skaters are working on developmentally appropriate skills in a fun environment. Coaches and Junior Coaches complete Speed Skating Canada coaching clinics to develop their own skills.
Group 1 coaching in our Club is supported by Junior Coaches from Group 2 under Nick's direction. At all times, there is at least one adult on the ice with the Group 1 skaters. This format teaches coaching skills to our Group 2 skaters and allows them to use their experience to benefit our younger skaters. This also allows us to break Group 1 into smaller groups with a better coach to skater ratio so that the various coaches can focus on a smaller group of similar-ability skaters to develop skills. The coaching focus for Group 1 is on skill development, social interaction, and fun. Skaters complete a number of drills and games in order to work on a variety of skills that will support their skating development.
Group 2 is coached by Nick Schultz, Group 2 Assistant Coach. Group 2 works on further development of skills and technique in preparation for higher levels of competition. Group 2 skaters have competed at the Canadian Youth Short Track Championships for Canada West, the Canadian Youth Long Track Championships, Alberta Winter Games, and Canada Winter Games.
In order for the coaches to help the skaters, at times the coaches may need to physically assist skaters into a better position. This can be done by the coach placing hand(s) on the skaters back or legs/arms. This is done because at times it can be very difficult to transmit the body positioning that the coach is looking for without helping the skater into such alignment.