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Oakville’s Delores McCallum becomes curling’s first Certified Competition Development Coach

Curling Canada is pleased to announce that Delores McCallum of Oakville, Ont., has become the first curling coach to become a Certified Competition Development Coach under the new National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) context-based programming.

Delores McCallum of Oakville, Ont., has become Curling Canada’s first Certified Competition Development Coach (Photo Michael McCallum)

Delores McCallum of Oakville, Ont., has become Curling Canada’s first Certified Competition Development Coach (Photo Michael McCallum)

“We want to congratulate Delores on this great accomplishment,” says Jennifer Ferris, Curling Canada’s NCCP Transition Consultant. “This program has been changed significantly to reflect the needs of the athlete. Delores has been diligent at working through the tasks required to demonstrate her competence to work with athletes in the Training to Compete Stage.”

Competition Development replaces the former Level 3 certification. The focus of coach training for all sports has shifted from what a coach knows to what a coach can do. Coaches are trained in contexts and streams based on the type of athlete they want to coach. This athlete-centred coach programming is measured against a set of outcomes and evidences established by the Coaching Association of Canada.

“The Competition Development program utilizes many different teaching methods, which keeps it fresh and interesting and allows coaches to utilize all styles of learning,” says McCallum. “There was classroom, webinar, practical, on-line, one-on-one and group learning, and evaluations of practical coaching and planning material. While the evaluations caused me a little anxiety they are perfect for instant and ongoing feedback and really ‘cemented’ the messages in my mind. The evaluators provided clarity in all aspects of planning, practice and competition. Coaches just have to be open to constructive assessment and remember that the evaluators are there to help them succeed.”

Delores McCallum, Curling Coordinator at the Oakville Curling Club, leads a classroom coaching session during her evaluation as a Competition Development Coach by the National Coaching Certification Program (Photo Michael McCallum)

Delores McCallum, Curling Coordinator at the Oakville Curling Club, leads a classroom coaching session during her evaluation as a Competition Development Coach by the National Coaching Certification Program (Photo Michael McCallum)

McCallum was part of a group of 23 coaches who began their Competition Development training in a workshop in Hamilton, Ont., in March 2014. There are now a total of 54 curling coaches across Canada who are at various stages of their training and certification.

McCallum, Curling Coordinator at the Oakville Curling Club, coached Ian Taylor’s Masters Men team to a provincial runner-up finish, and she attributes that success to the lessons learned within the program.

“What the program really proved to me is that planning works,” she says. “If a coach plans every aspect of the year leading up to competition, it will improve the team’s chances by a very large margin. I will never again coach a team to competition without going through this process.”

“Delores is a great example of a coach being able to work through the program during the timelines we set out. Start to finish, she was able to complete the entire program in approximately 15 months,” says Ferris.

As of November 1, 2017, coaches accompanying teams to Scotties, Brier and Olympic Trials will need to be Competition Development Certified (or the equivalent, Level 3 Certified).

Competition Development workshops are delivered and administered by Curling Canada. The 2016 Workshops are being planned in Eastern Canada and Ontario. Coaches from any province are welcome to join and coaches should not wait until a workshop is in their area to get started. Coaches can enter the program at any time and can begin their training with a variety of instructional units, including multi-sport modules, webinars and online assignments.

Coaches interested in entering the program should contact Jennifer Ferris at jferris@curling.ca.