Danny Dacosta, Executive Director for Squash Canada, has asked me to post a newly opened position for Performance Director for Squash Canada. Here is the link to the announcement on their website and you can download a PDF of the job description here: Performance Director Job Posting – Squash Canada – Final June 23, 2011. Obviously, if squash becomes an Olympic sport, this position would be even more exciting!
This position is a great opportunity for an experienced coach to use the sport science knowledge and applications that we post on this blog. If you are going to apply for the job, here are some of our best posts which target the key areas identified by the job description:
- Helping National coaches with their periodized annual plans is another key component of the job. Key post to read: Periodization of Squash Training.
- “The position is intended to provide national/international professional technical/coaching expertise (specializing in the Train to Train – Train to Win stages) of Canada’s Long Term Athlete Development Strategy.” (From the SIRC job posting). Key posts to read on LTADs and squash: New Squash LTAD, Junior Squash & LTADs, A Blueprint to Develop a Squash World Champion.
- Following up on the above point, the Performance Director will need to assist in re-orienting the Coaching Certification system around LTADs. Key post to read: Rethinking Squash Coaching Education.
- One of the keys in Tennis Canada’s success was implementing an effective “tactics first” approach for their both their coaching certification program and the actual programs used in National Training Centers. Squash Canada has a “tactics first” approach to certification, but is short on specifics and direction to coaches on what exactly to implement. Tennis Canada had a detailed training manual for U11, U14 and U18 – which spelled out the program week by week. Key post to read: Tactics First.
- The ability to identify talent is essential. Key post to read: Talent Identification
- Understanding trends in International Squash and being able to swiftly implement changes in coaching education and athlete training: Developing Deceptive Players.
- The final key in the Performance Director puzzle is leadership and communication ability. Key post to read: Practical Leadership Tools for Squash Coaches.
The most effective National Sport Governing Body (NSO) that I have been involved with (consulting work) was Tennis Canada. Backed by a supportive Executive Board – and this is the key part – a small team of three people each with strong expertise in a particular area, were able to implement continual dramatic change over a twenty-year period – with great current results. Pierre Lamarche provided the initial strong drive and energy, Ari Novick the administrative excellence and communication between all stakeholders and Louis Cayer the coaching expertise. They also did a great job integrating ex-players into their coaching and administration. Canadian tennis players are now over-excelling at all levels – male and female, junior and adult! Often with NSOs it’s a case of “too many cooks spoil the broth”!