UCI World Cycling Centre: Coaches from worldwide on training course
They come from Spain, New Zealand, Eritrea, Greece, Australia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. They speak different languages, work in different environments but have a common desire: bring the best out of their nations’ athletes.
To help them achieve this, eleven coaches are in the last days of a four-week Coaching Diploma course being held at the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle, Switzerland. The course is part of the UCI Coach Development Programme.
Dedicated to the disciplines of road and track, this is the first of two Diploma courses being held at the UCI WCC this year. It covers all aspects of coaching and is delivered by the centre’s own professional coaching staff as well as external experts. The course includes theory classes and practical sessions at races alongside the UCI WCC coaches and athletes.
The course participants are already experienced coaches who have worked either with their national teams or with international riders.
As is the case of Samson Solomon, national coach for the Eritrean Cycling Federation. Riders such as Daniel Teklehaimanot, Natnael Berhane and Merhawi Kudus have already put the country firmly on the map, and Eritrea has a great many talented young riders waiting in the wings assures Solomon, who has already completed the UCI WCC’s Level 1 and 2 coaching courses.
“I came to the UCI World Cycling Centre to upgrade my experience, my technique and to learn a lot. And I have been learning a lot. I will use all this knowledge when I go back to Eritrea, and I will also transfer my knowledge to other coaches."
Solomon is convinced that the African country can reach even greater heights.
“My dream is to form a UCI Continental Team, and our National Federation and the Government share that dream. Cycling has become very popular in our country.”
New Zealander Marc Ryan only retired from competitive cycling four months ago but knew that coaching would be the next step. The three-time Olympian (with bronze medals in the team pursuit in 2008 and 2012) has already worked with Cycling New Zealand’s junior track cyclists.
“Coaching has always been on my mind and it’s what I want to do,” says Ryan. “The course here has been great. I’ve been learning something new every single day. Coming from being an athlete, I understand the training aspects but, for example, the overall planning I never had to do. It was just handed to me.
“I have picked up on all sorts of things that can make such a difference.”
Ryan’s desire to coach means he is willing to consider options outside his own country: “Obviously you have a preference to work with your home nation but things don’t always fall into place. It’s a question of timing. But I want to be a coach and if it’s not in New Zealand, it could be with another Federation.”
The Coaching Diploma course covers all aspects of training, from talent detection, through to planning and delivering sessions, monitoring performance, and event analysis. All participants must pass written and practical exams to receive the UCI Coaching Diploma.
Another course, focusing on BMX, will be held in October.