The first ever National Coaches Week is September 19-27. An initiative of the Coaches Association of Canada and the Provincial and Territorial coaching organizations, this week celebrates the tremendous positive impact coaches have on athletes and communities across Canada. This week is an opportunity to recognize coaches for the integral role they play by simply saying #ThanksCoach.
The BC Games and Team BC are part of BC’s athlete development pathway, but also provide an important opportunity for coaching development. Organizations like Curl BC have seen the progression and success of their coaches through these programs.
In honour of National Coaches Week, the BC Games and Team BC are profiling five of our outstanding coaches and saying #ThanksCoach with a gift card and Team BC recognition item.
Meet Paul Tardi of Surrey, a NCCP Level 3 curling coach who attended the 2012 and 2014 BC Games and the 2015 Canada Winter Games.
Why did you choose to get into coaching?
My two sons started to curl in the Junior program at the Langley Curling Club. They wanted me to be a parent on ice volunteer so that I could work with them on the ice. As a former player I knew how to play the game, I just did not know how to coach. I started taking coaching courses in 2008 and realized how much I did not know and I am still learning how to be a better coach every season.
2. What is your coaching certification level?
I was certified NCCP level 3 in August 2014
3. What is your favorite thing about coaching?
Watching players develop their skills, reach their goals and sharing my love for the game with my team so that they can also enjoy it as much as I have.
4. Do you have a particular coaching style?
I have a fairly relaxed/supportive and fun style of coaching. I think one of the most important things about coaching kids in sport is that they have to enjoy the sport they are playing before you start trying to improve their skills. Regardless of how talented your players are, if they don’t enjoy playing the sport, they will not stay in the sport for very long. If you can build player skill while having fun then you really have something special.
5. Which multi-sport Games have you attended?
I have been a coach at the 2012 BC Winter Games in Vernon, the 2014 BC Winter Games in Mission and the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George. At each event my team rose to the occasion and reached the podium.
6. How is coaching at a multi-sport Games different from a single sport event?
A multisport Games has an air of excitement, however there is the potential for a lot more distraction at these Games because the players are surrounded by so many other athletes from different sports. At single sport events the players will typically stay at a hotel with their parents and then the team will come together to play. At the BC Winter games the team stays together and sleeps on the floor in a school classroom with their team and 4-5 other teams from the same sport. This really promotes athlete interaction and leads to new friendships which may not occur at a single sport event. At the Canada Games, the cafeteria can become alive with chants from the different provinces. There is a real provincial team unity where athletes from different sports will come to cheer you on, it’s very exciting!
7. What was your favorite memory from coaching at the BC Games or Canada Games or Western Canada Summer Games?
Wow, tough question. I have a lot of great memories and they are all for different reasons. I will have to go with the winning gold at the 2012 BC Winter Games. With about 20 minutes left in the gold medal game we had a good lead and an excellent chance for the win. I was so excited for the players I felt sick to my stomach anticipating victory, which seemed to take forever. Receiving the gold medal with the team was an extremely rewarding feeling and to have the opportunity to share that moment with my two sons…priceless.
8. Do you have a coach mentor and what have you learned from him/her?
I have had great fortune to have had the opportunity to work with many terrific coaches over the last seven years. However, the coach that stands out above the rest is Bill Tschirhart. Bill has been my mentor coach the last two years and his knowledge of the game, player dynamics and team dynamics is second to none. Every time our team gets together with Bill I just want to write everything down because he is so inspirational to the players and me. If I can steal one quote from Bill regarding coaching it would be “don’t tell them how much you know until they know how much you care”.
9. What has been your best success in coaching?
I would have to say that winning a bronze medal at the Canada Winter Games was my greatest success. The team was made up of players from Fort St. John to Victoria so getting together for regular play was not practical. The team came together for events leading up to the Canada Games and then went undefeated in round robin play. They lost only one game in the cross over semi-final by one point. One player was quite sick through most of the event but still managed to play terrific. Two players from the team were subsequently selected to represent Canada at the Youth Olympic Games in Norway in 2016. Although this team did not bring home the gold they overcame geographical and physical adversity and I really enjoyed coaching them.
10. What are your next goals as a coach?
I hope to coach my two sons to a victory in the BC provincial final in the next few years so that they can again share the excitement of a national championship. They were defeated in the 2013 and 2014 provincial final so I am hopeful that three times will be a charm.
ViaSport is the lead for National Coaches Week in British Columbia. Read more about how you can recognize coaches and all the activities taking place around B.C.