COACHES WEEK PROFILE: AKRITI SHARMA

Name: Akriti Sharma
Role at Fortius: Strength and Conditioning Coach
Programs coached at Fortius: SportSTRONG, BCCA Basketball
Sport(s) or specialization:  Mine? (Basketball), as a coach- Various team Sports
Education/certification: Bsc. (Hons.) Sport and Exercise Science, Master of Kinesiology, CSCS
Hometown:  New Delhi
Number of years coaching: 5
Coaching style in one word: Adaptive
How did you get your start in coaching?
After tearing both my ACLs while playing basketball, I was drawn towards strength and conditioning and using it as a tool to reduce the risk of injury. In India, there is a dearth of professionals that are able to understand the demands of sport and prepare athletes to compete at high levels- this motivated me to pursue a degree in sport science and gain experience within strength and conditioning.

Tell us a bit about the program(s) you coach at Fortius:
I am currently involved with coaching in the SportSTRONG stream which is geared towards youth aged 10-16. The aim of the program is to improve athleticism and reduce the risk of injury in kids by introducing them to foundational movement patterns, sprinting and jumping technique, and developing strength, speed, agility, and endurance. This lays a good foundation for them as they compete at higher levels of sport when they are older or if they continue to be physically active in the recreational space.

How would your athletes describe your coaching style?
Hard but fair.

Share one of your most memorable moments as a coach:
The best times are when you know an athlete has absorbed what you have been trying to drill into their heads- specifically when one of the athletes in SportSTRONG was able to run a full warm-up and coach some exercise to the group.

What is a phrase or quote your athletes always hear you say:
Not exactly a quote, but one of the cues I probably use so often that I tire myself of it: Neutral Spine!

Fortius Sport & Health is celebrating National Coaches Week in partnership with the viaSport Regional Alliance by hosting discounted NCCP coaching courses. Sign up today at viasport.ca/coachesweek and stay tuned on social media @FortiusCentre for more great content.

Coaches Week Profile: Jermaine John-Archer

Name: Jermaine John-Archer
Role at Fortius: ArtisticSTRONG Lead, Strength & Conditioning Coach
Programs coached at Fortius: ArtisticSTRONG
Sport(s) background:  Artistic sports (dance, figure skating, ice dance, gymnastics, etc.)
Education/certification: B.Kin, CSEP-CEP
Hometown:  Toronto
Number of years coaching: 10+ years
Coaching style in one word:  Innovative

How did you get your start in coaching?
As the assistant director of the McMaster Urban Dance company under the direction of the McMaster Centre for Dance, my team implemented a strategy that redefined McMaster University’s dance program. We designed a feedback system that involved many different training methods and dance disciplines, creating well rounded dancers and athletes. After graduating, I continued my career as a dancer and coach while also working as an exercise physiologist for many recreational and professional dance schools, physiotherapy clinics, athletic training studios and private artistic & performance artists.

Tell us a bit about the program(s) you coach at Fortius:
ArtisticSTRONG complements sport-specific training within a purposeful platform designed for all artistic athletes, including dancers, figure skaters, ice dancers, gymnasts, synchronized sports (swimming, diving, skating, etc.), acrobatics, aerialist, circus and more. Artistic athletes learn foundational elements while addressing functional skill development, movement quality, strength, power, and stamina for performance and overall artistic athleticism. Our goal for the artistic athlete is longevity. We complement sport specific training along a developing athlete model to improve performance, prevent injuries and boost motivation through movement competency and confidence.

How would your athletes describe your coaching style?
I was once called an “Evil Backstreet Boy” – partly due to my boyish good looks and charm, followed by a dash of tyrannical demands for proper posture, breath and mindful intention during each rep…all done with a smile!

Share one of your most memorable moments as a coach:
In the summer of 2016 I had the privilege of travelling across Europe to coach at the international figure skating camps, iceDOME. Lead by world renowned figure skating coach Michael Huth, I was invited to lend my services as a Strength and Conditioning Coach, dancer, and Artistic Sports Performance Coach to a group of developing young athletes, world champions and Olympic superstars. With multiple perspectives on youth athlete development and figure skating, the on-ice experts and off-ice coaches integrated their specialties to apply basic on-ice drills to off-ice strength and conditioning, providing a great environment to enhance skills needed for optimal performance. Together we were able to provide an all-encompassing athlete experience for the development of young figure skaters.

What is a phrase or quote your athletes always hear you say:
I can be relatively crazy on most days, so my athletes never really know what ridiculousness may or may not be spoken at any given time during our session.

Fortius Sport & Health is celebrating National Coaches Week in partnership with the viaSport Regional Alliance by hosting discounted NCCP coaching courses. Sign up today at viasport.ca/coachesweek and stay tuned on social media @FortiusCentre for more great coaching profiles.

 

 

 

Coaches Week Profile: Molly O’Brien

Name: Molly O’Brien
Role at Fortius: Director of Strength and Conditioning
Programs coached at Fortius: HockeySTRONG, private coaching
Sport background: Wrestling and gymnastics
Education/certification: BKin, MS (Strength and Conditioning), CSCS, USAW, FMS-I/FMS-II, PN
Hometown:  Kitchener, Ontario
Number of years coaching: 8
Coaching style in one word: Invested

How did you get your start in coaching?
I was lucky enough to study at McMaster University just as Steve Lidstone, newly appointed Director of Strength & Conditioning (SNC), was looking for interns to build out a staff. With his leadership and encouragement, he’s given many young coaches in this country a great start in this field.

Tell us a bit about the program(s) you coach at Fortius:
 I coach in our HockeySTRONG off-season training program, geared toward providing developing and professional-level hockey players with the right support team for their development needs. Our HockeySTRONG program has great energy, I love being able to see these athletes come back each year excited and ready to work hard.

How would your athletes describe your coaching style?
I recognize that the athlete has the most important and valuable observations, feedback, and direction in regards to their own training and development. I try to create an environment where the athlete feels empowered to contribute to their training plan; is actively, encouraged and motivated to execute each day; and aware of the daily contribution to the long-term objectives.

Share one of your most memorable moments as a coach: 
Watching one of our professional athletes talk about his career and give advice to the next generation while recovering after a training session. That’s what it’s all about.

What is a phrase or quote your athletes always hear you say: 
It is a great thing to be able to do what we love.

Fortius Sport & Health is celebrating National Coaches Week in partnership with the viaSport Regional Alliance by hosting seven discounted NCCP coaching courses. Sign up today and stay tuned on social media @FortiusCentre for more great coaching profiles viasport.ca/coachesweek

Rucking Good Game

By Haley Glendinning

My rugby career began in high school after a high foul-count season of basketball. I was an “aggressive” player, collecting mostly offensive fouls. A then basketball teammate suggested I come out to a rugby practice as it might be a better environment for my athletic pursuits.  That February I attended my first senior high school practice as a junior and stuck with it for the remainder of my secondary schooling. The basic rules took some getting used to; passing backwards and knowing fair well that being in the possession of the ball meant that EVERYONE on the opposing team had a keen eye to take you to the dirt. This last point was brought to my attention by my grandmother, who still watches my matches despite the cringe she gives each time I’m tackled.

From there my experience with recreational, varsity and provincial level play has seen me in the sport for 10+ years now. My continued love for this brutish sport has some puzzled: after two ACL reconstructions (2008 & 2016), and one orbital blow out and subsequent reconstruction (2015). I still get those excited butterflies when I head to practice. You know the feeling before a first date? That’s how I feel for the first practice of the season. Everything is new! New teammates to teach and old teammates to tackle as we focus on claiming the Provincial Premiere title.

With the recent attention of the Women’s 7’s team in the Rio Olympics, rugby has been in the limelight as of late. The pool play played out with easy wins against Japan and Brazil, but put up against Great Britain they floundered a bit which cost them the match. However, they came back to trump the nation in the Bronze medal match to make history! Canada secured Bronze in their Olympic debut.

The women’s program, as you can see, is quite strong. Centralization of the women’s National 7’s team is in Langford, BC. The city was host World Rugby 7’s stop for the woman’s side in April of 2015 and 2016, which boasted the best support of any women’s tournament host location and secured it as a stop for years to come. As for the men, their BC stop was in Vancouver, which hosted a killer 7’s stop in 2016, securing the city for the next 5 years! The next events being May 27-28, 2017 and March 11-12, 2017, respectively.

Local rugby clubs held viewing parties for the event. Mine in particular, purchased bundles of seats at BC place stadium, which they filled with fans dressed to the nines in costumes customary for these types of international events. My club of choice being the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (BLRC), which I have had the pleasure of being a part of for the past 5 seasons. After 4 years of playing varsity rugby with UBC in the fall, I always turned to the BLRC to finish off the club season until the summer months. Being a part of the women’s Premiere team definitely pushed my abilities, playing with the seasoned veterans, learning tips and moves here and there during practice and league games. In the last 4 years we have won the title twice and made it to the finals thrice. Being a part of this club is what drew me to Burnaby and subsequently Fortius.

Anyone interested in this great sport is always welcome at a BLRC practice. We train Tuesdays and Thursday evenings at 7pm with games all day Saturday. During season we host club dinners after training on Thursdays, we each take turns preparing food for 50+ people, with proceeds going towards our Mini-rugby program. If anything I’ve mentioned intrigues you come out to a practice and try this growing sport! All abilities, shapes or sizes are welcome.

And as always, Saturday is a rugby day!

Yoga For Runners

Getting back into a new fall training schedule? Have you considered how you will complement your training? Why not try our Yoga for Runners class?

This is a class to promote strength and flexibility unique to the needs of the long-distance runner. Sessions will focus on core strength for better running stability, injury prevention, and post-run recovery. All levels welcome – especially folks with tight hamstrings!  This class is designed to complement run training for the Fit First Fall Run Clinic, so it will peak and taper with your training. If you’re not a Fit First Run Clinic member, that’s okay; this class is for anyone who runs!

Please click here for more details.

French-Style Tuna Salad

This healthy and delicious recipe is supported by Fortius dietitians. We strive to help athletes maximize their performance and athletic potential through improving nutrition. Visit our nutrition page to learn more or book your consultation today.

Prep Time: 25 Minutes

Cook Time: 25 Minutes

  • ¼ Cup (60ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp (1ml) dry mustard
  • 6 tbsp (90ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups (375ml) fresh French (baby) green beans, steamed to crisp tender and placed in ice water
  • 2 tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 to 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup (250ml) canned chuck tuna, drained
  • 1 (2.25oz/65g) can sliced black olives, drained
  • 4 cups (1L) Boston (butterhead) lettuce

 

  1. Whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, and olive oil in a small bowl. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste; set aside.
  2. Arrange green beans, tomatoes, eggs, tuna and olives over lettuce. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

 

Serves 8

Per Serving: 230 calories; 17g fat, 90mg cholesterol, 320mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 14g protein

Citius – Altius – FORTIUS

(Faster – Higher – Stronger)

It’s here. The XXXI Summer Olympic Games.

High performance at its best.  The ultimate goal for many athletes. RIO2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games – where athletes at the top of their game will join fellow country men & women to compete in this historic multi-sport event.

The excitement kicks off on 5 August with the opening ceremonies.  Team Canada will be lead by Canadian flag bearer, and Olympic Gold medalist, Rosie MacLennan.  The Canadian Olympic Team will consist of more than 300 athletes; and will be representing 38 of the 42 Olympic Sport Disciplines.

Here are some helpful links to find out more about the athletes that make up Team Canada, and to watch them doing what they do best:

 

Let’s show our support and cheer on our Canadian athletes.

 

GO Canada GO!

Internship Relflection

Written by Kile Cooke

After being hired this past May as an intern here at Fortius, I had a feeling I was in for a busy summer. What I’ve experienced working with the S&C staff is far beyond, and invaluable compared to what can be learned in the classroom (no offense to the post-secondary institutions). For example, I’ve been able to observe many good habits that I can begin adding to my own coaching tool-belt just from the opportunities of shadowing each trainer. Each member of the S&C staff has been extremely forthcoming with sharing bits of knowledge, or personal “tricks of the trade” – and while being in such a competitive and subjective field, I’m quite appreciative of each coach having given me some of their time.

Writing this with one month left, there are still many things I would like to learn about and explore while here. However, what Molly and the S&C team has packaged within the intern curriculum has undoubtedly given me the confidence to start working as a coach in this field.

On a final note, I am humbled to say that I have had an opportunity to work within the new S&C intern program, and wish nothing but the best for the team and future interns.

iceDOME 2016: Leppävirta and Oberstdorf

Coaching abroad at international skate camp iceDOME 2016!! 

This summer I had the privilege of coaching at the international figure skating camp, iceDOME.  Lead by world renowned figure skating coach Michael Huth, I was invited to lend my services as a Strength and Conditioning Coach, dancer, and Artistic Sports Performance Coach to a group of developing young athletes, world champions, and Olympic superstars.  At the Oberstdorf camp alone, we had 111 athletes from over 29 different countries (6 athletes from Canada, 4 of which are training at Fortius Sport & Health within the ArtisticSTRONG program).

To sum up my experience in one word: liberating.  Over 7 weeks I explored the culture, history, people, food (I ATE LIKE A BEAST!), and nature of Finland, Sweden, and Germany.  With only about 15 days of personal exploration in Stockholm, Helsinki, and Berlin combined, I spent the rest of my weeks working like my usual madman self with a multiple perspectives on youth athlete development and figure skating.  In particular, as Mr. Huth put it, this camp was where we supplemented the grind of the usual figure skating year with an emphasis in off-ice strength and conditioning mixed with the fundamentals of basic on-ice skill and technique.  I learned a great deal from figure skating experts, including how to apply basic on-ice drills to off-ice strength and conditioning, and what skills athletes need for optimal performance and execution of technical moves.

Alongside well respected figure skating coaches, technical specialist, dancers, world champions, and Olympians, we had the fun task of educating figure skaters in the basic skills of artistic expression, athletic competency, body and spatial awareness, technical skills, grace and poise, injury prevention, and strength & conditioning.  One thing about the coaches that truly appealed to me was our different approaches for the same end result – a positive athlete experience.  I asked a fellow coach and Olympian what he thought these athletes needed most.  He responded with “focus”.  I asked another coach and technical specialist what he thought the sport was missing.  He responded with “art”.  Another coach was asked about her experience as a world champion, she replied with “teamwork”.  The superstar coaches and international experts all highlighted the need for year round structure to “develop” athletes, while the most knowledgeable coach just wanted his athletes to know how to cartwheel.  Together we were able to provide an all-encompassing athlete experience for the development of young figure skaters.

All in all, it was a great experience at great international sport facilities with some of the best equipment and gadgets in the world at my fingertips.  However, what made the experience unique were the people I met, the coaches I worked with, and the athletes I was given the opportunity to help.  A special shout out to the Fortius ArtisticSTRONG athletes that were present: Leeza, Melanie, Romeina, Benjam, and Bela.  I’m unbelievably grateful for this year’s experience, and I’m extremely excited to be a part of this extraordinary camp next year.  Thank you iceDOME!!

Helping you turn motivation into action!