Sébastien Cros & Derrick Campbell, coaches of the month of March 2011

One year later, the Vancouver preparation is still paying off

Sébastien Cros and Derrick Campbell, respective coaches of the women’s and men’s national short track speed skating teams, have been selected as coaches of the month of March by the Institut national de formation des entraîneurs (INFE) and the Club de la médaille d’or. Both are former international level skaters and they have an advanced leve (formerly level 4) from the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP).

2010-11 has been a successful year for the Canadian short track speed skating team. Athletes captured dozens of World Cup medals, Marianne St-Gelais remained undefeated in World Cup 500m competition and skaters won five medals at the World Championships in Sheffield. In the end, the men’s team finished second in overall World Cup ranking and the women’s team, second. Those outstanding results led to the selection of Cros and Campbell as Coaches of the month.

The men’s team did not use the post-Olympic season to take a break. After dominating the World Cup rankings, Derrick Campbell’s team headed to the World Short Track Championships in Sheffield, England, where Charles Hamelin won silver in the 1000m and 1500m, as did Olivier Jean in the 500m. They were then crowned World Champions in the relay, before finishing third at the World Team Championships the following week, in Poland.

As for the women’s team, this year’s results and performances are more than encouraging. “Overall, we had a good season. The girls performed well all year in World Cups, and we achieved podium results in all distances. That’s a great accomplishment,” analyzed Sébastien Cros.

“ We saw many faces on World Cup podiums, and that’s great for the athletes’ confidence level. Marie-Ève Drolet is back within the world elite and that’s also a great satisfaction, as is the confirmation of Marianne’s potential,” continued Cros, adding that he’s particularly satisfied with his athletes’ hard work in training sessions.

This season could have been more relaxed after the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, which was an exhausting one both on a physical and psychological level. But it was not the case.

“The Games motivated the team and gave them more ambition. Vancouver was a stepping stone for our young team,” said the coach, who skated for the French national team in the 1990s.

Cros took advantage of the post-Olympic season to reorganize the training groups based on each athletes’ personal skills.

“This was done in agreement with the athletes and we can say that it was a positive experience. In mid to long term, we should see even more concrete results of the changes. With one season under our belts and more information in hand, we can now improve this training method for next season,” he concluded.

Rédigé par Sportcom pour le Centre national multisport-Montréal