Training to Win

Training to Win (21+)

Training to Win to win is the final competition driven stage of development before athletes retire to become active for life. Athletes in this stage are part of Speed Skating Canada’s National Teams and are striving for podium performances at World Cup, World Championships and Olympic Winter Games.

All skaters in this stage have achieved the objectives of the Training to Compete stage of development and will have progressed through the Learning to Win stage. Preparation is highly specialised and the primary is on specific international events. These skaters are athletes with identified talent to pursue high-intensity training to win international events. They are now full-time athletes.

The previous stages have developed and optimized the skills, tactics, and ancillary capacities of each skater. Skaters have now realized their full genetic potential. They must now train to maximize and maintain their competitive performance at the highest level. Skaters require world-class training methods, equipment, and facilities that meet the demands of the sport and the athlete and are training in National Training Centres under the supervision of National Team coaches and their integrated support team (IST). Skaters in this stage know what it takes to win and develop plans with their coaches to win when it counts.

General Considerations

  • Skaters train to peak for major competitions.
  • Performance outcomes take first priority.
  • Skaters have developed the ability to produce consistent performances on demand.
  • Coaches ensure that training is characterized by high intensity and appropriate volume.
  • Coaches plan for and allow frequent preventative breaks to prevent physical and mental burnout.
  • Training must utilize periodization plans as the optimal framework of preparation
  • Training includes significant simulation of competitions and developmental competitions are regularly used to model preparation for major events.
  • Training targets include the maximization and maintenance of all of the skater’s capacities.
  • Skaters are learning to adapt to different environments to perform their best.

Skater Development Guidelines

  • Practices
  • Competition
  • Skill Development and Technique
  • Physical Development
  • Psychological Development
  • Monitoring & Testing
  • Equipment


The contents of this page were prepared using information from SSC's Racing on Skates and Find Your Edge document as well as resources from Canadian Sport for Life. To learn more about the Learning & Training to Win stages of development visit