Posted by Editor on 05/16/07
Peter Wedge Program - Dieppe, New Brunswick
Courtesy Luc Arseneau
A new program for kids aged 12 to 15
The Peter Wedge Program is targeting young cyclists who are looking to learn advanced skills and the basics of bike racing. With the recent introduction of Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) in the Canadian sport system, the National Sport Centre - Atlantic Canada felt it was important to develop programs for every development stages of the Canadian Cycling Association's LTAD to pursue its development in Atlantic Canada.
This program touches the Learn to Train aspect of the cycling Long Term Athlete Development spectrum. At this stage, we will focus on all four cycling disciplines (mountain biking, road, track and BMX). One of the most important periods of motor development for children is between the ages of 12 and 14. This is a window of accelerated adaptation to motor co-ordination. Early specialization in late developement sports can be detrimental to later stages of skill development and to refinement of the fundamental sport skills. At this stage, children are developmentally ready to acquire the general sports skills that are the cornerstones of all athletic development.
For years, one name stood on top the cycling in Atlantic Canada: Peter Wedge. When the Centre was developed and the first generation of young athletes was coming through, we quickly realized how respected Peter was as an athletes and a person by up and coming cyclists in this region.
Peter's career reflected many of the values desired to be reflected by such a program. A great multi-disciplined cyclist, he managed to win some of the biggest road races in the country (Tour du Lac St-Jean, Tour de l'Abitibi, National Time Trial Championships, Canada Cup, etc.), raced as a professional mountain biker (winning the Canada Cup and participating at many World Championships), without forgetting his 7 National Cyclo-cross Championships. His time trial abilities were also transferred on the track at a few occasions. (Editor's Note: He also won a Canadian Cyclist of the Year award)
In addition to his athletic accomplishments in all major cycling events known to his day, Peter managed to accomplish what too many people think impossible for high level athletes; to get a university degree and PhD in engineering. These accomplishments were always achieved with the highest respect and true passion for the sport.
Those values are the ones we desire to be projected by this program. These values will also enable the program to respect the Sport Canada Learning to Train to-do list:
Further develop all fundamental movement skills and teach general, overall sports skills. Otherwise, a significant window of opportunity is lost, compromising the ability of the young player/athlete to reach full potential.
Develop strength using exercises that incorporate the child's own body weight as well as Medicine Balls and Swiss Balls.
Introduce hopping and bounding exercises or routines, or wheeling up gradients, to aid in strength development.
Further develop endurance through games and relays.
Further develop flexibility through exercises.
Further develop speed by using specific activities that focus on agility, quickness, and change of direction during the warm-up.
Structure competition to address differences in training age and abilities.
Identify sports the child enjoys and is predisposed towards success. Narrow the focus to 3 sports.
Introduce single periodization, noting that some sports such as swimming and tennis need to use double periodization to adequately address the sport's unique needs.
Apply a ratio of 70 percent training to 30 percent competition. The 30 percent ratio includes competition and competition-specific training. These percentages vary according to sport and individual specific needs. Athletes undertaking this type of preparation are better prepared for competition in both the short and long-term than those who focus solely on winning.
Encourage unstructured play.
At the conclusion of this program, it is expected the participants will understand the basics of all disciplines as well as start to understand the importance of good practice and training. We will also assist them during the Hillsborough MTB race, the first NB BMX Championships, and during Challenge events of the National Track Championships.
The program will start on May 21st and run once a week until the end of the school year and then go to twice a week for the rest of the summer. For more information or to register please see our website at www.atlanticcyclingcentre.com.
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