Updated May 26, 2020  

The plan for Excellence Ringette for 2020-21 includes mandatory standardized fitness testing which will be organized by Ringette Alberta. AA teams will be required to submit their yearly training plans for review to support effective planning.

A webinar was hosted on May 6, 2020, to review survey results and discuss the implementation of Pursuit of Excellence programming. The recording is available at the link below:

Excellence Ringette Report

Prepared by Tim Berrett (Ph.D.) and submitted to Ringette Alberta, this report assesses the proposed introduction of the Pursuit of Excellence in Ringette stream in the province of Alberta

 The Pursuit of Excellence program is designed to support the following outcomes:

  • support the development of athletes with long-term high-performance goals
  • help individuals fulfill their potential, whatever that may be
  • help individuals learn and live the athlete lifestyle for future benefit within or outside ringette

The pursuit of Excellence is for athletes who wish to participate in a program that:

  • Offers universal program standards designed to help athletes become their best
  • Requires all involved (athletes, parents, coaches, and support personnel) to commit to and maintain a high-quality, science-based, long-term development process
  • Provides meaningful competition with similarly skilled athletes

Ringette Today – Why Change?

As part of Ringette Canada’s High Performance Summit, a background document, Current State of High Performance Ringette in Canada was produced. The document’s introduction articulates the state of High Performance Ringette in Canada:

There has been no clear definition of High Performance Ringette in Canada. From one province to the other, from one conversation to the next, the agreement as to ‘who is part of High Performance Ringette in Canada?’ is never reached. Additionally, athletes competing at the same level and part of the same development phase are not being given the same daily training opportunities from one area of the country to the other. How is it that programs built to achieve the same goals have such varying structures and priorities?

With Alberta, there is little recognition (and ownership) of the need for local programs to align with the goal of preparing athletes to enter Ringette Canada’s High Performance Programs or simply to become their best, whatever that may be. In a 2016 survey of AA clubs in Alberta, only one indicated it felt any responsibility to contribute to the success of Ringette Canada’s national teams through athlete development in the years preceding the athlete trying out for a national team program.

Excellence Ringette in the Future

Athletes in Excellence Ringette will be immersed an environments specifically designed to help them become their best.

The delivery of these programs will be curriculum based using the Athlete Development Matrix as the guide.

The programs will be fully aligned with Ringette Canada’s high performance pathway.

Program operators will be accountable for providing the high quality environment expected.

Consultation Process

Stakeholder Meeting

An in-person Pursuit of Excellence stakeholder meeting took place on November 17, 2019. Here is a summary of that meeting. The contributions of the participants will help Ringette Alberta develop an Excellence Ringette implementation plan.

Implementation Plan – Draft (February 25, 2020)

Taking information from the November stakeholder meeting and other discussions, a revised implementation plan has been developed for stakeholder review and feedback. You can access it here.

Excellence Deliverables

Leveraging the Own the Podium framework and fully aligned with Ringette Canada’s high-performance plan and curriculum, athletes will be given the support to help them to become the very best player they can be and, for some, to compete for a roster sport in one of Ringette Canada’s High-Performance programs.

Individualized Athlete Development Plan

While each athlete is a member of a team, and from season to season, there will be team goals, a team is nothing more than a collection of individuals. Team goals are generally predicated on improving each individual’s performance.

Each athlete will follow their unique, long-term development plan

  • The athlete’s goals will guide the planning process
  • Specific short-term and long-term performance objectives will be established
  • Regular tracking and progress reporting will be available to the athlete

Holistic Approach for a Complete Athlete

The development plan will serve the complete athlete ensuring the right things are done at the right time to optimize the time, effort, and financial commitments the athletes and their families make to the program.

  • Technical, Tactical, Strategic
  • Physical Attributes
  • Mental Skills
  • Life Skills
  • Ethics

Professional Support

Each Centre of Excellence is aligned with a team of sport medicine professionals accessed through the Alberta Sport Development Centres to provide professional support with….

  • Regular fitness check-ins and program updates in-season and off-seaso
  • Nutrition education & planning
  • Access to medical & paramedical professionals aligned with program goals
  • Injury prevention will be the priority (through the appropriate off-season and in-season physical preparation, allowances for rest and recovery in-season, etc.)
  • When injuries do occur, treatment and recovery will be managed within the context of the athlete’s long-term development plan.
Athlete Enrollment Standards
Only / all athletes who meet or exceed the minimum enrollment threshold may enroll in the Pursuit of Excellence program. For U16 & up, assessment is based on the Train to Train stage in the Ringette Athlete Development Matrix. For U14, enrollment criteria will be extrapolated from the U16 & up criteria.
Centre of Excellence
In Alberta, Pursuit of Excellence programs will be delivered by licensed Centres of Excellence. These are virtual centres meaning the program delivery will take place throughout the region as facility access, athlete location and other factors dictate.

Talent ID vs Talent Development

Underlying the transition from today’s AA ringette to a true Pursuit of Excellence environment is the need for us to shift from a talent ID model to a talent development model. The notion that we can “see talent” in children as young as 12 years of age, or younger, is not supported by the research. We can only observe performance at a given moment in time which is, particularly for developing athletes, a poor indiciation of ultimate potential.

Below is a podcast (in two parts) featuring Dr. Joseph Baker from Canada’s York University, who is one of the world’s leading researchers on talent identification and development in sport. The podcast is called Coach Your Best and can be found at the links below or on Apple podcasts.

Talent Identification and Development in Sport (Part 1)

Click here to listen to Part 1 (27 mins)

Talent Identification and Development in Sport (Part 2)

Click here to listen to Part 2 (35 mins)

Real World: Example of Talent ID vs Talent Development

This is an example of what the Talent ID model might look vs the Talent Development model at U16.

Talent ID Model Talent Development Model
Total athletes interested in the program 60 60
Teams: Number and Tier 1 U16AA team, predetermined Through registration numbers, the organization sees the maximum number of athletes they may need to accommodate.

The number of teams at specific teirs is not pre-determined.

Assessment Criteria Unknown.
Unique to each organization/coach.
Derived from the Athlete Development Matrix (ADM) and used by all Excellence programs
Athletes Included 15 45
Exclusion 45 players cut from the team
Feedback to athletes unknown
15 are deemed not ready for the program yet. Provided feedback to understand where they can improve. Encouraged to return if they do the work.
Team Tiering and Competition Team is designated AA
No known definition of AA
Meaningful competition is unknown
15 at Train-to-Train Late, e.g., AA
30 at Train-to-Train Early, e.g., A
Similarly categorized teams are grouped for games increasing the likelihood of meaningful competition