Canadian Sport Instute

Talent Lab

Objective of the Project:

The Talent Lab is an initiative of the CSI Calgary whose objective is to identify, then fast track the development of targeted athletes into national team programs. The purpose of this ambitious and selective program is two fold: to improve the quality of talent available for selection to Canadian senior national teams and to utilize expert support from CSI Calgary sport scientists, medical practitioners and strength and movement coaches to enhance each athlete’s development in order to maximize their podium prospects at World Championships and Olympic Games.

Target Athletes:

The Talent Lab facilitates the redirection of athletes who due to injury, burn out, frustrated ambition or simply being in the wrong sport, are looking for opportunities to fulfill their Olympic dreams in other sports. The CSI Calgary Talent Lab team evaluates an athlete’s training history, interests and potential to determine which sport to place them with. The sports targeted for redirected athletes are primarily late entry endurance sports such as cycling and rowing where athletes are able to progress quickly through to elite performance levels; when properly managed the best such athletes are able to win Olympic medals within 4 years of recruitment to their new sport.

The Talent Lab also works with athletes in late adolescence from sports that are late entry or late specialization who have been talent identified from within their sport by the CSI-Calgary. The aim is to help athletes identified from within a sport, make successful and quick transitions from age group programs onto the senior national team. Athletes targeted in this stream are fast developers who are considered to be on similar development trajectories to previous elite performers and who would benefit from Integrated Support Team services at an earlier stage of development than is the norm in Canada. The expectation is that most athletes will graduate from the program onto senior national teams within two years.

What support does the Talent Lab offer?

Athletes supported through the Talent Lab receive sport science and sport medicine support services as deemed appropriate and necessary to their individual development by the Integrated Support Team that oversees the Project. The Talent Lab team work with the athlete’s technical coach to enhance the athlete’s development. The support services provided are similar to the support offered to national development card level athletes. The Integrated Support Team will review each athlete’s physiological and competitive progress every 6 months, and in consultation with the athlete’s coach may end an athlete’s participation in the Project if they are not satisfied that the athlete can achieve the Project Objective of selection to a senior national team.

This CSI Calgary initiative is funded with the help of B2ten.

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