Achieve Sustained International Competitive Success. USA Canoe/Kayak's #3 Goal

Feb. 10, 2012, 10:34 a.m. (ET)

Bottom line this goal is all about USA C/K winning medals at premiere international events.

I will do 2 blogs for this goal (Sprint and Slalom) because it is important to list out the strategies for each discipline separately.  While the strategies might look the same, I want to make sure we’re conveying the differences in approach to both programs as the milestones (not listed) are quite different from one another.

For background, after a recent High Performance meeting in Oklahoma City, we assembled a top-flight panel consisting of Olympians, including an Olympic Champion, Coaches and High Performance Staff from USA Canoe/Kayak as well as the USOC, to discuss the current state of Sprint. During this meeting and while developing the sprint strategies and milestones, it became clear that restructuring our current Committee make up or redefining roles and responsibilities was vital to our long term success.

Over the course of the next few weeks a new High Performance Committee will be organized primarily with Olympians from within our sprint discipline. This Committee will serve to guide the direction of programs, pipeline, benchmarks and strategies to ensure that the program stays on track and are focused on achieving podium results at the international level.

Our Mission shall be to enable United States athletes to achieve sustained competitive excellence in Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American, and other international competition; and to promote and grow paddlesports in the United States.

Goal #3 for Sprint:  Achieve Sustained International Competitive Success


Our strategies for Sprint to achieve sustained international success are the following:

  • Enhance the national club system that encourages participation, recruitment and development of athletes through a succinct staff driven USA C/K Programs and Initiatives

  • Implement an incentive based program for recruitment, development and high performance designed to recognize talent and develop abilities from the beginner to elite level

  • Foster a culture of competition

  • Develop and maintain an integrated coaches education system and yearly conference program focused around a central strategy that is coordinated by USA C/K Staff

  • Establish a system of constant improvement that continually benchmarks itself against the best in the World

  • Yearly reevaluate the High Performance Plan/Strategies to determine the adjustments that are needed to ensure long term program success and the prioritization of resources

What we are doing is real and exciting. We are determined to succeed and put Paddlesports on the map equal to the most recognized Olympic sports. As your Chairman of the USA Canoe/Kayak Board of Directors please know we, your Board of Directors, are 100% committed to this enterprise to ensure success, we will be transparent in all our deliberations, our door is open and we are available. To be upfront we, the staff and board, need to hear from you on how to accomplish Goal #3. I believe we can make a difference as we journey together make the tough calls, right decisions, and enjoy each other’s friendship.  

Paddle Now, Bob Lally