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

Feb. 14, 2012, 1:40 p.m. (ET)

This goal is all about USA C/K winning medals at premiere international events.

This is my 2nd blog for this goal (Sprint and Slalom).  While the strategies of the 2 disciplines might look the same, I want to make sure we’re conveying the differences in approach. On Jan 9th and 10, we hosted a high performance slalom summit in Colorado Springs. The summit consisted of Olympians, Coaches and High Performance Staff from USA Canoe/Kayak as well as the USOC, to discuss the current state of Slalom. During this summit it became clear that slalom strategies and milestones needed to be framed to ensure long term success in this discipline.

The strategies outlined below will serve to guide the direction of this discipline, establish pipelines, benchmarks and activities to ensure that this Olympic discipline sustains itself, stays on track, and remains 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 Slalom:  Achieve Sustained International Competitive Success

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

  • Establish national clubs and feeder programs that encourage recruitment, training, competition and development of athletes through a staff driven system/programs.

  • Implement incentive based programs 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 to make the tough calls, right decisions, and enjoy each other’s friendship.  

Paddle Now, Bob Lally