Coaching Association of Canada

#CoachTop10 - Team Selection Tips

Coaches can be a significant asset to their athletes when it comes to team selection policies and processes. Whether it’s a selection for a provincial, national, or international championship, it’s important for the coach to know what they can do to best support their athletes through the process. Check out this month’s #CoachTop10 for team selection tips.

For more great information on team selection, check out the SDRCC’s resource: Team Selection Policy Checklist

10. Get involved in the creation of the policy or process if possible
Not only will you be more versed in the nuances and details of the selection, you’ll be able to provide the coach’s perspective and ensure that the process aligns with LTAD principles and is fair for all athletes.

9. Ensure your athletes understand the goal of the selection process
Some selections strive to create a podium-potential team; others aim to select athletes who will benefit from the developmental opportunities that the competition presents. Talk to your athletes about how these goals align with their priorities.

8. Explain and define words like “qualified” and “selected” or “must” versus “may”.
The wording of selection policies is very intentional and understanding descriptors of athlete status and selection requirements is essential. Seek clarification if you’re unsure.

7. Steer clear of conflicts of interest.
You may have your own child vying for a spot, for example. Ensure you review the selection authority’s conflict of interest policy and declare any conflicting interests. It’s better to be honest than to risk the removal of one of your athletes.

6. Familiarize yourself with injury provisions
An injured athlete may be able to engage in the selection process by way of previous results, demonstrating commitment to the rehab process, or otherwise. Injury provisions also go hand-in-hand with clauses related to spares or alternates – be familiar with these.

5. Be aware of administrative deadlines
Ensure your athletes renew their memberships on time, submit the required paperwork, and meet all deadlines. These seemingly insignificant elements often have ties to eligibility and can have a significant impact on selection.

4. Familiarize yourself with additional selection and eligibility documents
Technical documents for Multi-sport Games (i.e. provincial Games, or Canada Games) often include further eligibility and selection clauses. These may be duplicated in the sport-specific selection documents, but they aren’t always.

3. Consider Coach Eligibility Conditions
You may be interested in supporting your athletes at the event in question. Take a look at how coaches are selected to ensure you meet the requirements which often include minimum certification or experience.

2. Know what to do in the case of an appeal
You may be called upon during an appeal process or you may wish to file an appeal yourself in support of an athlete. Ensure you are familiar with the grounds on which an appeal can be filed and know what will be expected of you in the process.

1. Ask questions
Don’t make any assumptions with regards to the policy or process and encourage public consultation and conversation. Selection authorities are usually very open to clarifying the process. Encourage your athletes to ask questions as well.