Nathalie Séguin, ChPC
Years Coaching: 5
Years Coaching National Team: 1
NCCP Status: Level 3
How do you feel about this experience?
It’s very exciting because the event is taking place in our country so we’ll have the fans behind us. In addition to being in our country, 4 out of 6 of our athletes from the women’s team live in Ontario (Ottawa and Toronto), so it’s even more exciting for them.
What are you most looking forward to about coaching on home soil?
I am most looking forward to just enjoying every moment and ensuring we qualify for the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016. This has been our long-time goal and this is our last chance to achieve it. I’d like to see consistent performances by our team members throughout the tournament and I’d like us to stay united until the end.
What was the most important part of your preparation as a coach?
The most important factor is to ensure our athletes have all the necessary tools throughout the season in order to reach the highest performance level possible at the Parapan American Games. Whether it’s through regular contact, training camps or competitions, we have to ensure that the whole group can meet our expectations when the moment comes.
In a sport that is not well known, it’s not easy to find good funding that allows us to have the desired number of training camps and competitions. So, we have had to make choices at certain moments in time and to reduce the number of events. However, I think that we have sufficiently equipped our players so that they can go back to their clubs and make progress according to the plan.
What would a medal performance by one of your athletes mean to you as a coach?
It would be tremendous! In fact, in order to ensure our spot at the Paralympic Games, we have to win a place on the podium if only the United States and Brazil get ahead of us since those two teams have already qualified. A medal at that point would represent our ticket to the Paralympic Games. But beyond this, if our players have played consistently and have given it their best, I would be more than happy to applaud them regardless of the colour of their medal.
What did NCCP training teach you that will serve you well in the heat of competition at these Games?
The NCCP is a complete program which teaches us the basics of everything and helps us decide to potentially specialize. But it also helps us respond to our athletes regardless of their preoccupations and questions since we can give them the information or refer them to the specialists if necessary. Whether it is about psychology, nutrition or training planning, we are able to help them quickly and on the spot at any time.
What tip do you have for development and community coaches?
Your involvement is very important for the success of our sport and I thank you. It’s not always easy to coach in a sport which is not well known and there aren’t that many people who can replace you. But you can tell yourself that without you, goalball wouldn’t be what it is today! So, here’s a piece of advice : Enjoy coaching and pass this love for the sport to your athletes. You will then see that they will stay in the world of goalball for many years to come!