IMG_8009.jpeg
 

What is the High Performance Team?

Members of the High Performance Team are triathlon focused athletes with self discipline and drive that is comes from the athlete. These athletes travel regionally to participate in the most competitive races in the country.  The format of these races is draft-legal, meaning athletes are permitted to draft during the bike portion of the race.  There is a tremendous amount of strategy and skill that must be utilized when athletes are racing.  Split second decisions can drastically change the outcome of the race. These tactical decisions add an additional challenge not experienced in non-draft racing, like any sport- this needs to be practiced.

Our athletes are encouraged to swim with their swim team, run with their cross-country and track teams, play soccer or other sports as long as the training volume is appropriate for the athlete's goal with triathlon.  This variety allows for comrade and various training opportunities and keeps them fresh.  However, many of these programs are single sport focused training. Therefore, adjustments to training with other groups may need to be altered.

Smart cross-training prevents injury, burn-out and keeps the athlete feeling fresh. It also provides athletes additional opportunities to connect with their friends through school athletics. 

These opportunities are an important part of the middle and high school experience. Athletes participate with the understanding that the purpose is to increase triathlon performance.  Athletes on the High Performance Team are extremely competitive, focused and push themselves much harder than their peers.

 


If my athlete is on the High Performance Team can he/she participate in other sports?

High Performance Team members are Triathlon focused athletes with substantial long term goals. . This means the athletes on our team are committed to their longevity of their athletic career.   Participation in XC, Swimming and other sports is at times a necessity, other times it can be detrimental depending on the athletes personalized needs..  Participation with other sports is encouraged for High Performance Team members. However, parents and athletes need to be aware that the goal of many single-sport programs may involve training that is single-sport goal focused. Not all school/club programs offer responsible training programs.  The overall health and safety of the athlete is the primary concern.

Because triathlon involves three disciplines, there is a different format for training that allows for more variety, allowing athletes utilize other sports to enhance triathlon training.  HPT members are coached year round, but sometimes for a few months at a time the athletes drop into the "athlete management" plan.  This allows parents and athletes to consult with Coach Kim during the "off season" and for her to supplement training to keep the athletes on track. Specialization in draft-legal is not a component of the HPT, however athletic longevity is the goal.   Coach Kim will work with the athlete, parents and coaches to make the best decision.

 It's not just about winning.

It's not just about winning.

Puberty and growth

The majority of parents and coaches do not understand the impact of puberty on athletic performance.  Each individual grows and matures at different rates.  It is unfair to place expectations on athletes before they are physically prepared to handle the training demands.  That is like insisting that an infant start walking before they are ready. 

Training for "endurance" events is completely different for each of the athletes based on where they are in their growth. Pictured below are 4 boys, each are within 6-9 months of each other.  These boys are 13 and 14 years old.  Each athlete needs specialized training based around their physical growth.  What is good for one athlete is not good for the other.  It is during this stage, that outside programming may need to be adjusted to insure long-term speed development and athlete burn-out. 

Understanding the process

HPT members understand the "process" is not focused on today's performance. Our athletes are focused on peaking athletically in their mid-20's. 

Everything in our society identifies children early.  Your athletic performance at ten does not set the tone for your entire athletic career, unless you choose to let it. Athletes that think they are "not as fast" as other athletes are not comparing apples to apples. Your words and "predictions" about their performance plants seeds in their spirit. 

 Allow your child to process through puberty.  Asking a 13 year old to behave like an 15 year old is not fair, allow them to be silly and play.  having fun is why kids do sport.  you may want them to be a super athlete, allow them the discovery process. They will tell you when you are ready.  Practice.  Focus. Commitment.  Note the athlete development in cycling in the above pictures to the below pictures.

Allow your child to process through puberty.  Asking a 13 year old to behave like an 15 year old is not fair, allow them to be silly and play.  having fun is why kids do sport.  you may want them to be a super athlete, allow them the discovery process. They will tell you when you are ready.

Practice.  Focus. Commitment.  Note the athlete development in cycling in the above pictures to the below pictures.

 These athletes are 13 to 15 year olds.  skill work through games and activities that promote bike handling prepare athletes to safely progress to draft legal racing.

These athletes are 13 to 15 year olds.  skill work through games and activities that promote bike handling prepare athletes to safely progress to draft legal racing.

 Participation in draft legal events is key to increased performance. 

Participation in draft legal events is key to increased performance. 

Team Transfers

Sometimes parents and athletes want to make a coaching change.  This is a natural part of the process. It is very important for the values of the athlete/parents to match to the values and athlete of the coach.

When an athlete/parent approaches about joining the team, the first question I will ask is "Who is your current coach? Why are you leaving? Have you talked to them about your concerns?"

Then you will be advised to interview 2 or 3 other coaches and to see who you feel most aligns with your needs.  Once you have made your decision, it is highly recommended that you share the information with your current coach. Impact Multisport pulls athletes from all over the country.  You do not need to be local to participate in our program. But keep in mind, the Draft-Legal Triathlon world is very small.  Most of the coaches know each other and will communicate openly about coaching changes.  Please be respectful to the time your current coach has put into your child before contacting another coach.

Frequent team changes and parent led training is frowned upon among the High Performance Coaches as it can be detrimental to athlete growth.  

What are the differences between Draft-Legal Racing and Non-Draft Racing?

Draft-Legal racing is the most competitive format of triathlon.  It is the same format used in the newly developed women's NCAA Varsity programs, ITU racing and in the Olympics.  Athletes who participate in this format must be strong swimmers, skilled cyclists and fast runners.  These athletes are highly competitive and are self-driven to compete against nationally ranked athletes.  These races are speed focused over shorter distances.

The primary difference between draft-legal and non-draft racing is that athletes are permitted to "draft" on the bike during the race. Drafting adds a tremendous amount of strategy and skill to the sport, adding an extra level of awareness in order to compete successfully. Drafting allows for faster runs off the bike as less power is needed to generate higher speed.

Draft-Legal Distance

The distance for Youth Elite Drafting events (11 years to 15 years) is  375m swim/ 10k bike/ 2.5 k run.  The distance for Junior Elites Drafting events (16 years to 19 years) is 750m swim/ 20k bike/ 5k run.  Athletes compete on flat, multi-looped bike course. If an athlete is a slower swimmer, the risk being "lapped" by the front pack of cyclists.  If this occurs, the lapped athlete must discontinue the race.  Participants must swim year round or risk being too far the main pack of athletes and getting caught on the bike.

Non-Draft Distances

These distances can vary based on each individual triathlon. Race Directors set their own distances.  These are the recommended distances for athletes based on age:

 It is not recommended to exceed these distances.  From a coaching perspective, going longer makes you slower.  Young athletes who extend themselves over long distances will experience a reduction in speed causing a plaute within a few years that will be difficult to overcome.

It is not recommended to exceed these distances.  From a coaching perspective, going longer makes you slower.  Young athletes who extend themselves over long distances will experience a reduction in speed causing a plaute within a few years that will be difficult to overcome.

Impact Multisport athletes are not permitted to race outside of their recommended distance without coach approval.

  "If someone encourages your child to specialize in a single sport, that person generally does not have your child's best interests in mind." -- JJ Wait.   Click here for full article

"If someone encourages your child to specialize in a single sport, that person generally does not have your child's best interests in mind." -- JJ Wait.  Click here for full article

Parents

Having parental support is very important to athlete success. Equipment, costs, driving to and from practices and races as well as the expense of travel is a huge investment.

Today's parents are more invested in their child's sport than ever before. Unfortunately some parents have become overbearing in their approach to athletics.  Highly invested parents can unintentionally create issues for their child. Parent behavior can also have a negative impact on the athlete's attitude and performance as having an affect on the entire team.  When parents question coaching techniques, analyzing performances, ask about other athletes and giving extra coaching tips, workouts and continually quiz or drill athletes; they are increasing the chances their child will lose interest and increasing the risk of them dropping out of sport.

Coach Kim has very high behavior standards for parents and athletes.  The focus of her programming is to develop champions of life, as well as sport.  We are only as strong as our weakest team member, and this includes parents.  Toxic environments are no fun for anyone and poor behavior will not be tolerated.  Coach Kim's focus is not on growing a huge program, but one of high quality.  High quality programming can only exist when everyone has the same goals and expectations.

If a parent demonstrates that they need assistance in this area by exhibiting behaviors or actions, that are detrimental to the team culture they will meet privately with Coach Kim. On the second offense they will be required to complete coursework from the Positive Coaching Alliance.  The cost for one of these courses is $30 and is paid by the parent.  The parent will not be invited to the tent area or practice until they provided proof they have completed a course.  On the third offense, the athlete will be dismissed from the program.

 

 In addition to coaching youth and Juniors, Coach Kim works with college aged athletes and professional triathletes.  this provides great opportunities for the younger athletes to be mentored by older athletes.   

In addition to coaching youth and Juniors, Coach Kim works with college aged athletes and professional triathletes.  this provides great opportunities for the younger athletes to be mentored by older athletes.

 

Team Culture

We have a family atmosphere.  Our focus is on accepting the athletes where they are today and working with them to move them forward.  We use sports to teach life lessons and progressively advance athletes as they are ready. Coach Kim works closely with parents to help the parents and athletes stay attentive to behaviors that can have a negative affect on performance and long-term interest in sport.  Parents understand that they have to take a step back to keep their athlete moving forward.   This may come in a variety of forms.  One example is that the athlete is expected to be responsible for their own equipment.  Another example, is sometimes we need to let kids fail, so they can can succeed later.

Not everyone who applies to our program is invited to join. Parents and athletes go through an extensive interview period prior to being invited to join our team, in some cases the interview starts before you even consider joining the team. Parent and athlete behavior at races matter.

Let's face it, there are some toxic parents and athletes out there.  There are many parents who see the troublesome behavior of other parents and do not want it to have a negative affect on their child.  Impact Multisport is NOT a program that tolerates parents or athletes who exhibit poor sportsmanship. It doesn't matter how fast your athlete is, we are about long term athlete development and there is no place for overbearing parents or athletes that do not exhibit behaviors that are supportive of our team culture. The fastest athlete is no more important than the slowest athlete, there is no favoritism.

 Being a loving parent is the greatest gift you can give your child.

Being a loving parent is the greatest gift you can give your child.

What is the difference between a High Performance Athletes and an Amateur Athletes?

The combination of athlete commitment to the sport as well as self discipline, attitude, sportsmanship, and finally athleticism determine the individuals approach to triathlon.

High Performance Team members participate in draft-legal and non-draft legal triathlons.  The biggest difference between athletes on the HPT and athletes who are not on the HPT is related to their approach to triathlon training.  HPT members will opt to forgo practices, events and training of other sports when they contradict triathlon performance or current goals.. High Performance Athletes are focused on becoming professional, international competitors within the sport of triathlon and understand that longevity in the sport is the key to success. Some have made this commitment at a young age, others are still exploring other sport and participating in High Performance Racing.  Amateur athletes may move to the HPT Team at any time, however this commitment must be made before November of the following season.

The BIGGEST mistake that age-group parents make is assuming that their child is not "fast enough."  Yes, there are time standards that need to be met, but athletes ranking in the top 200 in non-draft event at youth nationals,  have the potential to develop into draft-legal athletes.  However they need to understand that they need time to develop.

HPT members receive individual, long term athlete development coaching that is specific to each individual. Peak Heigh Velocity and training volume are closely monitored as are stress and motivation.  Coach Kim quickly becomes part of the family as we monitor the athletes progress very closely. Based on Coach Kim's values and experience, racing in every single race and every single season does NOT guarantee success.  Longevity and durability are the keys. The majority of Impact Athletes have their focus on peaking in draft-legal racing in their early 20's.

Amateur athletes enjoy participating in the sport and tend to have their sport of choice fit around their lives.  Elite and High Performing athletes focus on  sport and work their lives around the demands of training need which can lead to burn-out.  The difference is the mental approach to athletics from the athlete and having goals set to peek in early 20s and maintaining balance through high-school.

HPT Readiness Checklist

Listed below is a general topics for parents to discuss with their athlete to determine if they are ready to commit to the High Performance route.

  • Athlete is committed to swimming during the winter months.
  • Parents and athletes need to generally be prepared to travel to 1-2 Draft-Legal races and Youth and Junior Nationals. Other years, athletes may choose to focus on single discipline areas for blocks of time to ensure longevity and proper depth in the sport.  Draft-Legal schedule generally looks like this::
    • Clermont F1, Early March
    • Sarasota, Early March
    • Richmond, Early May
    • Chicago area, F1- Memorial Day weekend
    • Wisconsin, June
    • Monroe, Washington, late June
    • Iowa, July
    • Youth and Junior Nationals, Early August- Ohio
  • Racing every season in every race is not required, nor recommended.
  • Athlete has interest in maintaining personal equipment and gear.
  • Parents understand that their role is to parent and the coaches role is to coach.
  • Athletes understand that success at one age does not determine success at another age.  Improvement comes with dedication and focus.

Not Local to the Granville, OH area?

No worries!  With todays technology, Coach Kim is able to monitor athlete's training remotely.  Garmin devices, Training Peaks, Skype and video are very helpful with monitoring the athlete's progress. It is usually best to be face to face with a coach, however triathlon is very specialized and there are few coaches who specialize with draft-legal racing.  

Coaches of other development programs are encouraged to work with the High Performance Team when they have an athlete who shows potential.  Bringing athletes together for higher level training, team support at races is helpful for their development. 

Impact Multisport has several long weekends where athletes can come together to train.  Coach Kim also travels frequently for athlete check-ins and weekend camps.

 

How do runners transition into triathlon?

Many runners have successfully transitioned into triathlon.  The key for these athletes is that they have some previous swim experience.  Athletes who have no swim background may potentially have a disadvantage, however I have seen many athletic individuals with no swim background adapt and improve quickly.  The athlete needs to be focused and committed to the sport.  In regards to draft-legal racing, there is no running to the front.

How do swimmers transition into triathlon?

Many swimmers have successfully transitioned into triathlon. The athletes that adapt the best are those who played running sports when they were younger, or have a well balanced swim program that offers quality dry-land programming.  Swimmers need to be patient with the process of developing the run.  It will come with consistency.

 

If you have other questions regarding anything triathlon related.  Feel free to contact Coach Kim at kimberlyfclark@gmail.com