Targeted Athlete Program (TAP) is a national strategy that provides identified, high-potential, Canadian athletes with the individualized support that they need to accelerate their performance and development along the talent pathway.
The TAP program further supports the ongoing pathway potential of these athletes by funding national teams and supporting podium performances. Other successful podium team sports in Canada lead similar TAP strategies to lead the talent pathway similar TAP. FHC is now adopting this good practice.
TAP is designed to provide top identified Canadian youth age group athletes at the Train to Train (T2T) and Train to Compete (T2C) stage of the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) with an individualized training and development program that will maximize their growth as a skilled athlete over the long term.
The strategy is based on fundamental principles of the Long-Term Hockey Development framework prioritizing the needs of the athlete in providing an optimal training, competition, and recovery program that respects and utilizes the natural stages of physical, mental, and emotional growth of athletes to ensure they develop holistically.
LTHD recognizes that long-term player development is influenced by a number of different elements and groups in the overall field hockey and sports system, such as club teams, physical education programs, recreational activities, school programs, and provincial associations. To optimize athlete development, LTHD asks that these different groups and institutions become integrated and aligned with each other, ensuring that they are mutually supportive, clear in their roles and responsibilities, and aware of how they contribute to player learning and development. Players will best develop in a coordinated field hockey system that is clearly defined, logically structured, and based upon consistent principles.
TAP surrounds each athlete with the individualized support that they need in their development to enhance what the team-based system already provides. An Individualized Performance Plan (IPP) is developed to address individual gaps and prepare athletes for competition.
The TAP program and FHC Next Gen National Training Centres build on an athlete pathway that provides a clear and structured route for athletes to progress from Grassroot Club programs, to development opportunities hosted by their province and into high-performance training environments.
TAP athletes are evaluated using FHC’s Gold Medal Profile, this is a pathway evaluation metric that monitors athlete development from Provincial through to National Teams against a consistent expectation related to international performance.
Evaluation Metrics include assessment in the following areas:
Athletes may be identified as Targeted Athletes in any of the following ways
Athletes that have attended an FHC camp and/or have been evaluated comprehensively by FHC Coaching Staff will be provided with evaluation feedback and will be assigned to one of three training programs for further development.
1.Assigned to NextGen Regional Training Centre
2.Assigned to Regional TAP Hub
3.Provincial Development Needed. Athletes assigned to Provincial Development need further work on the skills necessary to compete in National Programming. These athletes are encouraged to continue developmental training within their PSO and Club
2022 Identification Process:
During the summer and fall of 2021, Field Hockey Canada held Talent ID Camps in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. National Team coaches had an opportunity to observe at USports games and championships both in Ontario and BC.
British Columbia, NextGen coaches were present at FHC ID Camps, BC High School Championships and Vancouver Women’s League premiere games. Field Hockey BC have also provided their lists of targeted athletes for consideration. Athletes on the BC Island will be offered an evaluation opportunity at a date and format to be announced.
Ontario, Startup in this region has been delayed due to Covid 19 and indoor facility restrictions. Field Hockey Canada will announce a possible training start-up following an evaluation of the health and safety protocols and environmental realities of delivering in Spring of 2021. Further athlete identification will happen in this region. FHO will be given the opportunity to nominate their targeted athletes, and additional FHC assessments will happen in spring (if possible) and at the 2022 National Championships. The first full season of TAP training will start Fall 2022.
Alberta, TAP training in Alberta will start following National Championships in the early fall 2022. FHA and FHC are currently working in partnership to identify further athletes through the provincial Targeted Athletes Lists. Further FHC assessments will happen at the 2022 National Championships prior to the start of this program.
Atlantic Provinces, FHC TAP and NextGen coaching staff will work with Atlantic PSO’s to offer a camp-based training opportunity in 2022. More information will be shared with athletes in this region as information becomes available.
Q: What does NextGen NTC Mean?
A: National Training Centres (NTC) are decentralized training hubs for NextGen identified athletes in U16, U18, U21 and U23 age groups. NTC’s are lead by FHC NexGen Coaching Staff and train athletes for consideration and selection to NextGen National Teams and International Competition. They also serve as a spot for Senior National Team athletes to train when they are in their home market, where applicable.
Q: How does TAP integrate with NextGen?
A: Athletes training in TAP training Hubs will have the opportunity to learn the FHC Canadian Style of play, with a focus on technical and tactical elements of the game in alignment with FHC National Program expectations. Athletes participating in TAP training are not FHC NextGen Athletes. Rather, they have been identified as having high potential to develop and will be trained in a way that will provide the best opportunity to accelerate their development. Athletes participating in TAP Training will be evaluated regularly and those consistently performing in alignment with NextGen requirements may have the opportunity to be invited to train within the NTC closest to their Hub.
Q: Who is eligible for TAP selection?
A: Athletes across Canada in all provinces are eligible for evaluation and selection into the Targeted Athlete Pathway regardless of their home clubs, school or playing environment. National Team coaches and evaluators are seeking the best talent in the country for both TAP and NextGen programming. For the best opportunities to be seen by evaluators, athletes are encouraged to attend formal FHC identification camps, or provincial camps offered in partnership with FHC as well as compete for selection to their provincial teams.
Q: Can I be a part of TAP, as well as train in academy and club programs.
A: The goal of the Targeted Athlete Program is to grow the numbers within our talent pathway, and accelerate their development in order to have a clear and sustainable road to our Senior National Teams. The talent pathway is not there to compete with other programs that exist, it is an FHC program designed to work with clubs to raise the standard of the game and improve the standard of the national teams.
Athletes should remain with their club so that they can get regular playing and competition opportunities through league play and tournament events. When in TAP, athletes will be carefully monitored and encouraged to be on one program overseen by our expert coaching staff.
U16, U18 and U21 National Team athletes will come through the TAP and NG pathway programs.
As TAP is a comprehensive training program and we ask that athletes attend a minimum of 75% of sessions.
Training in multiple programs can lead to overtraining, and so careful coordination between club and TAP training schedules may need to be managed on a case by case or club by club basis.
Q: Is it Mandatory to participate in the TAP program?
A: No, at this time invitations have gone out to athletes, however, registration and participation in this program remain optional. Athletes that choose not to register for the Feb – May 2022 period of play will remain on the identification list and will be re-invited for Fall 2022
What is a FHC TAP Hub?
Each Targeted Athlete Program (TAP) training Hub will be led by qualified coaches currently in the FHC NextGen Coaching Pathway and/or Head University Coaches at University based Hubs. These Head Coaches will mentor and be assisted by team of assistant coaches in training as Comp Dev Certified Coaches. FHC will provide ongoing support, mentorship and developmental opportunities for coaches. National Team Athletes (Men and Women), as well as local University Athletes, may also volunteer time as on-field coaches.
Athletes will receive the following
Athletes assigned to the Targeted Athlete Program, but outside the geographic area of active training hubs, will be provided an at-home physical training program however will remain with their province for regular daily training environments.
Additional Hubs will be added in other geographic locations as capacity allows.
WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE FOR TAP TRAINING?
The regular TAP season will run from November – May each year. Regional adjustments to this typical schedule will be coordinated to work with specific provincial schedules for club, school and league.
Athletes should not need to choose between FHC and PSO, all TAP athletes will be released back to their provinces for provincial team selection camps and preparation phases prior to National Championships. In some provinces, the provincial season, as is currently operating, will be adjusted in length to allow for TAP training calendars in 2022/2023 seasons and beyond as the FHC training hubs expand to other geographic locations.
HUB SCHEDULE AND TRAINING INFORMATION
All athletes located outside the geographic area of the on-field training hubs will be provided with an at-home physical training program provided by FHC Sport Scientists, working with the men’s or women’s NextGen programs, and will be invited to digital performance education workshops.
Additional Hub information will be provided when available.
[More information will be announced and details provided for fall programs soon…]