Supporting Canadian Athletes

How to Build an Athlete Report

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To support you in the creation of an Athlete Report this document outlines key considerations on athlete representation and provides guidance in the preparation of an Athlete Report to mobilize the voice of Canadian athletes to provide direct feedback and enhance the performance of your National Sport Organization (NSO).

Athlete Representation

A key responsibility of the athletes’ council or athlete representative(s) is to embody the collective interests of current athletes participating in the sport at the high performance level.  As such, the Athlete Report should sample a broad cross section of athletes to ensure the concerns of the athlete community are addressed.

Through the use of individual feedback, team meetings and/or surveys, it is the responsibility of the Athlete Representative(s) to ensure open lines of communication and be receptive to athlete feedback (see sample feedback methods below).

Report Outline

The Athlete Report is a pivotal way to bring athlete feedback to the forefront and typically includes the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Year in Review & Major Accomplishments
  • Athlete Feedback on Key Events
  • Performance Review & Areas for Improvement
  • AthletesCAN Forum Review
  • Recommendations
  • Concluding Remarks

The above sections are informed by the feedback you would have collected from your fellow athletes (see sample feedback methods below) and support the key successes and concerns that will be addressed in the report.

A breakdown of the report and sections is provided below.

Report – Overall

  • While the Athlete Report provides the athletes within your sport the opportunity to provide critical frontline feedback, the ability to provide that feedback in a professional manner, despite the issues, is paramount.
  • Athlete Reports are most effective when they demonstrate a tone of appreciation for the efforts of the other constituents of the sport community and when recommendations are made concerning how the system can be improved, rather than merely pointing at areas of weakness.

Introduction

  • Provide a brief 1-2 paragraph introduction and overview of the past year and any comments on the upcoming year or competitive season.

Review of Previous Year’s Recommendations and Major Accomplishments

  • List key recommendations from the previous year:
  • What important events or activities suggested in the previous year were accomplished?

√  Highlight these achievements and provide examples of whom and how recommendations from the previous year were executed.

√  Connect activities with the goals and objectives of the organization.

  • What was the impact of the steps taken by the NSO?

√   Be specific and highlight achievements which contributed to improved NSO performance both on and off the field of play.

  • Where is there continued opportunity to improve these initiatives or the system overall?

Athlete Feedback on Key Events

  • Were these events well organized, was the format appropriate, were facilities and support adequate?
  • This section can examine any event such as:

•  Trials Events
•  Training Camps
•  National Championships
•  Major Games
•  International Competitions

Review of Performance of Support Staff/Systems and Areas for Improvement

  • Examine the support structures available to athletes across the sport in the following areas (note these areas may be more National Team or Training Center specific):

•  Coaching Support
•  Medical Support
•  Training Camps
•  Team Outfitting
•  NSO Support for both senior national team and development level athletes
•  Leadership Development
•  Financial Support
•  Other Relevant Issues

Review of AthletesCAN Forum

  • To be written by the athlete representative who attended the AthletesCAN Forum.
  • Section to summarize key sessions and important information disseminated to teammates.
  • Share best practices of athlete representation.

Specific Recommendations for the Coming Year/Competitive Season

  • Review and suggest areas for improvements for the coming year/competitive season.
  • Focus on two or three critical areas and describe their importance and potential positive impact on athlete development and performance.
  • The goal is to provide the Board with evidence based rational for these suggestions (athlete survey, examples from other sports, athlete meetings, AthletesCAN resources, etc.). If possible provide SMART goals and steps to reach these athlete driven objectives. (SMART = specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound)

Sample Feedback Methods

The following methods are all excellent ways in which to engage the athlete voice within your sport.

Athlete Meetings

  • Hold an open athlete meeting at the largest event on your competition calendar. This will ensure the maximum participation of athletes across your sport.
  • Depending on the nature of your sport, smaller athlete meetings may need to be held at different venues to ensure representation of all groups.
  • Advertise for the meeting well in advance and solicit athletes for discussion topics.
  • Prepare for the meeting by circulating an agenda beforehand and booking a suitable meeting room space.

Individual Meetings with Athletes

  • As an athlete rep you should make yourself available to other athletes to voice their concerns.
  • Ensure the athletes in your sport have your contact details so they can reach you easily
  • Take the time and advantage of opportunities to reach out to athletes on different teams and / or organizations to gain insight and perspective into the various realities athletes experiences within the Canadian sport system.

Athlete Survey

  • Surveys are a powerful tool to provide athletes with the ability to give feedback on the opportunities and challenges they are facing.
  • Survey Monkey or similar online tools are an excellent way to poll athletes to ensure an efficient and effective collection and analysis of feedback.
  • To respect privacy and foster a safe environment for open and honest responses, it is recommended that survey responses be kept anonymous and communicated as such.
  • See the Sample Athlete Report Survey for a template that you can adapt to your sport

What Next?

Set your Athlete Report training plan!

  • Know your timelines – communicate with your NSO well in advance to ensure:

→  the date of your NSO’s AGM
→  deadline to submit the Athlete Report

  • Reach out to your fellow athletes to collect their feedback
  • Based on the feedback, create report
  • Confirm Athlete Report has been added to the AGM Agenda
  • Confirm the attendance of the Athlete Council and / or Athlete Representation at the AGM, in order to present the Athlete Report
    • communicate and share athlete feedback and learn from others at the meeting
    • Share your report with AthletesCAN

HELP!  What if I have questions along the way?

AthletesCAN is here to support you in this process – please contact us should you have any questions along the way!

Send info@athletescan.com | Call 1-888-832-4222

 

Good Luck!  You are Making a Difference!

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