Head to Head

Head to Head Program

Head to Head is revolutionizing the way Olympians interact with Canadians by empowering them to work with youth across the country. 

Head to Head will pair an Olympian or National Team Athlete (NTA) with a sports team or club.


The Program

1. In person visits

Initial meeting to establish Olympian and head coach relationship; where team goals, strategy and plan is discussed in depth, followed by ongoing phone calls and communication to ensure consistent messaging

Olympian at youth sessions:

We recommend developing a program agenda that includes a mix of the following:

  • Regular session with Olympian supporting coach on field of play
  • Olympian hosted clinic
  • Olympian speaking session covering a specific topic
  • Olympian presentation to parents; navigating the sport system, managing their athletes
  • Olympian at a team dinner, banquet or social event – allowing youth to get to know the Olympian outside a sport setting

2.  Educational Videos following a curriculum:

  • Mentorship – what is it?
  • Goal Setting
  • Time management
  • Caring for your mental health (sport psychology)
  • Teamwork
  • Pre-competition nerves
  • Recovery (nutrition/sleep)
  • Competition tips
  • Dealing with Adversity (Perseverance)
  • Post competition routines

3.  E-mail access to Olympian

Guidelines provided to encourage youth to take advantage of the opportunity in a constructive way
Mentor will be available for youth needs and will be trained to provide effective feedback
Types of reasons to e-mail:

  • discuss upcoming competitions
  • ask questions about training
  • share a personal result
  • request advice on dealing with a challenge at school, or at sport

Strict protocols are in place for all mentors:

All of our Head to Head Olympians are professionally trained in mentorship by an external partner; Performance Coaching Inc. to ensure that they maximize their role as a mentor.

Each Olympian has been carefully selected and is signed on as a Head to Head mentor based on:

  • Experience working with youth
  • Feedback and references from previous engagements
  • Training from previous work (i.e. RBC Olympians undergo professional training in an array of areas)
  • Communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Eagerness to give back to the next generation

Breaking down the in person visits

Through communication with the coach, each visit can be unique to match the club needs:

  • Regular session: The Olympian/NTA supports the coaches’ workout by timing, providing technical feedback, and acting as an ‘excitement factor’ for workout that day. They will not interfere with the coaches’ planned session, but rather act as a reinforcement.
  • Olympian/NTA run session: The coach may ask the athlete to prepare a workout and run the session (technical skills, or other specifics will be communicated and targeted in the workout)
  • Olympian/NTA speaking session: The Olympian/NTA will address a topic of agreement (nutritional, goal setting, time management, facing challenges, etc)
  • Team dinner or social outing: The Olympian/NTA can come hang out with the youth and allow for a real connection to be established in a casual environment