Team Canada, which began its full-year integrated men’s and women’s programs in 2003, is an integral part of Golf Canada’s strong commitment to the development of Canada’s best amateur golfers.
Athlete selection takes place in November of each year and is based on selection criteria which are reviewed by the committee. Players are selected to three teams, the Young Pro Squad, the National Squad and the Development Squad.
The intention of the program is to provide the best possible support and services to athletes and assist them in attaining their long and short term goals. Quite simply, our mission is to produce the best amateur golfers in the world.
Each player commits to the program through an athlete agreement which is designed to create formal guidelines as to the expected behavior for athletic excellence. Standards for participation, anti-doping, amateur status, behavior and discipline, anti-harassment, travel, equipment and team uniforms are all clearly set out in these guidelines.
The Team Canada program is year-round in scope and encompasses fitness, sports psychology, nutrition, technique, equipment and international competition. Leaders in the field of sport science have been a part of building the program and continue in the ongoing execution of the program from the perspective of mental performance coaching, strength and conditioning, equipment as well as planning and periodization. A full-time national coach oversees all aspects throughout the year.
Each player receives a personalized program tailored towards his or her needs and in turn each team member is expected to be fully committed to the program with the goal of becoming one of the top ranked amateur golfers worldwide. Competition schedules are reviewed and approved by the national coaching staff and tournament exemptions are sourced. A battery of physical tests are done three times per year, improvement plans are implemented and physical data is tracked online. Mental performance evaluations and overall performance analysis are regularly performed in person by the Team Canada mental performance coach and through an online log service which tracks trends and increases awareness of performance needs. In addition, team members obtain the latest testing results, feedback and recommendations regarding clubs and balls to suit their swing and launch characteristics.
Members of Team Canada have the ability to be nominated to Sport Canada to become a carded member of the Athlete Assistance program, an initiative of Sport Canada to assist amateur athletes in off-setting expenses to allow them to focus their time and energy on elite performance. Tuition credits are also sometimes available through the Athlete Assistance program.
Golf Canada believes that players involved with Team Canada will be much better prepared to qualify and compete at international events and/or go on to a professional golf career.