For the first time since the COVID pandemic, coaches and industry experts came together for the USA Cycling Coaching Summit, held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Nov. 9 to Nov. 12. The event was a mix of in-person and virtual meetings attended by more than 100 people.
The opening day saw a mix of Level 1 and 2 coaching clinics with Fast Talk Labs’ head coach Ryan Kohler leading some of the Level 1 instruction. The following two days were the key days of the conference with many of the sport’s leading names present, including the president of TrainingPeaks Lee Gerakos, USAC’s CEO Brendan Quirk, a number of coaches from Carmichael Training Systems, and a member of the EF Education team.
Looking to the future
Perhaps some of the highlights of the agenda included Quirk’s “The State of USAC,” an honest and frank assessment of cycle coaching in the U.S, while Gerakos’ talk was titled “The Future of Endurance Sports Coaching.” Jon Tarkington, USAC’s director of coaching development and education, talked about what’s in store for coaches, including an entirely new education program. We were proud to see Fast Talk Labs included in this as our partnership continues to grow.
Other interesting topics covered included a conversation about concussions led initially by USAC’s medical officer Michael Roshon and concluded with Olympian Connor Fields sharing his own experience of waking up after four days in a Japanese hospital and the fear of returning to his sport.
Perhaps the highlight of the final day was a series of afternoon presentations on the importance of the Tour de France Femmes to women’s cycling that included a Q&A session with World Tour athletes Kristen Faulkner and Kaia Schmid, along with sports director Joanne Kiesanowski. This was followed by Professor Jess Kirby talking about the science of motivation and the importance of athletes being task-oriented over ego-oriented.
Since last February when Fast Talk Labs hosted USAC’s first coach event and gave all USA Cycling coaches free membership to our platform, the number of registered coaches has more than doubled. At this latest conference many coaches thanked us for the wealth of knowledge we’ve given them. A driving force for us here at Fast Talk Labs is to support coaches and it was our honor to attend this event and see that—through our partnership with USA Cycling—we’ve been accomplishing that mission.