Junior Nomination Changes Explained
In 2019 Nick Barton held the Junior team’s lead coach position. He discusses the recent changes to the Junior trialist nomination process below.
What extra opportunities does the new nomination process create for selectors/coaches?
By bringing forward the nomination date, selectors are able to assess all nominees a long way out from the Aon Maadi Cup. In previous years nominations would take place in February, and athletes would be selected or not selected for trials between four and six weeks after the nomination closure date. Selectors were therefore restricted by the small window through which they could observe and assess all the nominated athletes.
The 5km and 30min test are a new initiative that we hope will give us an earlier view of more people. The selectors understand that the information collected is from very early in the season and that part of the testing window falls inside athletes exam period, but this additional information, combined with them being able to see athletes performing on the water at more regattas, means they will be better informed when selecting a trial squad and ultimately a Junior team. At this point in the season, a longer distance erg is a more suitable measure than a 2000m test due to the type of training the athletes are doing at this time of year.
For coaches of potential new junior athletes, this early nomination will open up dialogue with selectors as to how best prepare their athletes for trial.
What extra opportunities does the new nomination process create for nominees?
If a nominee is a real contender for the Junior team, early nomination will get them on selectors’ radar near the beginning of the domestic season. This means all nominees have a longer timeframe within which to prove themselves.
Having a longer distance erg test as well as a 2000m erg test also allows athletes the opportunity to present a more complete picture of their potential.
What should a nominee be mindful of when tailoring their training/development/communication to better suit the new nomination process?
The early nomination process has been designed so as not to interfere with normal school training and racing. It is not expected that nominees tailor their training to suit the nomination process. Most school and clubs do 5km erg testing OR 30 minute ergs as training on occasion.
All nominees in the past have had to submit a 2000m erg test score by February and this hasn’t changed. It is expected that athletes and coaches continue as they normally would under the proviso that the only difference in the nomination is the need to submit a longer erg score (5km or 30 minute) and to nominate early in the season.
With our new changes, what new aspects of athlete development will selectors/coaches be considering?
As mentioned above, the early nomination allows selectors to get more data from the endurance erg and 2000m erg scores. It also increases the opportunity for the athletes to be seen at different regattas across a longer period of time, therefore creating more chances to show what they can do.
Possibly more importantly though, it gives selectors the opportunity to open up dialogue with the coaches of potential New Zealand Junior trialists to ensure they are well informed on exactly what will be required from their athlete at trials.
The Selection Guidelines for the Junior Team can be found here.