Team Alberta snowshoeing will not be lacking an experienced leader with Head Coach, Lyndon Chubbs at the helm.
Lyndon is set to attend his fourth National Games as a coach and while they were not all with Team Alberta, he knows how to create an inclusive environment where his athletes can thrive.
He has lived all over Canada due to the nature of his job with the military, but has found a way to volunteer and coach with Special Olympics at every stop along the way.
Lyndon’s journey with Special Olympics started in Brandon, Manitoba in 1992, after he heard about the organization through his wife’s co-worker and like many volunteers has been hooked on Special Olympics ever since.
“I was young at the time wanting to help the community so I said well, I’ll try Special Olympics,” says Lyndon. “I knew about the concept before but never really got involved. I didn’t have any family members in Special Olympics at that time and I just wanted to help out in the community and it’s been going on ever since.”
After leaving Manitoba he continued volunteering with Special Olympics in New Brunswick.
Now in Alberta, he is coaching snowshoeing, a program he actually helped start when he moved to Airdrie in 2013.
Lyndon is the perfect person to lead Alberta’s group of athletes with plenty of experience coaching snowshoeing after taking his Manitoba team to Nationals in 1996 and his New Brunswick squad in 2004.
He will be bringing that valuable experience to Team Alberta and is feeling confident that the team is prepared and ready to compete in Thunder Bay.
Although he can’t take all of the credit, and says that Marie Powell, Associate Coach for snowshoe, has been the perfect partner in building the program and getting the athletes to the level they are at.
He was the Associate Coach for Team Alberta going into the last Nationals in Corner Brook and has since switched roles with Marie.
The coaching duo have been instilling a philosophy within their players and are pleased with the progression that the team has made in anticipation of the upcoming games.
“IT’S THE SAME PHILOSOPHY THAT WE BRING TO OUR COMMUNITY PROGRAMS, WHICH IS ABOUT CHALLENGING THE ATHLETES – MAKING SURE THAT WE BUILD IN PROGRESSIVE TRAINING, NOT JUST SNOWSHOE SPECIFIC BUT STRENGTH EXERCISES, CARDIOVASCULAR, FLEXIBILITY, STRETCHING, BUILDING IN NUTRITION AND ALSO BUILDING IN THE MENTAL ASPECT AS WELL.”
Mental training has been a strong aspect of Lyndon’s coaching approach for his athletes during his time with Special Olympics, adding that, “Being mentally strong, fit and reaching certain weekly goals the athletes can work on at home are just as important as the physical part of training these athletes.”
The key according to Lyndon is to challenge the athletes to be the very best that they can be.
Lyndon cited that the program is on the right track after each team member posted a personal best competing in the last Nationals and thinks all of the athletes will have the ability to compete against the rest of the country’s best.
Special Olympics has become a huge part in Lyndon’s life, as he has been involved for over half his life. Now in year 27 with Special Olympics Lyndon can’t get enough of “special feeling” it gives you, he says.
“WHAT SPECIAL OLYMPICS HAS GIVEN ME IS IMMEASURABLE. TO KNOW I HAVE BEEN A PART OF AN ORGANIZATION THAT WITHOUT IT, MANY OF THESE ATHLETES WOULD NOT HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMPETE PREVIOUSLY. I HAVE SEEN NOT ONLY THE PHYSICAL TRANSFORMATION FROM THE TRAINING BUT THE MENTAL GROWTH. I CAN THINK OF ONE ATHLETE I COACH IN SNOWSHOEING WHO ON HER FIRST DAY COULD NOT RUN ONE LAP WITHOUT RETURNING TO HER PARENTS; WHO NOW HAS COMPETED IN REGIONAL COMPETITIONS AND SUCCESSFULLY COMPETED IN ALL RACES INDEPENDENTLY.”
Lyndon has not only seen a transformation in the lives of his athletes, but in his own as well, which is why he keeps coming back each year.
Special Olympics Alberta has loved the passion Lyndon has brought to us since 2013 and we are looking forward to him leading our snowshoeing team in Thunder Bay.