Athlete Learning Gateway

Although it was already launched last April, it was only today thay I came across the IOC’s athlete learning gateway. Being a big fan of MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) I see it as a great innovation by the IOC to start online courses for elite athletes. It can mean a lot for athletes who need to find their way to the Olympus with limited resources or limited knowledge about specific topics. A challenge that I faced during multiple periods in my own Olympic career as well.

As a canoe slalom (white water) athlete in a flat country you can imagine not all the knowledge or resources where available like in the big sport disciplines (and still we did quite well, but that’s another topic). As an athlete I needed to search a lot by¬†myself. When I first made it into the Dutch team I had a really good coach in canoeing, but we didn’t have a team with a nutritionist, sport psychologist, weight trainer or physiotherapist. Neither did we know much about these topics. We did it on best effort. Also to market myself, find sponsors, build a website, etc. All was on best effort with an eagerness to learn and get better.

Being a big fan of MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) I see it as a great innovation by the IOC to start online courses for elite athletes.

Another game

Now those topics are another game than 10+ years ago. With the world getting more connected it is getting easier and easier to find and use knowledge from all over the world. You want to extend your skills on a certain topic? You can most certainly find an online course about it. From now on that’s possible as well when it concerns topic related to being an elite athlete. IOC’s Athlete Learning Gateway still offers a limited variety of courses, but I am looking forward to see the course catalogue growing. At this moment courses can be followed on creating an high performance training plan, nutrition, the measures of success, the mindset, avoiding injury and illness, sports media and several topics related to career transition and coaching.

Online learning platforms

I was already a regular user of similar more mainstream platforms such as Coursera, Kahn Acadamy, Codeschool, Codeacadamy, Udemy and Pluralsight. But I am looking forward to also discover this platform. Further I am interested in on which level the platform will develop and extend it’s course base. Coursera and Kahn Academy are academic oriented, Udemy is open to everybody to start teaching a course and codeschool and codecademy offer courses for a specific market (eehr, coding). They also operate a mixed model between free and/or paid courses.

All in all it’s a very interesting development to see a MOOC platform specifically for elite athletes, and I am looking forward to where it will develop to keeping the different models of the abovementioned MOOC or online learning platforms in mind.


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