Terry Valeriote

Terry Valeriote

Portrait by Robert Howson

Terry Valeriote has a lasting legacy in Canadian amateur sports.

His interest was always in the science of developing young athletes. Valeriote was the original coordinator of the Province of Ontario’s Coaching Development Program from 1974-1977. He then moved up to the national level to become the first coordinator of Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) for the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC).

Almost anyone who has coached in minor sports has been helped or influenced by the training seminars offered through the NCCP program. According to the CAC, by the end of 2014, approximately 1.23 million coaches had participated in some component of the program with 4,289 of these coaches coming from the city of Guelph.

Valeriote authored three important booklets on the growth and development principles for children 6-11 years of age called Children’s Sport Programs: The Coach, The Administrator, The Parent. The book was heavily distributed in Canada, the United States, and even adopted by the Government of Portugal. “What really drove me was that we had a very strong administrative program in Canada but no development program,” said Valeriote who earned his Masters degree in Physical Health Education. “If we started with a young athlete, what was the best way to bring him or her along without burning them out? Statistics showed we were giving kids too much, too soon.” Valeriote proposed the concept of long-term athlete development models and, in pilot projects, assisted the National Technical Directors of basketball, volleyball, and soccer to develop sport specific programs. “Einstein believed “premature responsibility breeds superficiality,”” said Valeriote, “which is saying we need to take time to develop a strong foundation for young athletes to protect them both physically and emotionally for the long-term.”

Because of Valeriote’s vision and pioneering spirit, today all national sports have comprehensive athlete development models. Valeriote’s work has without a doubt had a profound impact on sports in Canada.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Builder category – on June 10, 2015