He is a master of coaching, and has coached masters.
Former Salmon Arm Waves Masters Swimming Club coach John Hogg was recently recognized for his illustrious coaching career.
The Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) presented Hogg with the 2015 Geoff Gowan Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award was handed out at the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Awards Gala Nov. 13.
“This award means quite a lot to me,” he says. “I had the honour to have met Geoff Gowan, coached alongside him and remained his friend until he passed away in 2013.”
The Geoff Gowan Award was created by the CAC in 1996 and recognizes lifetime contributions to coaching development. It is awarded to coaches who have presented a positive public image of coaching and who have enhanced the role of the coach with the Canadian public.
Hogg says Gowan was instrumental in persuading him, a young “hot-headed” national swim coach in Great Britain to come to Canada in 1974 as part of the ’76 Olympic Games preparations.
Hogg has coached both professionally and as an applied sport psychologist. He coached the Scottish and British National Swim Teams before being recruited to Canada in 1974.
In 1976, he was selected to coach Canada’s Olympic Swim Team, in favour of an Aussie and American coach, recalls Hogg.
After the Games in Montreal, Hogg relocated to Edmonton to coach for the University of Alberta, and was privileged to work with many successful teams from 1975 to 1988.
In 1990, Hogg was appointed a full professor at the University of Alberta, teaching sports psychology and performance enhancement both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
“Receiving my doctorate in sport psychology would not have been possible had I stayed in the U.K., and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to do so in Canada.”
Hogg says in his early days he was fascinated with the mental side of sport, which is why he dedicated so many years to the craft.
“I recognized early on in my coaching career that a player’s skills and physical ability could only get them so far.”
He saw the importance of the mental.
“I recognized that anyone can have the talent to reach the pinnacle of their sport, but as a coach it was my responsibility to open the mental door to their ability and talent,” he said.
His expertise, particularly in the area of mental preparation and performance psychology, led to many invitations to major conferences and seminars around the world.
He has also published extensively, both in research and popular journals, and served as mentor to many young, aspiring coaches.
“In my day of coaching, having a former player become a coach would’ve been unheard of. Back then if a coach was willing to learn the art and science behind coaching they could dedicate themselves to becoming a great coach.”
Since retiring from the University of Alberta in 2003 and relocating to British Columbia, he continues to offer his expertise to performers, individual athletes, teams, coaches, parents, and officials in a variety of sports at the developmental and elite levels throughout the province.
He still occasionally presents at coaches conferences both in Alberta and B.C.
He says he feels obligated to give back what was given to him more than 40 years ago.
“I have been privileged to work here and with so many great people over the years.”