Meet the coach: Chad Beaulieu
I grew up in a small farm town, St. Joachim, ON with a population of less than 500 people, located in Essex County near Windsor, ON.
Having completed my high-school at the French language Ecole Secondaire L’Essor (Tecumseh, ON), I continued my education in the French language at the University of Ottawa. I earned my bachelor of sciences in Human Kinetics (Bach. Sc. Activité physique) in 1997 with concentration in Exercise Physiology and Human Performance.
I have been playing the beautiful game since my early childhood, all the way thru university and further my playing while in our nation’s capital with the Ottawa Internationals Soccer Club (OISC). With OISC, I continued to play and began my coaching career with their Women’s program. After a few short years in coaching OISC, I was given the opportunity to coach in the youth program with this club. Moreover, I also began coaching at the University of Ottawa with the Women’s soccer team, first as the goalkeeping coach in the year 2000 and then as an Assistant-Coach until 2002. In the 2000 season we finished 2nd at the CIS National Championship losing to Dalhousie 1-0 followed by a 3rd place finish in CIS for the 2001 season. I still have both those medals hanging in my current office.
In the summer of 2002 I interviewed for the RMC Women’s Soccer Head Coach position and began work on 15 August, 2002. My 15 year milestone arrives this fall. Over that period of time there have been a few memorable moments; winning an OCAA Indoor Soccer Championship in 2004, qualifying for OUA post-season play in 2007 & 2012, as well as advancing in the playoffs in 2007 by beating Queen’s Gaels 2-0 at Richardson Stadium. However, what I value more than the results, as they are simply short moments that fade with time, are the relationships and connections made with current and former players and their families. To this day, I am still connected to those that I witnessed graduate at my first Graduation Parade back in the spring of 2003 to those who graduated just a short year ago. It’s no wonder some of my OUA Coaching peers are envious of the experience here at RMC.
That being said it, as with any coaching position there are challenges and barriers to overcome to reach high performance. The first obstacle at RMC is to overcome the time and task demands that our Cadet-Athletes are under. To get the best out of each member of the team, while each of them balances the demands on their time & their studies is so important to the overall performance of the team. We strive for a value based performance model to bring the members together and keep us all moving towards a common goal.
The second obstacle, as some of my other colleagues have mentioned, is the recruiting portion of the job description. However, a more detailed recruiting challenge is the continued zero load of Reserve Entry Training Plan (RETP) Cadets at RMC since the 2015 academic in-take. From 2004 to this year’s graduation class, Women’s Soccer has recruited 15 Cadet-Athletes under RETP. Of the fifteen, 13 have graduated (1 more to follow in 2018) and all but one of those 13 presently work in the Canadian Armed Forces either as a full-time member or reservist. Moreover, of the 13 graduates, 5 completed their component transfer to the Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP) before finishing at RMC. It certainly was a very viable option to increase the number of female Cadets at RMC and one hopes that RETP will return before it becomes a forgotten opportunity.
Coach optimistic for the 2017 season and beyond…
With the 2017 winter season long gone now, the RMC Women’s Soccer Program have shifted their focus on the next OUA season. But before that, the Program will see 9 players and our team manager graduate this year. That’s one of our largest graduating classes ever. Each of these individuals have left their mark on our program and set a fantastic example for our younger players to follow. Our first and second years recognized and acknowledged the massive influence the grads have had on them. It’s one of the long term planning objectives the Program sustains year after year; connect the players from 1st to 4th year.
The winter season was the transition period. We saw our graduating players less and less often as the remainder of the team came to the forefront in performance. Replacing 6 starting players who are graduating is a great opportunity for growth for the returning players. Each week was a new test for the team and if cohesion is success than mission accomplished.
Our new and returning players are well on their way in working towards their goals for the start of training camp. They know it is their responsibility to arrive in August as fit as they can possibly be. From there we can work on their soccer specific and match fitness since most will not be playing over the course of the spring and summer.
In mid-August, the 2nd, 3rd & 4th years will return to training as a team for the 2017 OUA fall season. The team will return 15 players at that time and add the new first years as they complete BMOQ MOD 1 at CFLRS. During this training period the team will train daily (sometimes twice a day), host pre-season games as well as travel to the GTA for a preseason match or two.
After personally speaking to 159 female soccer players over the course of the spring, summer and fall of 2016, the Program is looking forward to the edition of seven first years. Each of these seven have been recruited and come from a variety of cities across the country. Starting in May 2017, the process and work for the incoming 2018 recruit class will begin with the goal of speaking to more players than the prior year and achieving another similar conversion rate. This type of data has been recorded over the course of my 15 years as the Women’s Soccer Coach at RMC and is very useful.
“Chad works extremely hard on recruiting new players and developing the ones we already have here at RMC;” says Darren Cates, Director of Athletics, “Women’s Soccer in the OUA is an extremely strong league and Chad is consistently able to attract high quality women to come to RMC and join the CAF. There is rarely a high school or club soccer event in Ontario at which Chad is not present. His efforts have permitted us to field a consistently competitive team that often challenges for a playoff position.”