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44th European Championships Sofia Bulgaria 14-19 February 2017
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Pre - Train venue
This was a great venue for pre-training, and thank you SD Martial arts for the use of it. The proximity of the hotel and training venue is approximately 200M, the local café provided three nutritious meals a day and a local shop next door to the hotel was adequate for provisions.
The pre-train brought an unexpected intensity to some of the athletes but all enjoyed the variety and content. The days comprised of three sessions a day. The 7am session would comprise of core stability, fitness and agility session and the remaining two sessions on tactical Karate.
On Sat 1st Oct Paul Newby (Asst. National Coach) ruptured his achilles tendon and was taken to hospital where his foot was placed in a cast. Paul’s contribution continued, albeit on crutches but his insight into the game was not diminished.
The care of injuries and signs of fatigue were monitored throughout the training with a small number of athletes picking up minor injuries or feeling a little run down due to the volume of training. Physiotherapist, Mo Surdar took charge logging all occurrences that took place.
The dietary requirements
The food was provided by the local café and a pre-arranged to ensure a healthy diet was maintained in addition making sure a copious amount of calories were consumed to cope with the demands of training three times a day. In the group there two vegetarians, one muslim and one with special dietary considerations.
The coaching model
The ‘Four Corners’ coaching model is a common approach in professional coaching. It employs four key factors, the physiological, sociological, technological and psychological. This can be applied to coaching in a number of ways and ensures the holistic approach needed for peak performance.
Core stability, agility and strength endurance sessions were introduced to give young athletes an in-site into the preferred training methods. Training drills in karate sessions were specifically orientated for 2 and three minute bouts according the length of bouts for individual categories. This in turn develops the cardiovascular system specifically to meet the demands of competition.
Sessions included ‘team game’ elements to promote group cohesion and social activities proved to be a welcomed addition to the programme. We enjoyed an evening off with the athletes playing two rounds of ‘Laser quest’, becoming galactic warriors for at least 30 minutes anyway.
The Karate sessions predominately evolved around strategy and tactics. Technique development also played a key role in the sessions, however no major changes can be made in such a short time frame. There is a contrasting difference in abilities within the squad and feedback has been given to each individual and to some of there coaches.
Positive attitude was maintained with constant reinforcement of best performance. During one-to-ones each athlete was given minimum achievement targets. This served a variety of purposes but most importantly placed expected performance results into perspective therefore either forcing some to raise their game to meet new standards (e.g. top 5 etc.) or relieving the pressure of unrealistic goals.
Training continued and the venue was suitable but very humid as was to be expected. Everybody trained well and physiotherapist (Mo) was kept busy with niggling injuries. One injury that became concerning was a back injury of one of the athletes. This later became his undoing when it finally gave way during the championships. In the interest of safety we will now wait for the doctors/physiotherapists all clear before he is placed in such a position again.
Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)
The mood was good with namely Tom Hickman and Charlotte Wastell showing signs of a promising performance during training. Athletes were kept hydrated and a balanced diet was maintained.
On the day off before the championships it was arranged that an activity day of team games that included table tennis, pool and bar football. A great time was has by all with all participating in some fashion. The athletes were taken to the mall to stock up on fluids and snacks to see themselves through the competition.
The competition results were outstanding and placed us sixth on the medal table, however all Kumite athletes had three one-to one sessions with Davin Pack, Jonathan Mottram and myself before, during pre-training, pre and post competition. Predictions were agreed in advance making it clear of what coaches and athletes expected of each other. Another advantage of this was to individualise needs and ensure all is fine with both performance and their well-being.
|Alfie Ambrose||15th Place|
|Ashley Taylor||1st round|
|Callum Holmes||5th Place|
|Charlotte Wastell||1st - WORLD CHAMPION|
|Chloe Sheldon||1st round|
|Hanna West||7th Place|
|Jack Lowe||1st round|
|Jamaal Otto||7th Place|
|Joe Kellaway||8th Place|
|Josh Ferrand||15th Place|
|Lauren Crawford||15th Place|
|Lauren Tutty||1st round|
|Michael Burke||1st round|
|Pippa Morris||1st round|
|Rebecca Crowly||15th Place|
|Ryan Jay||15th Place|
|Ryan Lambert||1st round|
|Sophie Santillo||7th Place|
|Stephanie Thorndick||7th Place|
|Tom Hickman||1st - WORLD CHAMPION|
The trip went without major incident and all issues were resolved between the responsible adults. The chaperones (Shaun Doyland, Jackie Doyland, Jane De Bono and Debbie Sell) did a good job and John De Bono as head of delegation. Regular checks on the athletes were made with our athletes being commended by the hotel management for being the best behaved out of all the countries.
A big thank you to Mo Surdar for providing first class medical support whom without this success would not of been possible. Thank you for your support and a special that’s to the parent (who shall remain nameless) who gave me valuable advice on how to ‘warm up’ their child. We did however share a joke about this after the event back at the hotel!!
In closing very well done to all who competed at the Championships, from all the coaches GOOD JOB we’re proud of you all.
National Kumite Coach
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