On Saturday 11th January, I was fortunate to observe a morning of training being undertaken by the 13-18 year old Taekwondo athletes of Team GB on the talent id and talent confirmation weekend.
Having coached football and Rugby specific as well of course my athlete development programme, being able to tap into the knowledge of the coaches of a different sport was invaluable as the findings are now able to be adapted and implemented to the work I carry out with my client base.
The day started with a brief introduction by Romaine and Steve who head up the programme outlining the structure of the day to near 40 athletes who are preparing for selection to compete at the Junior world championships. The aim is for these prospects to meet twice monthly on the programme around the training and competitions they do with their respective clubs.
What was interesting is that each of the individuals have a lifestyle monitoring system that has recently been installed to give the coaching staff an understanding of their mental and physical well being so that they are able to manage and support the athlete effectively. Support between the meets also gets provided to take the teams duty of care to the next level.
A yo yo test was then led by Strength and Conditioning coach James who was looking to get a better understanding of the VO2 max rate and their aerobic capabilities. Other tests that are carried out are intervals on the bike and the tests are chosen as they are more realistic to the sports requirements with each competition round lasting between 60 and 90 seconds,
The test that the athletes undergo can be dictated to their muscular fitness levels due to the force velocity that is generated through the body in test phase. The Yo yo test allows for short breaks between a certain number of shuttles as opposed to being ongoing as per the Bleep test which does not have the short breaks.
Following a short break after the testing, each athlete had their own personal development plan where they would work in pairs or small groups working on their technical elements, resistance and agility.
Although the player isn’t assigned a set coach, the coaching team would work with the young prospects offering challenges and advice on how to better perform their practice.
The focus and discipline that these boys and girls showed was of a very high standard and it was evident throughout that each person had a clear vision of where they wanted to be and the professionalism was highly commendable.
By me reaching out to Romaine to ask if I could get involved allowed me the opportunity to observe and learn from Olympic level coaches who were only too happy to answer any questions that I had
and provide a greater insight to their programme and help me develop my own practices and standards.
A huge thank you to Romaine, Steve, James, Rich and the team for their warm welcome which is one that is invaluable and proves that by reaching out to other professionals in the industry can have huge rewards.