Coaching Magic

What do you think turns ordinary people into athletes? Desire and dreaming to be an elite athlete might be number one. I grew up with a football in my hand from age 7 to over 20 years of age. In those days, coaching was very unstructured. Now we need more than someone who played the sport and got too old to play. There is so much science and evidence and with it, a lot of money to be earned by being among the very best at a specific sport-the major sports. Only a tiny few with genetic gifts really make it, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from trying. In fact, it is the trying that makes life a real life.

I titled this message Coaching Magic, but in, reality, science has become the new magic. I read The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O recently and the two authors assigned invention of photography as the end of magic. A fun read, but it leads into my topic. My “photography” is videography. By examining athletes performing and breaking down the motions into many photographs and using different measurement techniques to target improvements, we can efficiently enhance performance. No-one can claim to know everything there is to know about this, and I won’t make that claim either. But I want to share what I have learned over the last n number of years where n is a number over 50. And, to be honest, I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know until I started to study coaching formally. So thanks to Andy Higgins and Joan McDonald who helped me get started at The Canadian Sports Institute Ontario and other fine instructors who trained me in High Performance coaching, I began to understand what it is to do scientific coaching at the coach to coach or coach to athlete level. That experience opened me to a whole new world of possibilities. I felt reborn as I explored things from blood lactate analysis to vibration training to cognitive assessments.  I began to assemble some technology at Mississauga Taekwondo, our WT taekwondo dojang, and worked to incorporate sport science into a traditional sport. But, like most coaches in our sport, we don’t have deep pockets, so we have to improvise and do a lot of self-help stuff. Also, you have to make contacts with people who have skills you may not have. By sharing with them, you can use the sum of your talents, not the intersection of what everyone already knows. The difference between those minds sets is astronomical. It will be the difference between success and failure.

I will be creating a blog on our new website later this summer and share what I have learned so far and take you with me as I explore new ideas and experiment with them. Some will be taekwondo specific but a lot will be multisport. I hope you will join me.

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