1st ITF Coaches Conference [Review]
By Mr Daniel Lammin
(6th Degree. Bournemouth Instructor and Head Coach of the PUMA Squad)
I write this whilst sat in Dublin airport waiting for my flight back to Bournemouth after a great weekend at the 1st International Coaches Conference which took place in Limerick.
This was the first ITF event of this type and attracted coaches, instructors and students from around the world. There were over 170 attendees ranging from 2nd kup to 8th degree from 26 counties on 5 continents. As this was the first event of it’s type no-one knew exactly what to expect from the wide ranging keynote speeches, group based discussions and practical sessions but you could see and hear the enthusiasm all around for what lay ahead.
There were practical sessions covering patterns, sparring and special technique. This was a great opportunity to gain an insight into ideas and philosophies on coaching from some of the worlds most highly respected/successful coaches and competitors. For me however, the highlights of the weekend came from some of the other sessions. I have been training in Taekwon-Do since October 1991 and have always enjoyed physical training but this conference also gave attendees the opportunity to gain an insight into other areas. These included psychology, plyometrics, biomechanics, nutrition, performance planning, performance analysis, coaching children and much more.
All of the keynote speakers/external presenters were highly knowledgeable and experienced in their respective fields. All of the sessions were both informative and enjoyable. Most importantly they did a fantastic job of putting across potentially complex subject matter in ways that were very accessible, even for those with little or no prior knowledge of the subject. I took a huge amount from many of these sessions and they will certainly shape me as an instructor and coach going forward.
Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire weekend and have taken away a huge amount of ideas for use both with the PUMA Squad as well as my own classes and students. It was also great to have Adam and Jenny Swain join me in attending the conference and having spoken at length over the weekend I know that have taken just as much from it as I did. Whether you have an interest in coaching or simply wish to gain some new ideas to help your own students I cannot recommend this event highly enough. I would like to finish by thanking everyone involved in organizing the such an enjoyable event with special thanks to the Grand Master Willem Bos, Mr Adrian Byrne and Mr Stephen Ryan. A huge amount of work must have gone in to arranging such a large event and I’m sure that every who attended would like to join me in thanking them.