High-Performance Conference

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European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Looking back at the Olympic Cycle
Charles van Commenee
Former Head Coach
British Athletics
Frankfurt, 23 November 2013
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Medals in athletics?....
impossible without:
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•
•
•
Excellent genetics
Proper coaching
Medical support
The right environment (altitude, indoors etc.)
Other issues are of secondary importance
(sport science, clubs, comps, education, selection,
marketing, research etc.)
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Our job: To build an environment for
success
• Culture comes before performance
• Daily Training Environment (DTE)
• 1st Question as a Head Coach/ Performance
Director:
‘Is a quality talent working with a quality coach,
spending enough quality time together based on a
quality programme?’
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Quality coaching:
Produces improved athletes,
who perform with reliability,
at the right time.
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
‘Better coaching, better sport!’
In performance terms……..
‘Better coaching, more medals!’
Consequently……..
coaching cost us medals as well!
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Sunday PM: Expected recommendations
• Work together! Exchange best practise… coaches!
• European-wide strategy to raise standards in track
events (sprints/hurdles/endurance!)… coaching!
• Education opportunities and support programs for
coaches (planning ,peaking)
• Prepare endurance athletes for tournament-style
races...coaching!
• Athlete development pathway (comps)
• Effective leadership
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
However………..
Athletics coach’s DNA:
• Not a natural team player
• Feeling undervalued
• ‘I’ve become successful in spite of the
federation’
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
More complicating factors
• No clarity about ‘ownership’ of the athlete’s
talent
• Tension between centralisation vs.
regional/individual support
• In the 80’s/90’s Europe had more competent
coaches than now
• Consensus is impossible in our sport
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Athletics in Britain 2008
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Talent
Sufficient budgets
Facilities good enough
Proper team logistics
Excellent administrators + senior staff
Excellent CEO + board
Plenty of passionate intuitive coaches
Tradition and love for athletics
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
2008…….
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•
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Underperformance after 2000 (2005: 3 medals, 34 points!)
Very high injury rate
Coach education neglected for about 10 years
No clear expectations and accountabilities of athletes and coaches
Too many athletes emotionally too dependent on coaches
No proper debriefs after season/championships ; no athletes meetings
7 national centres (4 High Performance Centres)…..but no excellence
No integrated support teams, and individual staff members not always
good enough
• Unhappiness, pessimism, no sense of team
• Complaints about lack of communication
• No time …only 4 years to go till the Home Games!!!
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
British Athletics 2008 onwards:
4-Pillar Strategy:
• 1 Excellence through ‘centralisation’
– (Bring together best athletes, best coaches,
best services in best facilities)
• 2 Coach driven programmes instead of
management driven
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Management Driven Programme
PHYSIOTHERAPIST
DOCTOR
SOFT TISSUE THERAPIST
Athlete/Coach
Performance
Manager
STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING
COACH
PSYCHOLOGIST
PHYSIOLOGIST
BIOMECHANIST
PERFORMANCE ANALYST
PERFORMANCE LIFESTYLE
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Athlete Centred Programme
Nutritionist
Assistant coach
S + C Expert
Performance Analyst
Physiotherapist
Athlete
/Coach
Massage
Therapist
Doctor
Psychologist
Exercise
Physiologist
Biomechanist
* Head Coach
* Agent
* Sponsors
* Centre Director
* Chief Doctor
* Head of Sport
Science
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
In too many cases...
Nutritionist
Assistant Coach
S + C Expert
Performance Cnalyst
Physiotherapist
Coach
Athlete
Athlete
Massage
Therapist
Doctor
Psychologist
Exercise
Physiologist
Biomechanist
* Head Coach
* Agent
* Sponsors
* Centre director
* Chief Doctor
* Head of Sport
science
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Elite sports programme
• Performance focused (winning)
• Athlete centred
• Coach driven
• Services supported
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Coach driven programme
The program is not:
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•
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Medically driven
Management driven
Agent driven
Athlete driven
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
But is that always the right thing to do?
• Coaching spectrum from directing to
counselling
• Depending on maturity of the athlete?
• Depending on maturity of the coach
• Make the athlete accountable for the right
coaching!
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Coach as Senior Advisor?
Nutritionist
Assistant Coach
S + C Expert
Performance Analyst
Physiotherapist
Athlete
Athlete
COACH
Doctor
Psychologist
Exercise
Physiologist
Biomechanist
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Place of the Head Coach?
Nutritionist
S + C Expert
Performance Analyst
Physiotherapist
Coach
Athlete
Athlete
Massage
Therapist
Doctor
Psychologist
Exercise
Physiologist
Biomechanist
Head Coach
Assistant Coach
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Or?
Nutritionist
S + C Expert
Performance Analyst
Physiotherapist
Coach
Athlete
Athlete
Massage
Therapist
Doctor
Psychologist
Exercise
Physiologist
Biomechanist
Head Coach
Assistant Coach
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
British athletics 2008 onwards:
4-Pillar Strategy
1 Excellence through ‘centralisation’
(Bring together best athletes, best coaches, best services in best facilities)
2 Coach driven programmes instead of
management driven
3 Accountability (athletes, staff, HC, etc.)
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Accountability employed coaches:
• Clear job descriptions and individual targets
• Appraisals every 6 months:
– 1 Performance
– 2 Professionalism
– 3 Event Development
– 4 Personal development (CPD)
• Performance bonus system (for all coaches)
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
British athletics 2008 onwards:
4-Pillar Strategy
1 Excellence through ‘centralisation’
(Bring together best athletes, best coaches, best services in best facilities)
2 Coach driven programmes instead of
management driven
3 Accountability
4 Coach Education
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Coach development 2008- 2012
• Almost non-existent for a decade
• 100 national coach development events
(and 500 local) each year
• 250 coaches in national coach development
programme
• 8 full-time apprentice coaches
• CPD for every employed coach £ 1500 pa
• Regular coach meetings for employed staff
• Website for coach development
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
How to bring injury rate down?
• Sound mechanics
(pro-active)...
– Coaches
• Appropriate loading
(pro-active) ...
– Coaches
• Great treatment
(reactive) ...
– Medics
• And...better integration of these 3 aspects!...
– Coaches and medics
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Integrated approach
coaching staff – medical staff – other support staff
• Regular case conferences
• Meet and report formally
• Spend time trackside
• Athletes need to have one integrated programme
• Absolutely vital in our sport!
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Teamwork: Embrace diversity
• All boxes to be ticked
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Coordinated Approach to Support
• ‘There is a coordinated approach to the provision of coaching
and other types of support in my sport’s WCP’
• 2010
• 2009
The majority of Athletes (73%) agree that there is a coordinated approach to
the provision of coaching and other support
─ this compares to less than half (48%) in 2009
─ Q12: Who answered: (2009: 60, 2010: 75)
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Results 2008-2012
• Hit all performance targets every year
– indoors and outdoors
– (EC 2010 and WC indoors 2012 best ever results)
• Higher number of medal contenders
• 2012 was a very good year………
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
2012 was a good year
• Events with national records (Olympic program):
2009: 3 x
2010: 2 x
2011: 7 x
2012: 11 x (no Farah 2x!!)
• Top 10 in the world (Olympic programme)
2009: 9
2010: 7
2011: 13
2012: 19 (no Farah 2x!!)
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Results 2008-2012
• Hit all performance targets every year, indoors and outdoors
(EC 2010 and WC indoors 2012 best ever results)
• Higher number of medal contenders
• 2012 was a fantastic year……… but we had too many
underperformers at the Olympic Games (despite 6 medals
including 4 golds) !
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Results 2008-2012
• Hit all performance targets every year, indoors and outdoors
(EC 2010 and WC indoors 2012 best results ever)
• Higher numbers of medal contenders
• 2012 was a fantastic year……… but we had too many underperformers at the Olympic Games (despite 6 medals incl. 4 golds)
• Significantly lower injury rate in the 2011/2012 season……… but
not in July/August!
• Better performance culture
• Athletes much happier, a number of staff not
• More optimism; pride is back
• Bright future with talented athletes on their way to Rio
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
Conclusion
It takes more than one Olympic cycle to
build or change a system (all main
stakeholders to live up to new
expectations) and to reap the benefits
from it.
European Athletics High-Performance Conference
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