The first phase was accrediting Instructors who were able to teach the Feathers and Arrows program at club level. Some 48 coaches were training and qualified countrywide and given all the resources required to build the coaching capacity.
The second phase is underway in Johannesburg (RSA) where 16 coaches are being trained, guided and educated by Pascal COLMAIRE, the World Archery Development officer and Education director.
At the onset of the 12 day long event, the squad of archers selected by SANAA for preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics and their coaches were evaluated, giving the national federation valuable feedback and a roadmap for the way forward.
That is being followed by the theoretical and practical coaching courseware under the auspices of World Archery.
A number of the candidates will be challenging the Level I accreditation, while some of the more experienced coaches will be challenging the Level II and III coaches qualification.
According to Selwyn MOSKOVITZ, president of SANAA: “The four-year plan aims at ensuring that our coaches attain internationally acceptable levels of coaching and through the process build a sustainable coaching structure from national to provincial to club level.”
A participants view (Day 1)
And the rains came… but were unable to dampen the spirit of the archer’s and their coaches who took part in the Olympic Squad performance evaluation conducted by international coach and Director of World Archery Development and Education; Pascal COLMAIRE.
Starting the day with a classroom session in which Pascal COLMAIRE raised the question of the role of attitude on performance and highlighted some interesting concepts, and practical facts, on concentration and focus. Being in the ‘here and now’ is essential to attaining the kind of consistent performance needed to win competitions, Pascal COLMAIRE commented. With a couple of simple exercises he brought the point home to everyone seated around the classroom and laid the foundation for the practical sessions which were to follow.
Someone had been keeping a ‘weather’ eye open and when the forecast promised more rain for the week arrangements were made for the hire and set up of a huge marquee tent on the range to provide a dry area for the shooting sessions. The practical sessions, shot fom inside the marquee at butts placed outside, put the athletes and their coaches through their paces but in an innovative way which kept everyone’s attention throughout the day. Presenting exercises which not only taxed the archers physically but also stimulated mental focus and introduced the coaches to additional methods of raising the performance bar, Pascal COLMAIRE opened horizons of possibility which had everyone excited and enthused. He also reviewed each of the archers form and offered suggestions to remedy inconsistencies and/or enhance performance and provided action points to for the weeks and months ahead.
Day one focused on archers, from Day two the attention rests on the coaches and if day one is anything to go by the next ten days or so are going to be amazing.
A participants view (Day 2 & 3)
Days two and three of the coaching course being held at Marks Park have certainly lived up to all expectations. Presented by World Archery Director of Education and Coach Development, Pascal COLMAIRE, the course is proving to be every bit as motivating and educational as we were expecting.
Day one of the coaching initiative was devoted to evaluation of our Olympic Squad and providing the archers and their coaches with action points for developing each archers full potential. From day two the attention has been focussed on a group of fifteen coaches from all over the country who have been brought to Johannesburg as part of SANAA’s coach development plan.
The course, which is aimed at training Level 1 and 2 coaches, covers is a combination of classroom and range sessions which makes for a high intensity day. Without exception all of the attendees have found every session to be interesting, motivation and even when the content is familiar territory, Pascal’s presentation provides new insight.
On Tuesday, all of the range sessions were done in the huge marquee as the rain continued to pour down. By the end of the day there was more than one tired body which made it’s way home to get some rest.
Wednesday dawned bright and clear and as the day progressed the sun burned down and the marquee now became a welcome haven of shade. Some of the exercises, which teach the principles and techniques of archery do so in very innovative ways. I found it a challenge to shoot a recurve bow with a completely relaxed bow hand without snatching at the bow to prevent it from falling, even though it was suspended from an overhead rail by a rope. It took a while but eventually mind and determination won and I watched as the arrow hit the butt as the bow swung free of my relaxed bow hand. Along with that sight came the very much clearer understanding of the role a bow sling plays and a much clearer appreciation of what “relaxed” really means in this context.
So it has been with each one of us. Each day, in each session, there is a perspective or a nugget which we take away, which will build our coaching capability and depth, But perhaps the most significant aspect is the enthusiasm, despite the tiredness after a long day, to take what we are learning back to our provinces and clubs and put it to use building the sport we love, archery.
From left to right: Alan WEYERS (SANAA Recurve Coaches Chairmain), Grant GAMMON (SANAA Compound Coaches Chairman), Barbara MANNING (SANAA Secretary), Pascal COLMAIRE (World Archery), Konrad VAN WARMELO (Development Coach), Selwyn MOSKOVITZ (SANAA President).
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