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European Athletics High-Performance Conference Charles van Commenee Former Head Coach British Athletics Frankfurt, 23 November 2013 Looking back at the.

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Presentation on theme: "European Athletics High-Performance Conference Charles van Commenee Former Head Coach British Athletics Frankfurt, 23 November 2013 Looking back at the."— Presentation transcript:

1 European Athletics High-Performance Conference Charles van Commenee Former Head Coach British Athletics Frankfurt, 23 November 2013 Looking back at the Olympic Cycle

2 European Athletics High-Performance Conference Medals in athletics?.... impossible without: 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.)

3 European Athletics High-Performance Conference Our job: To build an environment for success Culture comes before performance Daily Training Environment (DTE) 1 st 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?’

4 European Athletics High-Performance Conference Quality coaching: Produces improved athletes, who perform with reliability, at the right time.

5 European Athletics High-Performance Conference ‘Better coaching, better sport!’ In performance terms…….. ‘Better coaching, more medals!’ Consequently…….. coaching cost us medals as well!

6 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

7 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’

8 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

9 European Athletics High-Performance Conference Athletics in Britain 2008 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

10 European Athletics High-Performance Conference 2008……. 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!!!

11 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

12 European Athletics High-Performance Conference Management Driven Programme PHYSIOTHERAPIST DOCTOR SOFT TISSUE THERAPIST STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH PSYCHOLOGIST PHYSIOLOGIST BIOMECHANIST PERFORMANCE ANALYST PERFORMANCE LIFESTYLE Athlete/Coach Performance Manager

13 European Athletics High-Performance Conference * Head Coach * Agent * Sponsors * Centre Director * Chief Doctor * Head of Sport Science S + C Expert Nutritionist Assistant coach Performance Analyst Massage Therapist Psychologist Biomechanist Exercise Physiologist Doctor Physiotherapist Athlete Centred Programme Athlete /Coach

14 European Athletics High-Performance Conference * Head Coach * Agent * Sponsors * Centre director * Chief Doctor * Head of Sport science S + C Expert Nutritionist Assistant Coach Performance Cnalyst Massage Therapist Psychologist Biomechanist Exercise Physiologist Doctor Physiotherapist Athlete In too many cases... Coach

15 European Athletics High-Performance Conference Elite sports programme Performance focused (winning) Athlete centred Coach driven Services supported

16 European Athletics High-Performance Conference Coach driven programme The program is not: Medically driven Management driven Agent driven Athlete driven

17 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!

18 European Athletics High-Performance Conference S + C Expert Nutritionist Assistant Coach Performance Analyst COACH Psychologist Biomechanist Exercise Physiologist Doctor Physiotherapist Athlete Coach as Senior Advisor?

19 European Athletics High-Performance Conference S + C Expert Nutritionist Assistant Coach Performance Analyst Massage Therapist Psychologist Biomechanist Exercise Physiologist Doctor Physiotherapist Athlete Place of the Head Coach? Athlete Coach Athlete Coach Head Coach

20 European Athletics High-Performance Conference S + C Expert Nutritionist Assistant Coach Performance Analyst Massage Therapist Psychologist Biomechanist Exercise Physiologist Doctor Physiotherapist Athlete Or? Athlete Coach Head Coach

21 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.)

22 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)

23 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

24 European Athletics High-Performance Conference Coach development 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

25 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

26 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!

27 European Athletics High-Performance Conference Teamwork: Embrace diversity All boxes to be ticked

28 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’ 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)

29 European Athletics High-Performance Conference Results 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………

30 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: : : : 19 (no Farah 2x!!)

31 European Athletics High-Performance Conference Results 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) !

32 European Athletics High-Performance Conference Results 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 under- performers 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

33 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.

34 European Athletics High-Performance Conference Any Questions?


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