Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

As the holiday season is upon us we find ourselves reflecting on the challenging past year, with the world fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s been a difficult year for us all so we hope that the new year will be memorable for you and your loved ones.

On the behalf of all the European Athletics Coaches Association team members, I’d like to thank all of the coaches who joined the EACA, well knowing that we can offer to them much more than what we are offering now. And, believe me, we will.

For now, let me wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Sincerly,

Frank Dick OBE

NACACTFCA 2020 Conference: recorded sessions

What a wonderful weekend watching the NACACTFCA 2020 Conference! 

If you haven’t had the chance to watch it live, don’t worry: you can always get the access to the recordings of the whole conference, session by session. 

The price is always $50,00, discounted at €35,00 for all the EACA members.

The recordings are enriched with the subtitles in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and German.

Dan O’Brien will speak at NACACTFCA 2020 Conference

Combined events seems to be the reigning event during the next NACACTFCA conference.

After announcing coach Harry Marra a week ago, now we are here again to say that Dan O’Brien has been announced as a new entry in the congress’ line-up.

Dan is the former Decathlon WR holder, Olympic champion and three times World Champion and he will talk about the resources and opportunities for athletes to support their growth.

If you’re still thinking if to subscribe or not, please, read the updated program: we are sure that you’ll run to the subscribe form!

‘Take home’ after IFAC 2020

It is a fact of life that even when we listen to the same presentation in the same conference, we each hear something different. So there will have been as many lessons learned from IFAC 2020 as there were participants!

So please read these lessons I learned in that context. Those who attended hopefully on reading these will be reminded of the excellent input from speakers and their own lessons learned will be reviewed and refreshed. Those who did not might reflect on the following and create their own.

As we move forward with IFAC and EACA, I think it would be a good idea after each IFAC to share our lessons learned and ideas they generate on dedicated pages of the EACA website. This would become our “learning locker room!”

So these for me were key take-aways as lessons learned.

  1. A winning culture is founded on a learning culture. Learning is a never ending story and we must bring structure to it if we are to be consistent winners:
    • Build a robust foundation of basics and keep refreshing them
    • Be meticulous in preparation and briefing
    • Learn on the move from life experience
    • De-brief forensically – hot and cold de-briefs
    • Revisit and relearn from cumulative experience
  2. Coaches must adopt a new way of thinking in learning how to adapt to a hybrid approach of teaching and learning. What can be taught sits well with virtual communication. This embraces the science of coaching and the technical skills that are the tools of our trade. What can be learned sits best with practical experience. This embraces the art of coaching and the people skills in our work.
  3. Female and male coaches bring unique skill sets to coaching and it is clear we must be more committed to and engaged with understanding how to harmonize those skills not only to achieve athlete and coach development and performance excellence, but to bring coaching itself to a new level.
  4. The dreadful days we have been going through in the face of the COVID19 Pandemic has tested out ability to be creative, adaptable and versatile in applying our skills in a climate of restriction and uncertainty. But we have risen well to the challenge, even to learning on the move how to address mental and emotional health issues. Critically, such issues will not disappear when the Pandemic ends. Going forward we must sharpen our observation skills to be ahead of the game in recognising stress signatures to coach both athletes and coaches in being better prepared to protect against such issues.
  5. Related to this was an effective policy applied in the Netherlands of coaches holding training at a level of 6 week readiness to compete.
  6. Traditionally Coach Education Programmes do not teach coaches how to learn and as a consequence coaches do not normally teach athletes how to learn. Greater input to coach education programmes from Cognitive Psychology is essential to correcting this.
  7. As technology has greater and greater impact as a means of informing coaches decision making, Artificial Intelligence will become a valuable contributor in synthesising the tsunami of data now available. It is not more data that we need but digestible and usable information.
  8. Coaches have responsed to World Athletics President, Lord Coe’s “vision and interest that a body be formed from amongst the coaching community dedicated to Athletics Coaching related matters and to facilitate bringing necessary change.” That response is the creation of the Global Athletics Coaching Academy (GACA) embracing Education, Regulation, Support and Representation. Area and National Athletics Coaches Associations are part of GACA’s strategy in building a World Athletics Coaches Community. This is an important moment in Athletics History for coaches to be responsible and accountable for the future of Athletics Coaches and Coaching.

These were the bigger general take away lessons. There were many more at the specific level and I’m sure you’ll pick up on these by listening to the excellent presentations and panel discussions.

Sincerly,

Frank Dick OBE

IFAC 2020: last days to sign up

Less than one week before the first session of the 2020 International Festival of Athletics Coaching means that anyone interested to attend has to hurry up and book to gain access to the live stream page.

Don’t miss the opportunity to listen from great coaches like Ans Botha, Helena Duplantis, Malcolm Arnold and Vern Gambetta but also from experts coming from different areas like brain specialist prof. Vin Walsh and Jonathan Boase, who is working on an Artificial Intelligence solution to analyze team sports’ playing and support coaches in talent identification.

Register today for only €99,00 and live the magic of the Festival!

Ans Botha: what a line-up at IFAC!

Did you not sleep the last 5 nights waiting for the coach who will speak in the same session of Helena Duplantis? Well, it was worth it: Ans Botha, the coach of 400 World Record holder  Wayde van Niekerk is that name. 

Ans will talk about how to “hold athlete competition readiness throughout Covid-19”, sharing her experience in managing Wayde’s positivity at the virus right before his first race of the season and still getting a huge result after a few weeks he returned healthy.

Ans’ slot is scheduled at 2:05PM GMT in the Session 2 of the conference, next Novembre 7th. She will also speak in the panel at the end of the session together with Helena Duplantis and Maria Chiara Milardi, the italian coach of Davide Re, one of the best European quarter milers in 2020.

This will probably be the last time Ans Botha will speak in public to share her great experience with other coaches so don’t miss the opportunity and sign up to IFAC 2020!

Charles van Commenee at IFAC!

Another big shot for the 2020 International Festival of Athletics Coaching: Charles van Commenée enters in the conference’s line-up!

Charles is one of the world”s leading experts in managing performance, initially as personal coach to a number of elite athletes who won medals at Olympic Games and World Championships, then as Technical Director for Dutch and British Athletics and finally as Performance Director for the Dutch Olympic Committee and later for British Athletics.

He will talk about how to “Lead the team through Covid-19” in the third session of the conference, scheduled November 7th at 6:55PM GMT. 

If this announcement helps your last doubts to fade away, subscribe to the 2020  International Festival of Athletics Coaching for only €99,00

Helena Duplantis in the IFAC line-up!

Great news for the upcoming International Festival of Athletics Coaching, scheduled for next 6-8 November: Helena Duplantis will speak about how phenomenal ‘Mondo’ Duplantis and his entourage dealt with Covid-19 restrictions to achieve the incredible set of new World Record in pole vault.

Helena will be interviewed by Wolfgang Ritzdorf in the IFAC session entitled “Remaining competition ready in a climate of uncertainty”, scheduled at 2:55PM GMT on Saturday, December 7th. 

She’ll be also one of the hosts in the final panel of the session, with two other female coaches. Want to know who they are? Stay tuned: they will be announced soon here!

In the meantime, don’t lose time and subscribe to the 2020 International Festival of Athletics Coaching for only €99,00!

Finally: IFAC 2020 !

We were hanging on for as long as we could to be able to have a conference in person but we had to give up, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed everyone’s lives and the end seems to be still far in the future.

In these last few months we had many doubts about the fate of the 2020 edition of our International Festival of Athletics Coaching. Initially scheduled for January, then postponed until the end of March at Loughborough University, it was only a few weeks before the event that we had to cancel to avoid any issues with this new pandemic.

We finally decided to have a completely virtual IFAC 2020 in November, from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th. Compared with the original program of last March 2019, we amended some topics to make room for conversations related to how successful coaches were dealing with the constraints of access to training facilities, travelling and attending competition sites during the 2020 season.

We had an incredible coach who shared their experience of one of their top athletes who tested positive with Covid-19 right before the opening of the season. You must listen to this one!

The Festival’s line-up includes great speakers like Dawn Scott, Vern Gambetta, Donna Fraser and Malcolm Arnold.

As always, the European Athletics Coaches Association believes that coaches can learn from an array of different related areas. For this reason, at IFAC 2020 we will hear from Bryony Dunne and Gareth Grier who are leading London’s Air Ambulance in these challenging times.

Many more great names for the IFAC 2020 line-up will be announced in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

The event will be streamed live on the new EACA website. The standard price for the all seven sessions of the conference is €99,00. However, if you decide to become a member of the European Athletics Coaches Association by registering on our website, you’ll get a discount. If you apply for the Free Membership you’ll get a 10% discount, while if you choose to sign up for the yearly Premium Membership the discount will be a big 30%!

Applications are already open! All you need to do is register yourself for the conference!

A new era for EACA

As the Beatles song goes, it’s been a “long and winding road”, with many dead end streets and crossroads. But now we have finally reached a point, which is nothing else than… the starting line!

The big difference now is that the European Athletics Coaches Association has a clear and well defined pathway to continue their journey. As we now have the appropriate technological equipment and support, we are growing our skills on how we can serve you as the coaches, in the best way possible.

In the year of its 60th birthday, the European Athletics Coaches Association has reinvented itself, embracing the virtual world to deliver services to it’s coaches. Here are some of the ideas we have worked so far, and will continue to work on to bring the best Membership possible:

  • EACA aims to create a community of coaches where they can connect and network with each other, exchange opinions, share videos, and knowledge. This is similar to a Social Media Coaching Networking group, where the concept of “growing faster together” is the key
  • We have a lot to share with you, especially from our many years of running our main event, the world renowned International Festival of Athletics Coaching (IFAC). At the moment, we are offering more than 150 presentations from over 90 coaches from a wide range of different sports who have previously spoken at one of our IFAC conferences from 2006 to 2020. In the following months we will publish footage taken from our IFAC events between 2012 and 2019, while the recorded sessions of IFAC 2020 live stream is already available
  • Of course, Technical Articles are one of our projects. We’ll be inviting columnists and editors to have the opportunity to publish articles. Please keep an eye on our website!
  • Also in our plans is an online platform offering courses to coaches who want to improve their skills. We don’t want to clash with the new World Athletics eLearning platform so our courses will be very specific and not just technical. We’re also trying to set up a credits system based on EU rules. The online Academy will be dedicated to our late vice-president Elio Locatelli

I’m sure at this point you are wondering, what is the price of all of these new services? The good news is that a wide variety of content will be available as part of the Free Membership, including; access to the coaching social network, elements of our IFAC presentation, selected online courses, discounts for applying to our events or events created by our partners and many other benefits. It’s easy to register as an EACA member without paying any money.

For those who want more, they can apply for the Premium Membership which costs only €2,99 billed monthly or €30,00 billed annually. Further down the line in 2021 we will also offer a Pro Membership with even more benefits and higher discounts at a cost of €9,99 billed monthly or €100,00 billed yearly. We offer incredibly competitive rates compared to other membership fees and can’t wait to have you as an EACA Member! 

So, what are you waiting for? Choose your preferred membership level and become an EACA member. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a European Coach, the EACA Membership is open to coaches from all around the world.