07 / 11 / 2011
The 2011 edition of the International Festival of Athletics Coaching came to a close last weekend, Sunday 30 October, with the European Coaches’ address by Prof. Frank W. Dick OBE, summarising the developments in coaching and performances in athletics in Europe.
The Festival, which attracted 318 delegates from 26 different countries (19 European nations), kicked off on Friday 29 October with keynote speeches by Vern Gambetta (USA) and Dr. Wolfgang Ritzdorf (Germany). Gambetta, the founding father of functional sports training, discussed the dramatic changes in the ‘art and science’ of coaching athletics, followed by an insightful analysis of the challenges facing the jumps events by the Ritzdorf, the Director of the IAAF World High Jump Centre.
There were also keynote presentations from Dr. Penny Werthner (Canada) who ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games shared her expertises on managing anxiety on a competitive stage and coping with the pressures of Home Games. Jimmy Beautttah (Kenya) led his keynote speech on “delivering on the day” and the IAAF’s Dr. Elio Locatelli (Italy) reemphasised the messages from Beauttah’s keynote in “getting the best performance: the critical factors.” The final keynote of the conference was from Don Babbitt, entitled “development to elite – across the throws disciplines.”
The practical workshops held at Glasgow’s top sporting venue, Scotstoun Stadium, were a great success and delegates of the 2011 conference thoroughly enjoyed the additional practical focus to IFAC.
Wolfgang Ritzdorf addressed ‘developing reactive strength’ and ‘general jumps practices’ in his practical sessions, and teamed up with former GB high jumper and Olympian Dalton Grant to deliver an excellent high jump clinic where Scotland’s top high jumpers were put to the test. There were further practical workshops by the sprint coach double-act, Stan Madiri and Mike McFarlane (UK) the coaching team behind European Junior sprint double champion Jodie Williams. Terseus Liebenberg (South Africa), coach to 2011 World bronze medallist, Sunette Viljoen, held a insightful javelin practical throws clinic. There were further practical workshops from Kelvin Giles, including a special schools workshops, as well as practical sessions with Don Babbitt (USA), Shaun Pickering (UK), Vern Gambetta (USA), Vincenzo Canali (Italy) and Steve Rippon (UK/Australia).
The practical workshops were supported by seminars from Jimmy Beauttah (Kenya), Emma Gardner (Lucozade Sport), Laura Forrest (sportscotland Institute of Sport), Prof. Frank Dick (UK), Dr. Elio Locatelli, Toni Minichiello. There was also a special seminar with Dave Sunderland (UK) and his athlete Lynsey Sharp (2011 European U23 Bronze Medallist) on developing the young endurance athlete from the coach-athlete experiences.
Presentation material from the conference can be found under "Conference Presentations" and keep an eye peeled for announcements on the line up for next year’s IFAC, 26-28 October 2012, Glasgow.