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UIPM 2016 Coaches Conference: Coaching in another workplace

UIPM Family

From Pentathlon GB

The World Modern Pentathlon Coaches Conference proved to be a huge success once again as over 90 delegates from 18 national federations shared valuable insights into the sport and working practices last weekend. The conference, organised by Pentathlon GB, continues to go from strength to strength with the world governing body, the UIPM, providing support during both the planning stages and during the conference this year.

Coaches, federation officers, UIPM officials, sports scientists and presenters were all in attendance and the delegates received presentations from some of the world’s top modern pentathlon nations as well as gaining fascinating insights into methods used by other sporting organisations.

Pentathlon GB Performance Director Jan Bartu commented that “It is of significant importance to the Modern Pentathlon Coaching Community that the UIPM Secretary General, Shiny Fang has joined us at the Conference. We believe Shiny’s support demonstrates the strength of recognition given to this Conference and the coaches in our sport by the UIPM.”

Stuart Mason, Pentathlon GB’s Pathway Manager and conference organiser, was delighted with the success of the weekend and added “The general feedback from delegates this year was that the conference was very modern pentathlon specific and the programme was well planned by way of content”.

The conference was officially opened by event host and Modern Pentathlon Olympic Team Leader Dominic Mahony, Pentathlon GB CEO Danielle Every and UIPM Secretary General Shiny Fang. Ms Fang discussed the international governing body’s plans for the Tokyo cycle with particular emphasis on developing the sport in more countries, increasing coverage of the sport and the UIPM coach certification programme.

Brazilian Head Coach Alexandre Franca gave feedback and reflections from the Rio 2016 Olympics and comparisons with London 2012. He then went on to discuss the new educational platform that the UIPM are developing which will include a designated coaches area.

Two Pentathlon GB pathway coaches, Steven Mason and Russell North, discussed their academy work and outreach programmes over the last 12 months which has introduced thousands of youngsters to the sport of modern pentathlon in Great Britain. Both have graduated through the Pentathlon GB Coach Apprentice Programme (CAP) which has developed their coaching skills having previously been international athletes in the sport.

The English Institute of Sport’s (EIS) Anna Fisher who is a senior member of the South West EIS and has worked with the Senior Pentathlon GB Squad as their Physiotherapist for 2 Olympic Cycles provided a fascinating presentation on maximizing athlete availability through injury and illness prevention.

Kim Raisner, Head Coach of the German Federation, discussed the ‘Role of a Head Coach’ and the pivotal athlete-coach relationship in the German training model whilst professor Peter Watt, from the University of Brighton, tried to answer the question “What do supplements really do” which was based on his professional research into the application of stable isotope methods to measure metabolic and physiological changes occurring in humans during exercise.

Dr Adrien Sedeaud who is based at Instiut Nationale du Sport, de l’Expertise e de la Performance (INSEP)in Paris and has been working with the French Modern Pentathlon Team for the past 3 years provided an insight into his statistical conclusions from the Rio Olympic cycle. This included trends across the years and a ‘what it takes to win’ based on averages from the cycle.

Pentathlon GB National Development Manager Richard Major and ETP Technical Advisor and Co-ordinatior Ann Marshall outlined the English Talent Programme (ETP), the first step on the modern pentathlon talent pathway in England. The programme develops youth athletes and is evolving from 2017 with a three tier structure being introduced.

The final presentations on Saturday were from two laser technology companies with Simon Fröhlich introducing the new brand ALS and the Smart PLT target and Ecoaims’ Jeremy Johnson providing an update on the company’s progress in 2016 and new products they have launched.

Sunday’s presentations began with Olympic and World Medal winning epee coach Dr Gabor Salamon. Dr Salamon specifically focussed on the role and importance of fencing in modern pentathlon, specialties of fencing training in pentathlon and the specialties of coaching in the fencing discipline.

Dario Fegatelli and Jhon Godoy, the two winners of the conference contest – ‘How am I making a difference coaching modern pentathlon in my country’ – then shared their thoughts with the conference. Dario, who is part of the Italian modern pentathlon federation introduced a study of the quiet eye’s phenomenon in the shooting discipline whilst Jhon discussed a ‘Development model for high performance modern pentathlon with limited resources’, a challenge that he faces in Uruguay.

Pentathlon GB’s Jan Bartu and Stuart Mason explained the modern pentathlon academy concept that has been developed by Pentathlon GB.

800m runs have now become a big part of the sport with the combined event consisting of four 800m laps interspersed by 4 shoots. Former GB athlete and World Championships medallist Jenny Meadows and her coach Trevor Painter provided a fascinating insight into the event and the requirements for 800m training.

The final presentation of the conference was provided by Lane 4 Group’s Adam Streeter and Manchester City and England ladies footballer Izzy Christiansen. Adam works as the people and team development lead for the FA and the duo focussed on the key inputs that the England Ladies team have worked on, seeing the Lionesses go from strength to strength over the past couple of years, leading to a 3rd place finish at last year’s World Cup in Canada.

The conference closed with an open forum, providing all of the delegates in attendance with an opportunity to raise questions and respond to subject areas that are currently key in modern pentathlon coaching. Topics included laser technology, live streaming of international events, rules, coaching certification and talent pathway and outreach programmes.

Pentathlon GB Performance Director Jan Bartu officially closed the conference by thanking all of the delegates who had attended and contributed and those behind the scenes who had made the conference possible.

The World Modern Pentathlon Coaches Conference will return in 2017 and is currently scheduled for the weekend of 10th-12th November at the Manchester Conference centre.

All presentations from the 2016 World Modern Pentathlon Coaches Conference can be downloaded here.

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