New Delhi, April 16: Athletics Federation of India has sustained its quest to bring together an alignment of the brightest track and field coaches by conducting an advanced online education programme for the IAAF-certified Level 2 coaches in the country. As many as 93 of the 130 Level 2 coaches have registered for the interactive programme.
“The nation-wide Lockdown to avert the spread of Covid-19 has left these coaches free and we wanted to not only keep them engaged but also share new developments in coaching,” AFI President Adille Sumariwalla said. “We believe that this lot of mostly young coaches will help India improve its standing in the world of track and field sport.”
Two-time Asian Games medal winning heptathlete Soma Biswas, middle- and long-distance runner Surender Singh, javelin thrower Kashinath Naik, high jumper Nallusami Annavi and triple jumper Mohammed Nizamuddin are among the former internationals who are taking part in the education programme.
Offering a mix of general sport and scientific knowledge as well as event-specific aspects, the faculty shares scientific articles, videos and guidelines with the coaches. Being conducted by Deputy Chief Coach Radhakrishnan Nair and High Performance Director Volker Herrmann, overseas coaches like Galina Bukharina and Dr Klaus Bartonieetz also share their insights.
The coaches watch presentations, are actively engaged and prepare regular homework. Currently they are in a process of replying questions about a planning and periodisation proposal. They had a week to answer the questions, to identify potential fields of application for their own training and to raise questions themselves.
“One of the major features of the coach-development programme is the nurturing of an aligned, highly-educated coaching fraternity. Each coach will be equipped to develop a strong individual coaching philosophy, which will help them to successfully enhance the performance level of their athletes,” the AFI President said.
“The majority of coaches are very young, under 40 years of age. Their experience as athletes is still very fresh. For the first time, they are aligned to the country’s athletics needs. It would easier for them to let their trainees be progress to National camps. At the same time, senior coaches at the National camp will also have enormous respect for the other coaches who have developed athletes to be in the assembly line as international performers,” Mr. Sumariwalla said.
Radhakrishnan Nair, Deputy Chief Coach of India and World Athletics lecturer said the idea behind the programme is to bring the most benefits of the best educated coaches for the Indian athletes, given the huge population base in the country. “In our eyes, the 130 Level 2 coaches are the most qualified in India, aligned to new training methods, new scientific aspects,” he said.
“You will have them serve for a good part of 35 to 40 years. The impact they can have over a long term can be significant,” he said. “AFI has been very proactive in conducting Level 1 and Level 2 courses for our coaches.”
AFI is optimistic about the success of the education programme. The coaches can not only try to train the athletes but also educate them as well as influence their mindset in a positive way. The quality of the young coaches, their dedication to learn new things and discuss new aspects makes the AFI believe that India can be a stronger athletics nation sooner than later.