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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Toni Minichiello - Motivation & Coaching - Gold Medal


Jessica Ennis-Hill’s coach Toni Minichiello reveals that long term planning has been crucial to the heptathletes’ goal medal winning success.

The 2012 UK Coach of the Year has worked with Jessica Ennis-Hill since she was 11 years old overseeing her development journey to Olympic Gold at London 2012.

Speaking exclusively to The FA Licensed Coaches’ Club, Minichiello explained that core skills, not medals, should be the main focus when designing a development programme for young athletes.

“It is crucial in any sportsperson’s development that you are looking at the long game,” explained Minichiello.

“[Jessica] came to me when she was 11. You are not going to win an Olympic Gold medal at 11, but you are likely to in your early 20s.

“So straight away you have a ten year pathway. What you are going to be doing at 11 and the number of days you are training when you are 11 is going to be vastly different when you are 15, it’s going to be different when you are 20 and so on.

“It is important you look at them and say, ‘what are the important skills to get into the athlete at a very young age which I can then build on year on year and at some stage make the changes at the right time?’

For Minichiello, a key part of that initial working relationship is establishing a core set of movement skills, not always specific to athletics, that will enable an athlete to adopt the techniques and abilities required of them later in their development.

“It is crucial to give them what I would call a “physical vocabulary” - the widest number of skills they can get in order to when they get to that point later on in their career they can handle whatever you throw at them.”

Minichiello is also an advocate of coaches obtaining the correct qualifications to ensure they are skilled with the fundamentals with which they can they build on with further continued learning.

“Fundamentally what [qualifications] give you are the ideas of how to structure your training.

“That’s what you need. How do I make the session fresh? How can I add new skills? How can I make changes to develop them?

“I find a lot of that is there initially in qualifications. That is the starting point.

“However after that there are loads of resources and you can continue to learn -use of YouTube and talking to other coaches from other sports and reading around.

“The best time is sitting down and having a chat with coaches…it is amazing what you pick up and that adds to the skills and the ideas of how you would teach somebody and get them to achieve.”

The FA Licensed Coach Club

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