WTF Inaugurates 5-day Coaching Seminar
SEOUL, Korea (Oct. 19, 2016) – Lively discussions are taking place as the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) offers the world’s leading taekwondo coaches a voice in the future direction of the sport at the first-ever “WTF Coach Seminar.”
The aims of the seminar, which has invited the coaches of the top 30 taekwondo nations from across the world, and runs from Oct. 17-Oct 21 in central Seoul, are two-fold: To share international best practice in taekwondo coaching and related national team issues; and to elicit feedback on WTF policy and the direction that the sport of taekwondo is taking.
“We have to innovate rules and regulations and the Protector and Scoring System (PSS) and everything: I really want to make our sport one of the most interesting and dynamic – and of course fair and transparent,” WTF President Chungwon Choue said during a Q&A with attendees at the week-long workshop. “That is what we are going to do from now on, so this workshop and forums is very important.”
Discussion thus far has been open – and lively.
“There have been a number of subjects discussed, and as it is about the future, it is emotive!” said attendee WTF Technical Committee Member Gary Hall. “People have opinions and views that they believe will take the sport forward.”
The strong views being aired are unsurprising given the level of talent and experience represented at the seminar.
“These are superstar coaches – the Iranian who made today’s Iranian taekwondo! The French coach who is the chairperson of the coaching committee and a symbol of female leadership in taekwondo!” said WTF Director General Jin-bang Yang. “And we also have some coaches from small countries with strong teams – like Belgium and Serbia – to ask them about their recipes for success.”
The coaches are undertaking dialogs with the WTF Technical Committee on desirable changes to the game as the WTF takes its first steps on the path to Tokyo 2020. The four major categories of discussion are: competition rules; systems (such as rankings and seedings); image of the game (such as uniform designs and sport presentation); and PSS.
In a Q&A session between Choue, visiting WTF Continental Unions presidents and the attending coaches, issues raised included: The professionalization of referees; the possibility of adding more weight categories (and/or a team competition, in addition to the current individual matches) to the Olympic program; and the further development of, and investment in, the PSS – with the goal being the PSS changing in response to the requirements of the sport, rather than vice versa.
The coaches are also presenting to each other on issues as varied as training center establishment and management and talent scouting programs; on coaching philosophies; and on teaching strategies for different categories of players, such as juniors and females.
“The big purpose is that the WTF has been trying to establish new coach education programs and certification programs for so long but it has never succeeded: We tried a couple of times a long time ago!” said Yang. “At this time, the WTF is trying to set up coach certification programs from the grassroots level to the very top, so this is the starting program: top-down, not bottom-up.”
The attendees also got the chance to present their wish lists to WTF authorities – eliciting what kind of policies the coaches want from the WTF in terms of conveniences in championship management, etc.
Having elicited feedback from the coaches, the Technical Committee will present a range of proposed changes to the game – in the four above categories – to the WTF’s Executive Committee at the end of the week.
Those changes that are agreed upon by the Technical and Executive committees will be presented to the WTF Council and WTF General Assembly in Burnaby, Canada, in November, on the sidelines of the WTF World Taekwondo Junior Championships. They will then be implemented in WTF competitions, starting from 2017.