Asian Junior and Cadet Championship 2013 in Bangkok
Etwa 6 Wochen vor der Asienmeisterschaft wurde ich gebeten, das Team-Management der Thailändische Mannschaft zu übernehmen.
Obwohl der Auftrag (wieder einmal) viel zu spät kam, um eine professionelle Vorbereitung zu treffen, habe ich der Bitte der AFAT entsprochen, weil ich der Meinung bin, dass Verbesserungen im Management der AFAT nur step by step durchführen kann.
Wie schon in Bali und Ho Chi Minh City, bin ich Admiral Somded dankbar, dass er keine Medaillenerwartungen formulierte und damit keinen unnötigen Druck erzeugte.
Logistische und personelle Vorbereitung.
Größere logistische Probleme gab es dank der Heimvorteils nicht.
Es gab bei der Vorbereitung 2 Trainingscentren (Uni und Airforce), lediglich im Degen konnte keine geeignete zentrale Trainingsstätte gefunden werden.
Durch die späte Nominierung der Sportler kam es zu Lieferschwierigkeiten der Trainingsanzüge
Hier galt es, wie schon in Bali und Ho Chi Minh City, aufgrund der fehlenden Vorbereitungszeit, Schwerpunkte zu setzen und bewusst Lücken offen zu lassen. In einem einmonatigen Trainingscamp an den Wochenenden wurden die Sportler auf die Asienmeisterschaft vorbereitet.
1. Dabei wurde auf den Muskelaufbau völlig verzichtet, weil er die längste Vorbereitungszeit in Anspruch genommen hätte. Damit waren vor allem die Sportler im Nachteil, in deren Vereinen körperliche Fitness vernachlässigt wird.
2. Auch technisch konnten nur wenig neue Impulse gesetzt werden. Die Fechter mussten mit dem vorhandenen Können auskommen. Da aber die Technik, in den Vereinen zum großen Teil fachgerecht antrainiert wird, gab es hier kein Handicap für Thailändische Fechter.
3. Wie in der Vergangenheit bewährt, übernahmen auch diesmal 3 Coaches für jede Waffe die Verantwortung. Die Gesamt-Trainingsplanung wurde von Säbelcoach Somkhit Phongyoo erarbeitet und auf der Webseite www.phoseko.de veröffentlicht. Durch dort gestellten „Hausaufgaben“ konnte jeder Fechter auch nach den Wochenenden an sich arbeiten.
Dennoch ist das System, so wie durchgeführt, nicht optimal, denn:
- Es kann nicht überprüft werden, ob die Sportler auch das Übungsprogramm daheim durchführen
- Es ist nicht genügend Zeit vorhanden, um die Trainer im Vorfeld einheitlich auszubilden.
- Die Zeit reichte gerade so, um bedingt an Fitness Schnelligkeit und Ausdauer – auf Grundlage nicht immer optimaler Muskelmasse – zu arbeiten. Mit Ausnahme der Säbelfechterinnen von Somkhit Phongyoo hatte kein Fechter die Fitness und Explosivität, um ein Turnier bis zum Ende durchzustehen.
4. In einem extra Papier, werde ich in den nächsten tagen der AFAT einen Plan vorlegen, wie man eine Jahresplanung so konzipiert, dass man nicht mit Hobbyfechtern zu einer Meisterschaft fahren muß (dazu gehört z.B. Planung der Wettkämpfe, realistische Zielvorgaben, Ausbilder von Trainern…. Etc)
Die Wettkämpfe wurden vom Team sorgfältig vorbereitet und durchgeführt.
1. Jede Waffe wurde von einem Coach vor während und nach den Wettkämpfen betreut.
2. Die Unterbringung in einem Hotel während der Wettkampfphase verstärkte den Teamgeist.
3. Das Auftreten der Mannschaft war stets korrekt und diszipliniert.
4. Störend war das Auftreten mancher Eltern, die bis hinein in die Trainingsarea Einfluß auf die Kinder nahmen und so unnötigen Druck aufbauten.
5. Ebenfalls nicht leistungsfördernd war, dass einge Fechter vor und/oder nach den Wettkämpfen Klassenarbeiten schreiben mussten. Einge Fechter waren dadurch so von der Rolle, dass sie psychisch dem Druck des Wettkampfes nicht gewachsen waren.
Wenn es dennoch „nur“ zu zwei Bronzemedaille reichte, dann lag es an der mangelnden Fitness einiger Sportler. Es ist zu überlegen, ob man bei künftigen Wettkämpfen dieser Art von Wettkampftourismus unterstützt.
Für die Entwicklung des Fechtsports ist die Darstellung in den Medien von hoher Bedeutung. Dadurch werden Sponsoren animiert, den Sport weiter zu unterstützen, die Motivation der Sportler wird gestärkt und die Akzeptanz in der Öffentlichkeit erhöht.
Wie bereits in Bali und Ho Chi Minh City erprobt, wurde jeden Tag eine Pressemitteilung einschließlich Video an rund 150 Journalisten herausgegeben.
Zeitungen, Fernsehen und Rundfunk haben von Medaillengewinnern berichtet.
Ich habe schon in Bali vorgeschlagen, eine Kommission mit der Erarbeitung von leistungsfördernden Kriterien zu beauftragen. Es gibt wenigsten ein dutzend notwendige Maßnahmen die geeignet sind, die Schlagkraft der Thailändischen Fechter erheblich zu steigern, ohne dass dafür mehr finanzielle Mittel aufgewendet werden müssen.
Da dieser Vorschlag bisher noch nicht aufgegriffen wurde, werde ich zusammen mit dem Headcoach und anderen Trainern ein entsprechendes Papier zur Verbesserung der Leistungsfähigkeit erarbeiten und der AFAT in Kürze vorlegen.
Für ein Gespräch, einzelne Punkte weiter zu erläutern, stehe ich gerne zur Verfügung.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Bangkok, den 20.03.2013
Approximately 6 weeks before the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships, the board of the Amateur Fencing Association of Thailand approved that I should be in charge of the Thai Fencing Team for the AJCFC 2013 in Bangkok.
The approving of the board once again was late. To make an optimal preparation with the athletes. The time frame was too short. Anyhow, I agreed to work with the AFAT and tried to prepare the athletes as good as possible, because I think that a change in the AFAT is a process, which needs time and has to be done step by step, together and not against, everything should be reasonable. To be successful people have to understand their position in the AFAT, as well as to fulfill their duty. Take responsibility and not blaming.
Likewise at the AJCFC 2012 in Bali and the SEAFF Championships 2012 in Vietnam, I am thankful that the President Admiral Somded as well as the Secretary General Jakravudh did not put our athletes under pressure by stating any medal hopes.
Logistic and personal preparation.
Thankfully to the hosting of the AJCFC 2013, there were no big problems such as flight tickets and transportation before the AJCFC and during the competition.
During the preparation for the AJCFC 2013 we had 2 training centers for our athletes.
One training center was at the University Of Thai Chamber and Commerce
(UTCC), where the foil fencers were able to train. The second center was at the Royal Thai Air Force Academy (RTAFA), where the sabre fencers were able to train.
Unfortunate we were not able to set up a center for the épée fencers, but some were training in their clubs, such as the Kasetsart University, or they did come to the RTAFA too.
To check the fitness of the athletes we were able to see their progress during the general training camp during the weekends at the RTAFA.
Because of the late nomination of the total fencers, there were some little logistic problems with the training suits, but thanks to Mr. Suppakorn Sritang-ORN, it was possible to have them complete on the day of the competitions.
An early nomination of the complete fencing team was not possible, because the dates of the Qualifiers had to be changed, due to national examination, as well as military service of some athletes.
All weapons were completed on 15 and 16 February 2013, except Sabre Men U20.
Sabre fencers from the Star Fencing Club were not able to come on the appointed date. The Team Manager board decided to ask fencers from other clubs, if they agree if the Qualifier for SM U20 could be held on the 17. February 2013. After agreement the decision was that the SM U20 Qualifier will be held on Sunday 17. February 2013 in the morning.
The Qualifiers had to be fenced, because the Team Manager Board wanted the best fencers participating at the AJCFC 2013.
(Note: SM U20 Qualifier looked for me that some fencers did fence dishonest and that they were manipulated/ giving instructions to fence under potential by someone.)
At this point, like in Bali and Vietnam, because of missing time, the Team Manager-Board decided to emphasize on specific aspects, such as power and fighting spirit. To do the complete preparation was not possible due to short time frame and coincidents, such as national examinations, military service, and some athletes took off for the Chinese New Year Celebration.
The training camp concept during this one month was to build self esteem, fighting spirit, fitness and power, as well as to emphasize fencing bouts.
In general the concept of the TM- Board for the preparation was that the athletes train from Monday till Friday in their clubs or in the designated centers. On Saturday and Sunday the TM-Board wanted to have all the over 40 athletes together, to build team spirit as well.
The fencers who were qualified by ranking (18 athletes) and were interested in fencing, came to most of the trainings-camp. In general 20 fencers took the training-camp seriously, and the fencers who had to fence the Qualifiers came after the Qualifiers to these training-camps. These fencers who came for the training-camp after the Qualifiers were the fencers from Nakhon Sri Tammarat as well as from the Star Fencing Club.
The Epee Girl U17 fencers from Nakhon Sri Tammarat went back on 17.February 2013 and returned to Bangkok for training with Gabor and in the training-camp on 20.February 2013 till after the AJCFC 2013.
The Sabre Men U20 fencers from Star Fencing Club came a second time on 23. February 2013 and on Sunday 24. February 2013 only in the morning. After 12:00 o'clock they went back for training in the Star Fencing Club. Altogether the fencers from Star Fencing Club trained with us 2 times.
1. We decided to leave out the period for building muscles, because of the short time frame. Building muscles needs time. It affected fencers whose clubs do not train fitness.
2. Technically, new skills could not be trained because we did not want to irritate fencers. Fortunately, the clubs did train their fencers technically very well, so that this was not a disadvantage for our fencers.
3. Likewise proven in the past already, 3 coaches took responsibillity for each weapon. The general training program was designed by the head coach Somkhit Phongyoo and is public on web-page www.phoseko.de
On this page, fencers were able to see fitness exercises, and train individually during the weekdays after the weekends.
Additionally, I selected for each weapon 1 extra coach, who should come on the weekends as well. Mr. Supoj CHAVALANARUMIT in épée, Mr. Parinya HORPECHAKIT in foil and Mr. Krit STARRAT in sabre.
These coaches should come to the training camp as well, so that the fencers can prepare best. Mr. CHAVALANARUMIT and Mr. HORPECHAKIT were cooperating, whereas Mr. STARRAT, did not cooperate.
Anyhow, the system is not perfect, because:
- It can not be checked if the fencers do these exercises back at home.
- Due to short time, a standard of training understanding beyond the coaches can not be settled.
- Main training focus: Power, fighting spirit and team spirit.
- The time was enough, to train conditionally on fitness, speed, and endurance.
4. In an extra paper, I will hand over a plan, how to design a year planning. To participate competitions with hobby fencers is not necessary, if you plan competitions, deadline, realistic targets, as well as plan to develope coaches etc. well.
The AJCFC 2013 competition were prepared well and conducted properly.
1. Each weapon were taken care by 1 coach, before the competition, during and after the competition.
2. The accommodation during the competition, helped to build team spirit, and kept the fencers to stay focused for the competitions.
3. The appereance of the team was disciplined and always correct.
4. Some parents were disturbing, because they irritated fencers, by entering the training area, as well as interferred the team order and team spirit.
5. One coach, were discussing with me the role of a team manager, because he was not satisfied with me of putting up the order of the fencers for the Sabre Men U20 team. He thought that I should individually inform and ask for permission with the club coaches, before I fill out the team paper. Further on this coach thought that discussing club issues before the sabre men U20 team event is more important than having the fencers warmed up and have some bouts, before fencing in the team competition against Japan. His action was from my point of view contra productive and irritading for these fencers. Sabotage, incompetency or a very high self confidence is here the question.
6. Furthermore, some of the fencers had examinations before, during and after the competitions, this is contra productive. Some of the fencers were not concentrated enough and thus the result of the competition was under expectation. They were not strong enough to withstand the pressure.
7. The co-operation on the first few days between head of referee Thailand and the team manager of Thailand was not very well. it went better during the last days of competition.
If it was to achieve "only" two bronce medals, than it was because of the Epée girl U17 team who won against Kazakhstan surprisingly, as well as Sabre girl U20 team who won against Kazakhstan as well.
These two medals were surprising medals, but proved that sabre girl team is developing into the right direction. They achieved medals at AJCFC 2011, 2012 and this year 2013. There is continuity in sabre girl.
Whereas in Epee girl U17 team shows that the fencers from the south come strong and Korawan Thanee, who was the last fencers showcased her potential. Kazakhstan was leading 40-35, and Korawan Thanee made the last touch winning 44-45 against the strong Kazakhstan Épée girl U17 team.
Achieving these 2 bronce medals, which was surprisingly, then it was because of continous training from Somkhit Phongyoo with his sabre girls who were dissapointing in the cadet category but enourmous in the junior category.
It shows that these girls are ready and well prepared, and that their parents are willing to support their children. Other fencers are missing international experience and attitude to keep training after important competitions. It is important to think about, who is willing to sacrifice their private life for fencing.
For the development of fencing, it is important to be present in the media. Sponsors will be animated and motivated to keep supporting fencing in the future. Athletes/ fencers will be motivated, and the acceptance in the public will rise.
Likewise in Bali and Ho Chi Minh City our media work did inform reporters and news in Thailand. Information and results of the competition were send to about 150 reporters, including news release and a video.
Newspaper, TV stations and radio reported about our medal winners.
After Bali last year I already suggested to put up a commission, who should outline a proposal to support fencers who are ready to sacrifice and have the motivation and attitude to be supported by the Amateur Fencing Association of Thailand for the future. There are plenty of actions which can be conducted to make Thai fencing stronger and doesn't need to invest much more money.
Unfortunately that suggestion has not been picked up yet, so I decided to discuss this issue with the Team Manager staff, which I was working with during the AJCFC 2012 and 2013. The correspond paper to improve fencing and fencers will be outlined soon and send to the AFAT.
For further information about issues of this report, I am always at your service and willing to give you further details.
With best regards,
Wiradech Willi Kothny