Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

Abstract - The coach’s work and tasks in the first stages of training

The author describes and discusses – taking advantage of his many years of practical experience, first as a competitor and then as a coach (he has been in fencing since 1935), numerous tests, research and literature – the first, introductory period of athlete’s training. He pays special attention to children motivation which in many respects differs markedly from adults motives and stresses the importance of youth and children sport enjoyment. The children should enjoy training; and taking part in their first competitions. They ought to know their branch of sport (cognitive aspect) and love it (emotional aspect), The sources of pleasure and sport enjoyment for children ought to be versatile – of extrinsic and intrinsic origin, connected and not connected with the performance and. competition results. The author also discusses in detail the coach’s motivation, attitudes, knowledge, practical skills and motivation as well as his tasks in the process of training, including children and youth education and developing their positive dimensions of personality. He also stresses the importance of certain aims, tasks, methods particularly important in children and youth training and coaching- and yet very often underestimated and neglected. He underlines that training in the first, introductory stage is a typical education for the future. The “real” results, high level of performance, competition success ought to come at next stages of long, many years lasting process of athletic training, Educational and training tasks (level of energy fitness, level of co-ordination, mastering the basic technique and tactics of a given sport) at the introductory stage are far more important than mere results in first, junior competitions. The high, stable results and sound progress ought to be obtained in the next stages of training. And this depends on the quality, right choice of forms and methods of exercises, right level and direction of motivation (intrinsic motivation and information aspect of extrinsic motivation), educational influence exerted by the coach at the first stage of training process. Although this article refers mainly to fencing, many statements, remarks, advice, methods, etc. may be very useful also in other branches of sport, especially in sports where there are numerous motor skills, open skills of cognitive-motor type, with great importance of tactical and psychomotor abilities (contest sports, games).