by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
A thorough itinerary was organised; proceedings starting with the prospective coaches performing interviews in front of the class. They were selected into groups and had to give reasons why they had enrolled on the course.
“Looking at the ITTF coaching programme and the ITTF Development Plan, we further went through the post course requirements.” Konata Beluchi
Following later on the opening day, the second session focused on skills circuits, skills awards and talent identification.
On day two, warm up routines, basic strokes and competition formats were the key features followed by a return to the classroom for a session which addressed rules in addition to the duties of umpires and referees. Later a tournament using the round robin format, where each prospective coach had an opportunity to umpire was arranged; both singles and doubles matches were arranged.
“I observed the basic skill sets of each participant, as related to grip, ready position and the basic backhand and forehand drive. Each participant also had the opportunity to work in groups of twos as head coach and assistant coach; an initial preparation for their practical exam on day five.” Konata Beluchi
On day three, the students were able to give feedback on the first two days, all being most positive and grateful for the efforts of Konata Beluchi
“A multi-ball video was shown; then we went on the tables. Here we dealt with warm-up, how to feed, advantages for the coach where students can feed and how we can push higher level students to develop their own hand skills. After lunch, we started with warm-ups using the mirror technique, top spin, short and long serves.” Konata Beluchi
Three days completed, on the fourth day, proceedings started with a Para Table Tennis video. Konata Beluchi highlighted the quote by Nelson Mandela with regards to sport being used as a form of rehabilitation and integration.
Also arrangements were made for Everton Brown a paraplegic athlete to attend a morning session. At the time he was taking part in the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) Games, where he coaches swimming.
“My team and I take this opportunity to officially thank Mr. Brown for taking the time out of his busy work schedule to make this worthwhile contribution to Para Table Tennis in Jamaica. We then reviewed the classification system.” Konata Beluchi
Pertinently, Para doubles matches were staged, the rules of wheel chair play were reviewed.
On the final day, with the help of Kerrian Smith and Stephen Grant, who acquired a wheel chair and crutches from local people, the practical examination was staged,
Matters concluded with course member, Oliver Mair, offered a vote of thanks.
Photos: courtesy of Konata Beluchi