Teaching youth development is both complex and rewarding


(MENAFN- International Mixed Martial Arts Federation)

By Andrew Moshanov

It is hardly an exaggeration to say that youth is the future. Most combat sports and martial arts clubs try to offer classes for young children. It is common to see advertisements such as welcoming children of all ages.

It’s more than a global trend, it’s a reflection of the fierce competition between sports for membership. It’s a question of sustainability and for many clubs it’s a question of survival.

As for coaches, many are driven by the dream of finding the diamond in the rough that they can shape to shine like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey. However, what comes with recruiting small children and toddlers into sports clubs is a big responsibility. Not to mention that shaping a future star like Ronda Rousey from the aspect of coaching is akin to shaping a diamond. It is extremely difficult and requires specialized knowledge and technique.

While many coaches genuinely try to do their best when leading the youth classes, we cannot ignore the fact that many of them must be doing something fundamentally wrong at some point, given that 80 % of children drop out of sport towards age. of 12.

Perhaps the principle of answering questions is – what to teach and how to teach and no less important question is – when to teach. At IMMAF, the concept of youth development is based on an understanding of some general global trends and is adapted to today’s realities.

The main point is that the general health level of the younger generation is declining due to the challenges of the modern high-tech era. Therefore, children are less active and are consequently less developed. What is considered exceptional talent today would have been the norm 50 years ago. But the truth is, everyone is a talent – ​​it just needs to be nurtured and shaped.

Coaches working with the younger generation face a huge challenge – before they even think about teaching the sport, they have to fill in the gaps in the general development of children. Therefore, trainers must be fully equipped with the methodology of identifying these health gaps, trained to be able to design the programs to include the beneficial and appropriate sets of exercises and, of course, be the best experts. in their field of mixed martial arts. .

There is nothing wrong with advertisements such as “Children 4-9 years old are welcome”. That’s great, as long as there’s a responsible, knowledgeable, properly trained coach who won’t rush them into early competition chasing the medal bag. A coach who will really care about the development of young children.

IMMAF will roll out a major youth development program from 2022.

We are convinced that we can pave the way for many combat sports because we are always ready to collaborate. First, we will continue to help national federations put together a working group that can do the job.

Another level of IMMAF coaching skill was formulated and took shape as the IMMAF Youth Coach. A few pilots took place in Russia earlier this year (October 20-22) and Romania (November 21-22), with the last one in Greece from December 10-12. We are now ready to offer National Federations the next level of coach education and certification program.

Secondly, IMMAF is ready to share with all National Federations best practices and other projects, led by renowned experts in youth development, such as Danny Corr from Northern Ireland and his extraordinary “Fight-to -Unite”, which helps youth involved with early crime in MMA to mitigate violence among younger generations

Additionally, Richie Cranny from Australia will spearhead a national youth development project, which may gain momentum and spread the wave of excitement with the new opportunity of the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane.

In short, the future is bright.

National Federations are requested to contact AM to book the IMMAF Youth MMA Coach training and certification course in 2022: [email protected] Where [email protected] .


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