From October 1st 2016, Nicholas Elliot Jr. displayed stellar focus and dedication, training twice a day, 6 days a week. And from Day 1 we were impressed with his burning passion to become a champion. There aren’t many 13 year olds out there who would so vigorously pursue their dreams, and likewise there aren’t that many parents who would so passionately support their children’s athletic goals so kudos are also necessary for his father, Mr. Nicholas Elliot for not wavering in his support. 3 days a week Mr. Elliot battled upwards of two and half hrs of traffic to bring his son from Maraval to our facility at La Joya Sporting Complex in St. Joseph to ensure that his son got the training that he needed. Immense respect and thanks are also necessary for Nick Jr’s coach, Master Sherland Florez who fully embraced our supplemental program and often accompanied his student to our training sessions.
So…what happened over those four months? How was Nick Jr. able to have such a stellar performance at one of the Worlds largest taekwondo tournaments? The answer is simple, it’s so simple that you probably won’t believe me (that’s why I’m telling you) Nicholas Jr. sparred a lot! Well, that’s the very short answer. The trend that I have observed at many taekwondo schools nowadays is that coaches for advanced players are still focusing a lot on perfecting technical kicking skills or practicing new skills too close to competition. Once you are a black belt aiming towards a G level competition your focus must be on sparring/tactical (in addition to your physical work of course). Ideally coaches should save the perfection of kicking form for off season/SHORT separate technical sessions/regeneration days.
High performance coach Erik Rodriguez stresses that the 4 factors that highly correlate to victory in modern taekwondo competition are
1) Anxiety management
2) Attack/counter timing
3 ) Distance management
4) Technology management (understanding the electronic scoring system)
These four aspects can only be suitably polished by actual (controlled) combat, not through kicking paddles and shields which though necessary cannot induce a competition ready state. Thus I hope in the future, other high performance athletes can follow in the footsteps of Nicholas Jr. and focus on theses factors to increase their chances of success on the international competitive circuit.
Click the link below to read more about Nicholas Elliot Jr’s Story.