Apr 06, 2011 Sports
The momentum in the development of table tennis continues with renowned author and United States of America-based coach, Richard McAfee, who will be conducting an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-funded Level I Coaches’ Course.
“I am just lucky I got picked to come here. You have such a demand here that two courses were a necessary step to cover it,” McAfee told Kaieteur Sport yesterday at the Princess Hotel after a meeting with General Secretary of the local association, Godfrey Munroe.
The Course, which has attracted 24 registrants from six regions, will officially open today at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. The Level I Course will be the second of its kind in about six weeks after the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) had sponsored a similar Course in February that US-based former national player, Sydney Christophe conducted.
The aim is to primarily increase the amount of coaches available to various communities across Guyana as part of the association’s decentralisation programme. Participants from the Essequibo and Kwakwani regions represent the diversity of the new registrants.
“The Level I Course focuses on junior development and learning how to work with groups. It is very basic and deals with junior preparation for competition and development. We will be using a 460-page ITTF manual over the next five days,” McAfee said.
The Course Conductor, who is author of the best selling “Table Tennis, Steps to Success”, made it clear that confidence is an important characteristic as a good coach. He said that he knows that some of the participants will have to work on their boldness.
“All of the participants will want to improve their skills so that they can become better, so it is a serious commitment to get everything working. Personally, I have done a lot of course and some of the participants are always shy, but a good coach needs to have a good personality,” he stated, adding that making the future coaches comfortable in front of groups is part of what he will be imparting over the next five days.
McAfee is Chairman of USA Table Tennis (USATT) and, according to him, he has been around the sport for nearly half of a century, 49 years to be exact. His outstanding track record began as Director of Atlanta Olympic Table Tennis and this is his 13th Course.
The participants will undergo both theoretical and practical work and upon the satisfaction of the ITTF that the newly trained coaches have met the criteria for certification, which also include 30 hours of supervised coaching, the ITTF will mail the certificates. (Edison Jefford)
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