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Posts tagged “HCFE


As part of my Sports Coaching & Exercise Degree at Hartlepool College of FE I get access to the very latest scientific research etc… but every so often (like about 10 mins ago) you come across a journal that was published years ago but still identifies with today.

The journal in question is ‘Phsyical Activity and Intrinsic Motivation‘ by James R. Whitehead, which was published in 1993.

The name is self explanatory, and the journal starts with a great quote which I’ve copied below:

‘Children are born intrinsically motivated to be physically active . That motivation —if kept alive by physical success, freedom, and fun—will do more than promote the fitness behaviors that add years to life. It will maintain the physical zest that adds life to the years’

I particularly liked the ‘Applying Theory to Practise’ paragraphs as they are simple snippets of information that can make a massive difference to us as instructors/coaches/Sensei when delivering sessions.

1. DO try to emphasise individual mastery

This comes from an internal need to be able ‘ to do something’ competently. It stands to reason that if we find something too difficult to learn, then many people will just give up. If these negative experiences happen in our dojo/training halls in  those all important ‘early years’ then we could inadvertently be ‘turning people off’ sport for life.

2. DON’T overemphasise peer comparisons of performance
Does your grading criteria compare between students? or is it based upon individual performances? Do you say things like ‘why can’t you just do it correct like {insert name here}’. That said, I’m a fair believer in competition and I encourage even our youngest students to give competition a go – I couldn’t care less if they win, lose or draw but I like to see them giving their best and trying. They’re a great ‘head fake’ (Pausch, 2007).

3. DO promote perceptions of choice
People like to feel like they have a ‘say’ in their lives, especially kids! I’m not saying you should give up all your authority and let the kids run riot but you could ask them ‘what would you like to do today at training?’. You could also just give students the choice between a number of options, if they don’t choose what you’d like them to you could always build that subject into future sessions.

4. DON’T undermine an intrinsic focus by misusing extrinsic rewards
How do you answer the ‘why are we doing this’ question? Do you answer with ‘because I told you so’ or because you could get a shiny medal? or do you explain the inherent benefits of the skill, the traditional art that they are slowly mastering… something to think about.

 5. DO promote the intrinsic fun and excitement of exercise
This should be an easy win.

6. DON’T turn exercise into a bore or a chore
I KNOW that I’ve done this in some of my sessions but hopefully not all the time! I like the authors comparison with a ‘diet’ of physical activity and sport. Imagine how bored you’d be if you had to do the same technique every lesson, week in, week out. Again, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be practising our basics, every lesson if needed, but I’m sure we can at least attempt to keep it fresh and interesting.

7. DO promote a sense of purpose by teaching the value of physical activity to health, optimum function, and quality of life
This links in well with no. 6, if students know why they are performing a particular drill or technique then they are much more likely to work through the ‘boring stuff’.

I had a similar experience a few weeks ago in one of our sessions… we had our students working on one of the basic partner drills and you could see they weren’t particularly excited about it. We had to persevere with it as they had the chance of grading soon. I  showed them the application of the key skills  they’d been learning (in this case Kuzushi/balance breaking) in a ‘practical’ setting. Opponent attacks, I un-balance them and they end up on the floor with very little effort. I then broke down what I did and that it came from what they had just been practising. It was like a EUREKA moment, you could actually see things dropping into place with the students.   

8. DON’T create amotivation by spreading fitness misinformation
This again should be a no-brainer. As a coach we don’t want to be endorsing products or services that don’t work, simple really. This includes fad diets and the use of supplements.

I’m not a perfect coach, and probably never will be but I do wholeheartedly believe that you don’t improve in anything without some sort of intention to and the effort that goes with the intention. Continuously. This philosophy is built into our club at every level, every journey begins with the first step. How are you going to improve yourself this year?

The full journal can be accessed here for free: http://www.fitness.gov/publications/digests/intrinsic.pdf for those who would like to read it. I’m sure you can download it and read it on your kindle!

Fitness testing Part 2


Tonight we carried out a number of sport science tests on our competitors. These tests form part of Sensei Carl’s ‘Analysis of Sports Performance’ module in his Sports Coaching & Exercise Degree at Hartlepool College Of Further Education.

The tests were as follows:

The ‘illinois agility run test‘, Power on an electronic shield with Gyakuzuki (reverse punch). And finally we recorded a number of kumite matches from each fighter. This will be analysed by the clubs referee’s over the holidays for favourite techniques used, scoring techniques, movement patterns etc… and areas of improvement.

All this data will be used as part of the 2012 squad training program for our competitors.

(Special thanks to Mikaela White for working the video camera)

European Wadokai Karate Championships

Last weekend a number of club members were in Lisbon, Portugal for the 38th European Wadokai Karate Championships. They were selected as part of the 50 strong Wadokai England Karate Team. The Hartlepool competitors were Carl Jorgeson, Amy Jorgeson, Jasmin Langley & Bailey Reed. They were supported by Sensei Lynne Jorgeson & Sensei Michael Jorgeson who were both Refereeing & Judging at the event and also a number of parents.

The entire England Team performed very well and brought back over 60 medals in all (awaiting exact medal count), the four Hartlepool Wadokai competitors brought back an impressive 14 medals between them. They were 7 GOLD, 2 SILVER, 5 BRONZE.





Us coaches believed that Bailey & Jasmin both had the potential to medal at the event, despite this being their first ever European Championships (or they wouldn’t have been selected) but we were obviously very pleased with the actual results. Both competitors were tasked to train 15-20 hours a week for the past 6 months in preparation, then weekend training camps and competitions on top so they definitely deserve their massive medal haul.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank all of the club members who helped raise funds for the event and also to the other club members who formed an integral part of the athlete support network by keeping the four of us motivated, pushed us that little bit further and gave us a beating when we were too slow in fight training! I’d also like to thank the Sports Coaching staff at Hartlepool College of Further Education for their training advice and the use of their world class Cryospa which all helped to get us older competitors fit for the event.

Not wanting to take this result for granted, we’ve already started planning for next year’s European Championships which are looking to be held in Italy (Rome or Venice). Over the coming months we’ll be pre-selecting potential Hartlepool Wadokai students who can then try for the Wadokai England Team. If you would like to be considered for the squad next year then you should speak to Carl or Amy as soon as possible.

Hartlepool Sporting Association Awards Evening

Tonight was the Hartlepool Sporting Association Awards Evening held at the brand new £53 million Hartlepool College of FE Campus in the centre of town. The evening was a chance for the club members to get together (rather than simply the club ‘managers’ at meetings), an opportunity to introduce Mr Alan White, former Head Teacher from Manor College of Technology as an Honorary Chairman of the Hartlepool Sporting Association and also, and perhaps more importantly, to celebrate some successes within each club – something which we all forget to do at times.

Our club was well represented with 16 people attending (instead of training) with a mix of students, parents, committee and instructors. Each HSA club was asked to nominate a person for each award of the night,’Club Sports Star of the Year ‘ and ‘Club Services to Sport award’.

Extract from Amy’s nomination:

Her dedication to Karate is truly inspiring, the club call her ‘The Terminator’ because she never gives up, carrying on past where mere mortals would have given up long ago. In Japanese the term is ‘Fudochi’ or immovable spirit and is a Samurai principle. 

The sports star award was very easy to nominate, Amy is by far our most successful competitor with medals at Regional, National, European and World levels.

The Services to Sport award was more difficult. We have so many volunteers at the club that each do a fantastic job, above and beyond what would be expected and all help to contribute day in, day out to the success of the club. The aspect that made the selection easier was the ‘Education and Health Through Sport’ mandate of the HSA. One volunteer stands out above all others with this in mind, our Club Chairman, Vince Dawkins.

Extract from Vince’s nomination:

Vince has been the catalyst for a number of significant changes at the club over recent years. All of which were kick started when he signed up to a Foundation degree in Sports Coaching and Exercise at HCFE. Most notably, Vince introduced lesson plans to the club which are now used in every session without fail.

 Vince is also a fully qualified and experienced chef, so added to the nutritional knowledge he has gained in his degree he has been an outstanding source of help to club members, in particular our High Performance competitors. 

On behalf of the club, I’d like to thank all the staff at the Hartlepool College of FE for putting on a great awards evening and the fantastic hospitality. I’d also like to thank our club members that attended on behalf of the club.

HSA Membership ‘Introductory Offer’ Fitness Suite Membership


Tonight some members of the club visited the town’s brand new £53m Hartlepool College of Further Education. The college has only been opened to the public for 3 days so everything is still shiny, and they are still receiving deliveries of some of the kit that will make the place truly world class.

How many college’s have their own aircraft hanger? or Cryospa – as used by the New York Jets and AC Milan?

The building is truly breathtaking and is ideally placed in the centre of town – the views from the top floor are great!

Anyway, as our Karate club is a member of the Hartlepool Sporting Association we have been offered exclusive membership rates to the brand new gym at the college – The Luminary.

The deal is £120.00 annual membership (Paid over 6 monthly direct debit instalments of £20 for the first 6 months), the offer is available until 30th September 2011.

This also includes a free induction, individual training plans, group exercise classes and discounts on Sports Therapy and Beauty Therapy sessions at the college.

This offer is available to EVERY member over 14 years old, and their parents*. For more information please speak to Carl or Vince.


*Under the terms of our club constitution, parents of students under 16yrs old are classed as members.