the development of online coaching limits – … stakeholders weigh in on virtual training limitations | Sports

Zoom has become a very popular audio and video conferencing platform during the Covid-19 pandemic and while some sporting event organizers have taken advantage of its benefits, its limitation in athlete development presents major challenges.

The online communication platform brings coaches and athletes together virtually, but keeps them apart from each other physically, allowing them to train and run workshops under the guideline of social distancing from the government, as a precaution against the coronavirus.

Karate is a sport, which uses the platform for the development of their athletes.

President of the Jamaica Karate Federation, Tony Robinson, said his athletes are well suited to this training method, which is used to help them keep fit under the current restriction.

“These Zoom classes conducted by the Jamaica Karate Olympic Qualifying Team are the modern version of those ancient training methods,” Robinson said. “Zoom classes allow students to interact with the team, hone their skills and also gain valuable experience from Olympic hopefuls. »

Despite welcoming the platform’s positive impact, Robinson also admitted that there are several downsides, especially since karate is an interactive and physical discipline.

“Zoom classes are limited in this aspect because there can’t be students to physically touch or correct,” Robinson said. “Most importantly, there can be no fights via Zoom and that’s the biggest downside of all. »


Robinson also pointed out that competitions are important for athlete development and that is not possible online.

“At this time of Covid-19, students cannot participate in clinical training and qualifying tournaments as these have all been cancelled,” he said.

Meanwhile, GC Foster College’s Principal of Physical Education and Sports, Maurice Wilson, had similar views to Robinson.

“Zoom has a place for sports. From a theoretical point of view, you can use it to present information, coaching points, outline areas of weaknesses and you can upload videos that show a model of a particular execution of an activity that you want,” Wilson said.

“However, it takes away the human touch, the contact, of giving corrections to athletes physically and having face-to-face discussions,” Wilson said. “Zoom keeps coaches and athletes connected virtually, but there is a need for physical interaction. »

Sharla Williams

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