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Session 8 | Connecting, creating and communicating from a far: Revisiting the use of digital technologies with high performance Martial Arts athletes

A talk by Blake Bennett
University of Auckland

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About this talk

Success in sport relies on access to quality coaching, yet in many sports organisations—particularly those with limited human and financial resources—access to coaching expertise can be problematic. Even where coaching capability may exist, access to and retention of coaching staff for high-performance teams can be inconsistent and dependent on a number of factors. Here I will discuss some of the specific factors that led me to design and implement an initiative to connect, create, and communicate with several high-performance kendo athletes, via video calling/conferencing technologies, during their preparation for a World Championship event in 2018. I will provide a description of the coaching methods I use which highlights how easily accessible technologies can enable consistency and benefit the coach–athlete relationship where face-to-face exchanges between coach and athlete(s) are limited. However, to ensure athletes benefit from the experience it does require the coaches and athletes to have developed some connection or rapport.

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