Dear affiliated federations, as you know, we had to cancel all our international competitions due to the pandemic, moreover only Italy, Finland, South Korea, Russia and Poland were lucky enough to be able to do live competitions, the United States and Mexico did the online competition and Canada had to opt to separate the competitions (online semi-final, live final in 2021).
At this time of great uncertainty, we thought to prepare a strategic plan that can help all of you to face 2021 and 2022.
Computerized Judging System
The first important thing we want to do, is to equip all the affiliated national federations with the computerized system that POSA uses in important international competitions, so that all of you can achieve the same level of efficiency as the International Federation.
We will provide you with the file, which can be easily used in any Pole Sport & Aerial competition.
By June 2021, we would like you all to be able to use it.
Pole Sport Capillarity
We know very well that the number of athletes is very different depending on the region, the state and the economic possibilities, so we know very well the differences between countries: there are countries where the technical level is very high and the participation in competitions is really numerous, just think of Russia, Czech Republic, Italy, Ukraine; while in other countries, some federations, struggle to have 20 athletes in the national championship.
POSA is planning an educational campaign aimed at coaches, to create new coaches more and more prepared.
A good coach is the one who can train the athletes better, and having good athletes means raising the technical level, raising the technical level means being more satisfied and satisfaction brings other athletes.
As you know, POSA has created a new program for coaches, in which the coach can learn how to plan training, modify it in case of need, train every kind of athlete for every kind of competition.
The first experimental International Coaches Course was done in 2016 in Italy, and the results achieved by the Italian representative in the four years 2016-2020, were remarkable.
In 2017, it was also organized in Russia, bringing almost immediately excellent results to Russian athletes, especially in the Junior categories.
In 2020, last January, it was organized in Italy, with the presence of many coaches and athletes from France, Spain, Russia, Ukraine, USA, Brazil, Switzerland, and Italy.
Our intent is to create in every nation affiliated to us, new Master Trainers that can teach coaches the important notions they need to deal with training planning.
Our Greek federation has already started to organize this project internally, but we want all our federations to have this opportunity by the end of 2021.
As we understand it, coaching means being able to communicate your thoughts and vision to the people you work with. In our opinion there are three main components in this process: a technical component, a communicative component and a human one. The technical component is the baggage of one’s knowledge, competence in the strictest sense. The communication component may concern, for example, the world in which feedback is given, or the way you transmit your vision. Then there is the most important component in our opinion, the human one: it is your way of being, the fact that you are always consistent and true in what you do and what you carry on with the group. This is the aspect that really makes the difference even at the level of communication.
What’s a good coach’s job?
As we have said, we believe that the most important thing is to have a clear vision in your head. This vision does not have to be something concrete, like a specific result. It could be, for example, the identity you want to give your team, or your company: the way we want the team to be seen and recognised by others. It is about transmitting a way of expression, a way of doing things, a style, that is it. So, the vision does not always have to be a concrete result, like a medal.
What makes a teamwork?
We believe that the most important thing in a team is to have specific roles. Everyone must be clear what to do. Let us make an example of sport. In a team there are the owners (those who have qualified to reach the top 3 in their category), who obviously have a leading role. The most difficult thing is to find the wingmen, i.e. those who do not have a leading role (those who had a good score in the race, who are growing technically) and enter only in certain situations.
This role is sometimes defined by the coach, but it is essential that it is married and shared by the athlete. This is because, first, a role must reflect the wishes of those who will play it. If the role does not respect the identity of the person, the person will hardly be able to be motivated to do something important (and therefore to improve).
Creation of a National Team of athletes and coaches
The two-year period that awaits us must be one of challenges.
The challenge will be, for POSA, to teach all of you to think as a team, work as a team, establish yourselves as a team.
To do this, we must create a National Team in each country.
What is a National Team and how is it created?
This federation wants to encourage the creation of a permanent national team in each country, directly managed by the national federation, a team that can grow and periodically participate in training organized at a technical training center.
All this is essential to give you all the opportunity to take advantage of a good number of athletes, selected on the basis of their performance during competitions, and gives you the opportunity to give them technical frameworks that can help them to grow and become more competitive. All this is already a reality in all sports.
In this way, the technical level of the athletes of any nation (both amateur and competitive), will grow a lot, making the competitions more and more spectacular and making the athletes more competitive in any national & international competition (both Pole Art and Pole Sport).
This type of work organization is the one that has been adopted since 2016 in Italy, Japan, and Czech Republic, since 2017 in Russia, Finland, and USA.
We invite you all to observe how much the athletes of these nations have grown (at all levels) over the years.
Below, you will find a sort of guideline to create a group of athletes who are part of the National Team.
- First, you must find a suitable National Technical Director (therefore also well trained both from the technical point of view and from the point of view of the rules).
- Obviously, this person must have a high moral profile (therefore, avoid conflicts of interest).
- The Technical Director (or Head Coach), will appoint his/her assistants, who are usually the coaches who train the best athletes in the country.
- The Head Coach and the national federation must identify the sports centre(s) suitable to host the National Team training.
Warning: by Sports Centre, we mean Pole Sports schools suitable to host the training. In sport, as well as at work, knowing how to make a team is fundamental. As most people have experienced, within each group coexist different dynamics and balances that can also be very delicate. But are there any techniques thanks to which it is possible to make a team more united and more efficient? And what role does a coach, a coordinator have in all this?
Do not forget that the athletes who are part of the National Team could participate in different competitions: there will be the top 3 who will participate in international pole sport competitions (World and European), others who will participate in pole art (international pole art and World Pole Art Championship).
Everyone will have their own role and competition, but everyone will be part of the same national team that will represent your country.
The more united the team, the greater the chance of success.
How do you deal with victories? And defeats?
Mistakes and defeats are part of the path, they are normal situations. Of course, they should not be demonized. You must fight to make that normality special by seeking victory, trying to do things better and better. Between victory and defeat there is a very subtle limit: you must be very balanced and manage the two situations with the same idea.
Honestly, one must try not to place too great a value on these things.
Sometimes you say to the team to motivate them: “you have to give one hundred and thirty percent”, “you have to make the perfect competition”. This way, however, you load people with an anxiety that can be harmful. If you ask an athlete in top performance what he/she is thinking, the answer will be: nothing. When you give your best, your mind is clear. If we fill it too much, we risk doing damage.
So, our idea is to always be very balanced in both victory and defeat, not to give too much weight to what happened in both cases and keep our eyes on the vision, on what we want to achieve.
You must go and analysed the “how” has been done, not the “what” has been achieved. How important is it to be able to give feedback in the right way?
Let us start from one premise: feedback is information, and as such it must be gathered and put into the experience. It is by no means a judgment.
Feedback must be objective, and it must not call into question the value of a person. We believe that good feedback, no matter what happens, should always say: “OK, but let’s do something more now”. This message, this attitude, must be honest. It is not a technique, but a way of thinking. If you use it as a tactic, whoever receives the feedback notices it immediately. Sincerity is a fundamental premise, and it is something that must start from within.
This is one of the biggest challenges that POSA will face from a technical point of view, to allow you all to have a growth that will inevitably turn into more visibility, and visibility will bring more paying audience to the events, more sponsors and obviously more interest in our sport.
High Specialization Training Program
POSA, has created the “High Specialization Training Program” and periodically organizes at the Olympic Training Center of Tirrenia (Pisa, Italy) training sessions reserved for athletes and coaches of all our affiliated federations where our Master Coaches, give them technical frameworks on which to continue to work in their respective countries.
It is one of the things we are most proud of and that fits perfectly with everything we have said so far is the High Specialization Training Program.
The first one was organized in 2018, a week-long Camp, reserved for athletes of all ages, but especially Juniores, in that Camp, we gave two scholarships to two Juniores athletes, who were able to train with great coaches and improve all their technical skills, followed by other shorter ones (3-4 days each), and we will continue to organize more of them approximately every three months.
We were supposed to organize a week-long Camp right in June 2020, but obviously it was cancelled due to Covid.
In 2021 and 2022, we plan to organize both short and major camps (the long one during the summer).
One of POSA’s main convictions has always been the search for plurality.
Plurality understood as the set of athletes who play the same sport and who therefore can be happy together, overcoming not only linguistic but above all religious and cultural barriers.
I am very proud of the fact that POSA has started a “working table” with some Omanite Islamic communities through our Master Trainer and International Judge, Nusaiba Al Maskari, the only international judge of Pole Sport (of Oman) of the Arab countries. and we are very close to finding a solution from the point of view of the regulation, which allows female athletes of Islamic faith, to participate in the World Championship 2021 and 2022, with the correct outfit that includes the Islamic religion.
For us, all this is particularly important, as it would be a further step towards the real expansion of Pole Sport, which would start to be everywhere and for everyone, overcoming all barriers.
In this journey, in addition to our Nusaiba, the new affiliate of the Iranian Pole Sport Federation will also help us.
The new two-year period will be synonymous with the removal of barriers and cooperation between different cultures.
This will open the way for all those sports associations of Islamic religion to finally be able to affiliate their federations with POSA and to be able to send their athletes to international competitions.
This is one of the most important objectives in the coming two-year period.
International Relations 2021-2022
POSA for several months, has opened a dialogue with the GAISF, to understand when it will be possible to join GAISF.
We are well advanced in this dialogue; we hope to be able to obtain permission to send our membership.
If this is possible, 2021 and the years to follow will be fundamental for our growth. Linked to all this, there will therefore be a new era of marketing management to start.
Our cooperation with CSIT also continues for the next few years, and we are proud to give our athletes the opportunity to take part in these multi sports games in the future as well.
The next CSIT World Sports Games 2021 will be organized in Cervia and Cesenatico (Italy) from 1st to 6th June next year.
POSA will obviously be present.
The next steps towards international cooperation will be the application to TAFISA (another important international sports promotion body).
Continental Confederations of Pole Sport
The new two-year period, from the organizational point of view, must be that of the creation of the Continental Unions of Pole Sport.
Until now, the European Pole Sport Championship has been managed by POSA in collaboration with the national federations concerned.
Until now, the only European Championship was organized by the Hungarian federation in Budapest in 2017.
During these last years (it has a biennial frequency), it has not been possible to organize the European Championship, due to the lack of a central organization, so we have decided that in the next two years, POSA will found the Continental Union.
The first Continental Federation that was born (with the historic signing of official investiture which took place in 2019 at the World Championships in Finland) was POSA ASIA, based in South Korea.
The first Asian Continental Championships will be in 2021, right in Seoul.
Well, in the new two years, we will work on continental federations such as Europe and America.
The next European Championship is scheduled for 6-7 March 2021 in Sumy (Ukraine), and on that occasion (hoping that the pandemic will allow it), we will inaugurate the European Pole Sports & Arts Union.
By June 2021, the goal is to also have the Pan American continental federation.
Marketing and events
We need to implement the marketing section.
Our weakness is precisely that of the Marketing sector, especially since the Head of Marketing of our Executive Committee had to leave his post for serious family reasons. Since then, few volunteers have tried to help this sector, but it has not been possible to maintain a single line that could bear fruit.
The position of Head of Marketing on our Committee is currently vacant.
2021, will have to be the year of the turning point regarding the search for sponsors and organization of events, it will be a further challenge that we will have to face.
By 2022, POSA will have to have solid economic independence, which will allow us to incur expenses for organizing competitions, events, application fees, etc.
By January 2021, we need to find the right person, the right volunteer, who can take care of the marketing industry.
We plan to participate in the GAISF SportAccord Forum to be held in April 2021 in Ekaterinburg (Russia), this great opportunity will give us the opportunity to expand our international knowledge, comparing ourselves with other international federations and opening new possible collaborations.
This is our strategic plan to grow both from a technical and sporting point of view, and from a commercial point of view, it will be a stimulating challenge for all our federations and for POSA.
These next two years will be the testing ground for POSA, which will have to have a “qualitative leap”, we will have to raise the bar of our performance, and only together will we be able to improve all together.
We must be positive for the future: Everyone has the will to win, but very few have the will to prepare to win, and a team that thinks it is losing will lose … So, all of us, and you, must work on this strategic plan and think of winning, or of reaching the goal.
Winning is not an episode, it is always something. You do not win occasionally, you do not do things right occasionally, you always do them well. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, losing is too.
Winning (reaching the goal) is not important: it is the only thing that matters but we must not forget that winning is not everything but wanting to win is.
POSA Executive Committee
Davide Lacagnina President