Bradly Sinden is the first Great Britain male World Champion. He made it on the last World Taekwondo Championships in Manchester.
Before it, he also won a bronze medal in Muju 2017 World Championships.
Bradly is really mature for his young age and an example of determination. Weeks before to win the gold medal in the World Championships, he was so injured that he couldn’t even kick.
Hearing the interview with him you can learn:
What can children learn from other sports that can help them ih taekwondo?
Why do you have to focus on your performance and not on the results?
What facilities does a world class training center have?
How he and his team managed months of injuries before his participation in the Worlds?
Why should parents not push a lot of pressure on children growing in the sport?
How to fight against taller opponents?
His first steps in taekwondo and multisport past.
He started doing taekwondo at age 4 in his hometown Doncaster. Along with taekwondo he practiced other sports like football and running.
He considers that training other sports improves your overall fitness and learning the basic tactics of other sports can help you as a sparring athlete.
His club instructor and Sarah Stevenson’s instructor were friends. Sometimes he went to trained to her club when she was already a national team member.
When Sarah’s Stevenson won the bronze medal at Beijing 2018 Bradly was just a kid. But he thought that Sarah’s, a person like him, coming from his same small town, could achieve any dream as she put her mind set on it.
Great Britain Taekwondo’s success and the importance of patience for young athletes.
Sarah’s bronze medal at Beijing 2008 was of big help for British taekwondo, because it was their first olympic medal in taekwondo.
The funding and support that came after that olympic medal was one of the keys to the later success of GB Taekwondo program.
Creating a synergy that was increased later with Jade Jones later Gold Medal in London 2012.
When he was 10 and he started in competition and watching the top performers of the sport winning big tournaments like the Olympics made him to decide that taekwondo was what he wanted to do in his future-
At the beginning of his career he usually did well in training but sometimes it didn’t transfer to performance in competition.
He considers patience is very important for every athlete. “The time clock is different for everybody”. So, there is no need to rush.
If you work hard your moment will come.
International take off and how to learn from every experience
He won his first international medal as a cadet in the 2012 Belgium Open. In 2015 he won the European Youth Championships. He considers that tournament a breakthrough moment in his career.
His coach as a youth was Martin Stamper, a former World Bronze medalist who started his career as a coach with the GB Junior team.
In 2016 Martin Stamper started to train the senior team and Bradly had to train a lot and prove that he deserved a place in the GB taekwondo academy.
With less than a year in the academy he achieved a bronze medal in the Worlds of Muju but he still was not happy with it.
He is a perfectionist so it took a while for him to digest the bronze and realize that it was not a negative experience.
He had to learn from the experience and take the positive things.
How to learn from events when you don’t medal?
In events that you don’t win a medal you have to look at how you perform.
Sometimes you don’t win the medal but maybe you fought the best person in that weight class in the first fight, and maybe you had a great fight, and just lost for a few points or certain action.
You don’t have to focus on that you didn’t win the medal.
Bradly analyzes his performance in every tournament with his coach, focusing on what he did well and things that he needs to improve.
Resilience, teamwork, ability to adapt and the World Championships in Manchester
Bradly is usually a mentally strong athlete. In high performance sports, that strength is necessary to overcome difficult moments.
One characteristic of high performance sports is that you demand the best from your body and your mind.
You will train very close to the edge between top performance and injury.
Before 2019 Worlds. Bradly faced months of constant injuries that didn’t allow him to train in an ideal way.
Starting the year he won the Presidents cup but he got injured in his first fight and could not train for a few weeks. After recovery he came back and was injured again.
GB had a big training camp that was an opportunity to train and do test matches with some other top athletes like the french team and Amhad Abugaush. By that time Bradly was injured.
He comments that you can’t miss those opportunities. So his team decided not to train because he was severely injured but to do the test matches.
Another important point is that weeks before the Worlds, he was so injured that he could not even kick.
What can you do when you are facing a World Championship competition of taekwondo and you cannot kick?
Do you just go home, rest and hope for the best?
That’s not an option.
The solution in Bradly words was to smash conditioning.
If you stop training kicks for a small period of time you won’t forget how to kick.
But you need the confidence of knowing that your body will be prepared for the demands of five or six fights that going for the gold medal implies in a World Championships.
His World Championships gold medal proved that the strategy worked.
Even he faced really difficult matches. For example, he stopped the winning streak in the World Championships of Lee Dae Hoon, one of the top performers in the history of taekwondo.
Please enjoy the interview.
You can hear it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Overcast.