Welcome to a new episode of taekwondo passion.
The World Poomsae Championships were planned for May 2020, As you probably suspect, they were not celebrated.
Hopefully, Poomsae competition can be done Online, so last week we had the first World Online Poomsae Championships and today we’re going to talk with one of the top poomsaes athletes in the world right now.
She was 4th on Recognized Poomsae in this competition, and has been multiple times European Champion and World medalist.
I’m talking about Eva Sandersen @eva_sandersen, who talked with us about her passion for taekwondo and poomsae, and also shared how taekwondo has helped her to develop as a human being.
When she was a little girl starting to practice our martial art, she was shy and introverted. Taekwondo has helped her to gain confidence.
What she loved more about her first competitions as a child, was to have dinner with her parents after the competition ended.
Eva also shared with us some drills that she uses to improve Ap Chagi and Yop Chagi and how she prepares to perform her best when she is in the mats.
Eva is very young, but determined and disciplined. Surely we will be hearing about her accomplishments for a long time.
Now please enjoy her talk and let us know that you have learned from her in the comments.
The secret to make children remember competitions forever
Eva started to practice taekwondo very young. As common in successful athletes, she was a multi sport child. She practiced taekwondo, karate, and riding among other activities.
Her parents are korean, so they considered it a good idea for her to practice this Korean martial art.
She practiced ballet before, which of course helped Eva in her beginnings at taekwondo.
But one of the most interesting parts for me of her start in taekwondo, was what she liked about competitions as a child.
And it was that after a competition, she used to go for dinner with her parents to a restaurant.
So, what she remembers most of her first competitions is not the results, or the medals, or the performance, or anything directly related to the competition.
Is dining with her parents.
Which is a great lesson, as sometimes parents and coaches tend to think that performance results are the most important things, even with little children.
So, do you want your children to enjoy competition day? You have an idea there.
The ability to learn and take the best from others
One thing that Eva values most of her life dedicated to taekwondo is the opportunity to meet other wonderful people.
When she was trying to be part of the Denmark national team, she had a friend who also competed with and was always very close to Eva’s level. In fact, her friend started to win competitions before Eva in Denmark.
When Eva started to go to international competitions she performed better and soon she started to win competitions outside and inside her country.
But she considers that thanks to that personal competition she had with her friend, they pushed each other to a higher level.
Eva also comments that in a high level competition, you can also learn just from watching.
By the way, if you want to improve and know how the best teams in the world work and train, a World Championships is also a great opportunity to learn. In our past episode Jason Han commented to us the same idea.
Also in these early years she admired the 2x World Champion from Turkey Elif Yilmaz. Who is now her friend and has helped her a lot to improve.
This also reminds us that sports competition creates friendship, not only on team members but also between opponents.
Eva gladly remembers her last European Championships in Turkey, her first as senior and in which she won the gold medal precisely against Elif Yilmaz.
Eva considers a key for this achievement the ability to focus on the performance and not in the result.
Mental training for competition
One thing Eva does in competition to focus on the present is to breathe. Inhale with her nose and exhale with her mouth.
Is one of the first things she learned from her coach. And she does it until she feels relieved or that the stress is gone.
Another advice she gives to us is to be prepared for everything. She means that you have to consider every possible variable that can happen during your competition.
For instance, if you have to be the first of your group to compete, be prepared for that and not let that new situation put some small stress on you.
Or if your group is changed and instead of competing in the afternoon you have to compete in the morning. You have to be prepared for that. And take that small stress out to perform your best at competition.
Another advice Eva tells us is to make a playlist for competition. She remembers that this advice was given to her by Elif Yilmaz in Croatia.
It can be any kind of playlist that you like. Maybe can be one with music that excites you or also can be music that chills you. The most important thing is that it has to be music that you enjoy.
Eva considers another very important tool visualization. Trying to be as specific as you can. To feel all the possible things of your competition, the emotions, the noises, the environment.
If you have lived the experience previously in visualization, it is more likely that your performance will be close to what you expect.
Enjoy the interview.
I’m really glad of the opportunity of talking to Eva. As you will notice on the interview she is not only an amazing athlete but an amazing human being.
Willing to help and really kind with us. I hope you enjoy the interview. You know, if you like please let us what you think of it in the comments section and share it with other taekwondo lovers.