2009 Program News

9/17/09: Spotlight- Michael Faddoul

Dominica: Boxing

MFMichael Faddoul came to ICECP with a mission. He has big plans for boxing in Dominica, a small island nation in the Caribbean. He is the youngest coach in ICECP at 18 years old. But he brings a wealth of boxing knowledge, experience and the desire to improve the structure of boxing in Dominica.

As a competitor, he won the 2006 light flyweight division (48 kilos) at the CABA games (Caribbean Amateur Boxing Association).
He followed that with a bronze medal at the 2007 OECS Championships (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) in the flyweight division (51 kilos). In 2008, he did one better, bringing home the featherweight (57 kilos) silver medal at the same championships.

Currently, he is taking a break from competition to recover from a shoulder injury. He is looking forward to competing in the near future and representing his country again.

So for now, he is completely focused on coaching and teaching a new generation of boxers in Dominica. Faddoul is the head coach of the U-16 national team and an assistant coach on the Elite national team.

His goals differ for each team. He is concerned with more than just performance in the ring from his athletes.

“My goal for the U-16 team is to make sure they have a proper academic focus. Boxing comes second,” Faddoul said.

“For the Elite team, I want to see one of our boxers compete in the Olympics in my coaching career. This would be a big step for boxing in Dominica because we’ve never sent anyone to the Olympics.” And to accomplish this goal, Faddoul developed an idea that became his ICECP project.

“My project is the development of an elite training program from which coaches can train elite boxers in Dominica,” he said.

The program is targeted to help both athletes and coaches and has a threefold purpose. First, it will serve to better prepare boxers for competition. “We have qualified boxing coaches in Dominica, but we need someone to develop such a program,” Faddoul said. Developing and implementing this program will improve the sport in Dominica and increase competitiveness.

Second, the program is meant to help attract more young athletes to boxing. Faddoul said that parents often push their children away from boxing for fear they will get hurt. Young athletes in Dominica are often encouraged to do track and field. Faddoul’s program will improve the training of boxers in Dominica and serve to draw more athletes to the sport.

Third, the program will be beneficial for the boxing coaches. It will increase the level coaching education, improve technique and allow coaches to do a better job.

Faddoul had the idea for this program before he got to Delaware. When he saw the opportunity to participate in ICECP, he realized there was a chance to improve boxing structure in Dominica through his project.

“When I first got the letter [about ICECP], I said, ‘Whoa, that sounds big,’” he said. He followed through with applying for and joining the program because he knew it would make him a better coach. The wide range of topics in ICECP, including sports sciences, medicine and nutrition, will allow him to be more knowledgeable in dealing with his athletes.

Furthermore, participating in ICECP will allow him to implement his program. He said that participation in ICECP will give his development program more credibility and help him gain more support for implementing it.

Besides his project, Faddoul has other goals for when he returns to Dominica.

“I want to host coaching clinics, not just in boxing but for other sports, too,” Faddoul said. Much of the information presented in the program is general coaching education and sports science, and Faddoul sees the opportunity to spread it to coaches of all sports in his home country.

Even as the youngest coach in the program, Faddoul has plenty of aspirations and goals, starting in Dominica and reaching to the Olympics. The early beginning of his coaching career gives him an excellent opportunity to start now and reach all of them.

Sir Clive had many great quotes and tips during the two-hour coach’s panel.  He talked about the process that he goes through when picking a team.  The first thing that all of his athletes needed was talent, because even if they worked as hard as possible, if they don’t have the natural talent, there is only so far that the athlete can go.  On top of talent, Sir Clive looks to make sure the athlete is teachable, can handle pressure, and has the right attitude.  With these four characteristics, the player would have a great chance of making his team.  One of the most memorable quotes that he talked about during the panel was the expression “T-CUP”, which meant Thinking Clearly Under Pressure.  This acronym resonated with all the coaches because so many athletes under perform under pressure, but as long as one can think clearly in those moments, they will have tremendous amounts of success.  The 2010 ICECP was very lucky to have these three great coaches come to share their wisdom and we were honored to have them