16 Costa Rican surf coaches benefit from expertise of ISA Course Presenters

The International Surfing Association (ISA) celebrates the success of the first ISA Coaching Symposium held in Costa Rica August 30 – September 1.

Held in collaboration with the Costa Rican Surfing Federation and Costa Rican Olympic Committee with the support of Olympic Solidarity, 16 national surf coaches participated to receive both theoretical and practical training from 5 ISA Course Presenters in the Americas region. The presenters included Costa Rica’s Gustavo Corrales, El Salvador’s Marcello Castellanos, Canada’s Shandy Kariatsumari, Jamaica’s Icah Wilmot, and Brazil’s Alexandre Zeni.

Costa Rica has proven to be a breeding ground for surfing talent, exemplified by the two surfers that they sent to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (Brisa Hennessy and Leilani McGonagle). The aim of the course was to further develop and improve the coaching standards and best practices among Costa Rican coaches.

The content of the symposium included modules such as long-term athlete development, skills in rescue environments, mental preparation, women’s coaching and being coached, biomechanics of surf foundation, judging criteria, and much more.
The overall focus was centered around a holistic approach to surf coaching — not just making better athletes, but also better human beings.

The practical segment of the symposium benefitted the youth of the local community, as the coaches put their new learnings into use by coaching 15 young, underprivileged surfers from the area. The youth were stoked to receive coaching from some of the nation’s top coaches and participate in a tag-team surf competition to conclude the day.

In addition, the ISA Course Presenters got together after the symposium to review standards and opportunities for enhancing the global ISA Coaching and Instructing Program. They used the time to produce coaching content and resources for the benefit of the ISA’s worldwide coaching community.

Alexander Zamora Gómez, President of the Costa Rican Olympic Committee, attended the course to show his support and commitment to further growing surfing in the country. Gómez presented each participant with a certificate of participation from the National Olympic Committee.

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