Taitoatlas
Taitoatlas

How did it all start?

The origins of Taitoc can be traced back to year 2010 when a brand new group training format for movement skill coaching was first introduced at Lappi Sport Institute in Finland. Since then the concept of movement skill coaching has been continuously developing and maturing. The group format for skill coaching has moved thousands of children and youth in various skill coaching groups in Finland. Year 2011 the movement skill coaching concept was introduced to elite athletes as well and Finnish National Ski Team made movement skill coaching an integral part of their training and conditioning.

As we fast forward to year 2017, Taitoc -concept has become a topic of study and a part of vocational education at Lappi Sport Institute. Taitoc coaching and training programs are in a significant role in daily coaching practices of athletes. Both Ski and Freestyle National Teams in Finland have adopted Taitoc programming in their coaching and preparation for the Winter Olympics in 2018.

Lappi Sport Institute is the home of Taitoc. It now functions as an international training center where Taitoc movement skill coaching is being applied, taught and also spread around the country and the world.

Taitoc-evoluutiokuvat-12

Greetings from the developer of Taitoc

Hello and thank you for your interest!

It takes a lot to create something new. Maybe more than anything it requires constant effort and willingness to try new things. This also means that sometimes you fail and sometimes you succeed. Whether we experience failure or success is not as important as the learning that happens as a result. And it’s the learning that will always take us closer to our goals. Taitoc -concept is based on doing, practicing, learning and above all on desire to create new and inspiring things. I would like to share my journey that lead to eventually creating Taitoc.

As an 18-year old I started coaching youth football and boy’s gymnastics. At that point, I did not understand the significance of my work. I enjoyed the time on the fields and gyms with energetic little athletes running around. However, I think coaching was more about me than it was about them. Now, 15 years later, I still enjoy coaching immensely, but I also realize my responsibility and the opportunity I have been given as a coach.

Year 2010 I started as a skill coach at Lappi Sport Institute. I designed training programs and I went around selling the idea of fundamental movement skill training to local youth sport teams. And they bought it! Soon I was coaching 15 groups. The groups were made of 6-18 -year old children and youth with diverse sport backgrounds. At the same time, I developed motor skill training modules for elderly people. The oldest participants in the groups were in their 90’s. I still consider this as a unique experience as I was coaching both 6-year and 90-year old athletes and everything in between. I had an opportunity to observe the whole life long path of learning movement skills.

During those years I learned a lot. I understood what makes a successful coaching session and how to help everyone enjoy learning new skills. I learned how to inspire and empower with coaching and what makes a great skill coaching session from planning to organization. It was important to realize that every individual learns and develops in their own way, and how important it is to be present and to show genuine care for your athletes. In addition, I concluded, that as coach I can give a lot to other people and have a positive influence in their lives. Instead of just telling people what to do, coaching taught me that I am personally responsible and accountable for learning and development of the athletes I work with.

Soon I started with elite athletes. I coached the elite group of various national team athletes at Lappi Sport Institute. I also started building content for Downhill Ski and Freestyle National Team testing and training camp that took place at the Sport Institute. In year 2012, I became the national team head coach for Ski Slopestyle and Ski Half Pipe Teams. I had an excellent position to create the coaching program for very skill-oriented sports with the goal of preparing for Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. At this present time I am the head coach of the training center for Ski and Freestyle National teams at Lappi Sport Institute and I am responsible for comprehensive skill and physical coaching and conditioning.

Taitoc -philosophy and content has been slowly but surely formulating during this journey, whether I have been coaching a 6-year old group on a local field or the slopestyle ski team in the Sochi Olympics. Now Taitoc is at the point where it can be shared with the world and everyone else is able to use it too. The concept is packed with a full library of movement skills and exercises, comprehensive content for building a successful program and a skill testing tool that allows the coach and the athlete to track the progress. Even with loads of practical information, the philosophy and the principles behind Taitoc might just be the most valuable content of all, that is based on my own personal experience.

Personally, as a coach and a developer of Taitoc I feel the responsibility of supporting children and youth on the path of learning. Inspiration is at the core everything and it enables learning. I think the first phase, inspiration and igniting the fire is the most important thing. The second phase is development. Everyone needs their own individual path to learning skills. This is possible, when the skill exercises and the learning environment has been designed with the learner in mind. The third phase is using and applying the skills. At this phase, the basic principles are realized and used in practice and the understanding of how to use the movement library has expanded. Fundamental Skill, Advanced Skill and Pro Skill modules will ensure that these phases and goals are achieved and the comprehensive skill coaching becomes a natural part of coaching practice.

My dream and the goal has been for a long time, that I would be able house my thoughts and experiences under one roof. Taitoc -website has been launched, the tools are ready for action and the courses are already running. Now I get to spread the message of movement skills around the world. My hope is that many will benefit from Taitoc -concept and that many fires of inspiration will be burning.

olli-cajan

Sincerely,
Olli Cajan
The creator and developer of Taitoc

The philosophy of Taitoc

The general level of physical activity of children and youth has unfortunately decreased, and the lack of movement, both in quantity and quality, has led to deterioration of fundamental movement skills. As a consequence, it has become more challenging to participate and to enjoy various forms of sports. Through the following example we can grasp the nature of the problem better and, also to demonstrate some possible solutions. In many areas of life, we learn the tools and skills needed in a given activity through a progression where the challenges grow together with the learner. For example, first we carefully learn the notes in music, numbers in math and letters in reading. After learning the basics, we start to use them in a context and eventually applying them in a new situation. We never had to use the same approach for movement and physical activity as the physical development was always provided organically by sufficient amounts of spontaneous play, games, sports and other physical activities. Hours of daily movement was enough to lay a solid foundation for the demands of various sports. But the world has changed so much that fundamental movement skills are by no means a by-product of regular life anymore and the physical toolbox for building a healthy and athletic future is found lacking.

Different sports have different demands, but even so, they are all built on a common foundation of general motor skills. Music has the notes, math has the numbers and movement has its basics found in a ‘movement library’. The importance of the personal collection of fundamental skills, that we refer to as the ‘movement library’, can’t be overemphasized. A personal movement library enables one to move in a healthy and athletic way and to participate in sports as long as the library provides the necessary fundamental movements needed. What should comprehensive physical training for children and youth look like then? How do you create an environment where the movement library grows and becomes the optimal foundation for fitness and sport skills? Taitoc is designed to answer these questions. Taitoc will guide in identifying and developing the essential content of the movement library. It will teach the principles that make learning movement skills fun and inspiring. Taitoc will be there for the whole journey of learning, developing and mastering the movement skills.

Taitoc -concept is based on the joy of learning and setting up a fire for movement. Even just one learned movement skill can bring joy and inspiration for a life time. This is the reason why Taitoc -skill coaching provides individual challenges that allow each and every one succeed and experience learning. Taitoc progresses step by step towards new exciting challenges and levels of mastery. Skill mastery evaluation gives tools to assess the progress and directs with the selection of appropriate exercises.

The journey of Taitoc will leave one with experiences and skills that are sure to bring many more successful and fulfilling moments through physical movement.