Australian Taekwondo and the Combat Institute of Australia (CombatAUS) are pleased to announce that High Performance Coach, Ryan Carneli, will join CombatAUS this month, as its National Program Coach.
Working under Australia’s National Performance Coach, Seokhun Lee, Carneli will provide technical coaching to elite and developing Taekwondo athletes at the National Performance Centre in Melbourne.
“I’m proud to be taking on this role with CombatAUS to develop Australia’s current, and next wave of elite Taekwondo athletes,” Carneli said.
“Working together with one of the best coaches in the world, Seokhun Lee, I believe that we can raise the level of Australia as a whole and deliver success on the World stage.
“I’ve been on a few trips with Seokhun now and we get along really well. We have the same type of energy, the same hands-on style of working with the athletes, and I think [taking on this position] is good for me, good for him and good for Australia.”
CombatAUS CEO, Alex Vallentine, said this appointment is another boost to the ongoing enhancement of the national Taekwondo High Performance program.
“The appointment of Ryan Carneli as Taekwondo National Program coach is another positive step forward in the ongoing development and professionalisation of our Taekwondo program,” Mr Valentine said.
“Working closely with National Head Coach Seokhun Lee, Ryan will offer extra knowledge, experience and capacity to best support our Taekwondo athletes on the road to Paris 2024 and beyond.”
Dave Crosbee, Director High Performance at the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) and CombatAUS’ funding partner, said, “It’s great to have Ryan on board to assist Seokhun in the coaching of the program. With the full coaching and support team now in place, the program can build on the initial momentum generated this year to prepare athletes to be successful on the international stage.”
A decorated junior athlete, Carneli represented Australia at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and has coached the Cadet, Junior and Senior National Teams. Most recently, he was a coach for Australia's National Team at the Senior World Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico.
“My aim is to help a wider group of athletes and just really, bring everyone together.
“I think Seokhun’s done a really good job of creating a positive environment in Australia and within the NPC. I believe I can add to that and show that the NPC program and CombatAUS’ support is good for Australian Taekwondo."
Carneli will also support the Australian Taekwondo Performance Pathways Program in developing Australia's next generation of young talent.
“We’ve got those links with the performance pathway programs, which allows us to help a wider range of athletes. I think that’s the ultimate goal – to help bring everyone up and create a larger pool of athletes to enter these competitions, make national teams, and perform well overseas.
“I’ll be able to provide Seokhun with more information about the Australian landscape and the juniors coming through. We can work together and work on that next wave of athletes and they can support the seniors, and it will help the whole Australian team get better.”
In addition to his success as a national coach, Carneli is the owner of one of Australia’s most successful Taekwondo clubs, Notorious Martial Arts.
Carneli says his coaching success to date is down to his ability to tailor his teaching strategies to each individual athlete.
“I get to know people first and then teach them using the best methods for them, rather than just dictating what to do, when to do it, and so on.
“I feel like getting to know the person first is important, so then we can communicate on a different level and they can see that I care about them. Then, they’re willing to put in the extra effort to improve themselves.”
A Junior World Championship and Senior World Cup medallist, with further domestic and international success under his belt, Carneli knows what it takes to compete at the highest level, and he gets just as much satisfaction helping other athletes succeed on the mats.
“It’s a different feeling, but I definitely get a huge kick out of athletes achieving something whilst I’m in the background.
“I actually feel like some of my students’ fighting and achieving certain goals has probably made me more happy than some of the stuff that I’ve done in my own fighting career.”
Carneli will now set about contributing to the strategic direction of Taekwondo in Australia, both technically and tactically.
Maintaining a world-class daily training environment will be a key part of his role as well as maintaining an athlete-centred, performance-focused culture.
“Having a new entity like CombatAUS looking over combat sports is perfect. We can all work together and share ideas. It’s perfect for all combat sports to be housed under the same roof.
“I’m definitely excited to work in this high-performance environment and help our top-end athletes.”