Coach of the year credits Turkish support staff with team’s success

Yusuf Goktug Ergin was named World Archery’s coach of the year in 2018 for his role in the exceptional results of the Turkish team. 

He stood behind Yasemin Anagoz when she won her European title in Wroclaw, was instrumental in Mete Gazoz’ victory at the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Berlin – while compound woman Yesim Bostan rose to the top spot in the world rankings during the course of the season.

“This award is the result of hard work and teamwork. We have got a good coaching and support crew with physiotherapy and psychology expertise and everybody works really hard,” said Goktug.

“I am lucky because all of my assistant coaches were successful archers before and they know how to manage archers’ minds. This makes us strong.”

The 34-year-old was himself an archer for more than 20 years. He competed at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 and finished 20th, losing his second-round match to Korea’s Lee Chang-Hwan.

Goktug shot the international circuit for five years, placing top-20 at events on the World Cup circuit but never medalling. As a coach, athletes on his team have flourished – and podiums are regular.

“My goal is to win an Olympic medal with my team. Individual would be great but I think real success is to get the medal with the team,” he said.

“We can find a talented archer and we can make that one archer a winner – but to find three talented archers and create three winners at the same time is a completely different story.”

During his shooting career, Goktug had coaches from Turkey, Italy, Georgia and Korea – and has applied techniques learned from those diverse coaching styles in his current role.

Adding some sports science theory and an impressive commitment to training and training camps has seen archers on the Turkish team become consistent medal contenders.

“When I was an archer I never believed I would think like this, but being an archer is easier than being a coach,” he said.

“When you are an archer, you can have problems; if you are the coach, you can only have the solutions. Even in competition you know your target number, how many seconds you have to shoot and exactly how to shoot. As a coach your responsibilities are wider, always changing and you always have to be ready for everything.”

The extent of a coach’s duty falls far beyond competition, too.

“Coaching is a difficult job because we are creating archers’ futures. We have their life in our hands,” he added.

Turkey’s Mete Gazoz was also named recurve man and breakthrough athlete of the year for 2018.