The Czech Olympic Committee (COC) has welcomed more than 300 guests to participate in the 10th edition of the Bridges for Trainers Conference in Prague.
The Conference, which was first held in 2014 and is organised by the COC’s Coaches Academy, focused on the connection between theory and application in sports performance.
Coaches from national sports teams, members of over 30 International and National Sports Federations and representatives from more than 100 elite clubs, gathered to discuss the future of sports coaching.
The Conference is held twice a year and aims to use the experience of successful coaches, athletes and sports administrators from all over the world to inspire the future generation of Czech sports coaches.
Among those in attendance was Czech former National Basketball Association star Jiří Welsch, ex-Czech national football team players Pavel Horváth, Radek Bejbl, Jan Suchopárek and Luboš Kozel, and Olympic bronze medal-winning ice hockey player Václav Prospal.
"I attended the Bridges conference for the second time, but this time I was here as a guest rather than a speaker," Welsch said.
"I am delighted that people in sport want to educate themselves and that they are willing to share their knowledge and information outside of their clubs and organisations.
"Trainers and people in clubs working together and sharing their experiences with other clubs is clearly the right path."
COC President and International Olympic Committee member Jiří Kejval participated in the first panel of the Conference, entitled "Leading big teams".
He was joined by Tomáš Paclík, the owner of UEFA Champions League competitors Viktoria Pilsen, as well as David Mareček, the chief executive of the Czech Philharmonic.
This was followed by a presentation from Matt Hale, the academy manager of English Premier League football team Southampton.
Hale spoke about the importance of connecting football and academic education for young players.
Additionally, Daniele Baiesi, the sports director at FC Bayern Basketball club, discussed how building a strong culture in a sports organisation or team helps the collective effort of realising a clear vision.
British sports psychologist Ken Way, who has worked with coaches and players of many elite sports teams, including Leicester City, the 2015-2016 English Premier League champions, then spoke about how coaches can ensure they maximise performance from everyone in the team.
"I am extremely proud of everyone involved in the organisation of this excellent conference," Kejval said.
"The Czech Olympic Committee truly believes in the value of sharing experience of sport.
"The expert speakers from all over the world offered great insights, which will be very helpful to the current and future generations of Czech sports coaches.
"We are looking forward to organising the next edition already."