NATIONAL COACHES WEEK: KARINA KOSKO WANTS TO HELP ATHLETES SURPASS THEMSELVES.
KARINA KOSKO, TRAMPOLINE COACH
Once a trampoline athlete, Karina Kosko has been a coach for over 25 years. As a teenager, she taught this sport to recreational groups at her club, while simultaneously running her own leotard company.
Her organized nature and entrepreneurial spirit led to her desire to establish her own competitive group for children. And so, she got the project off the ground in 1992. “I wanted to teach trampoline to young kids so they could get started in the sport with good technique and a solid foundation,” she remarks.
The training structure she implemented for her young athletes group was inspired by what she observed in the world of gymnastics. “I wanted them to learn how to train the right way, to position themselves properly on the trampoline, to keep their legs straight. I also wanted to teach them a good work ethic,” explains Kosko.
Using the promotional means of the time, such as brochures and classifieds, she recruited six young beginners. In 1995, three young athletes from her group qualified for the World Championships in their age group. “This is what led me to high-level sport. It was a complete coincidence. I did not choose this career with the goal of becoming a coach at the international level,” she explains, stating that her initial aim was to introduce kids to competition.
At the beginning of her career, she counted on the help of her mentor Alain Duchesne, who was also once her coach. “He helped me to familiarize myself with the various steps it takes to help kids progress. In this way, I was able to develop my own training plans,” explains the now high-level coach.
Although her protégés are now adults, the values she strives to convey are still the same as those that inspired her when teaching children about the sport. “Rigorous work and surpassing yourself are skills that I want to instill in my athletes, regardless of their age or level. You come to the gym to outdo yourself, to work toward your goals. Constantly striving for excellence is important to me,” she explains, always aiming to outperform herself as a coach in order to excel in the field.
Her motivation? Bringing young athletes to an even higher level than they ever thought possible.