Dariusz Nowicki, the author of Gold Medal Mental Workout for Combat Sports, was the chief coordinator of psychological preparation for all Polish Olympic teams training for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
An accomplished athlete in his own right, Mr. Nowicki won the Lee Cup in 1991, the biggest taekwondo forms tournament in Poland; in 1986 he won the gold medal in the Poland National Taekwondo Championships. In 1979 he competed in the World Taekwondo Championship (fighting). From 1972 to 1982 he participated in judo and competed several times in Championships of Poland. He has trained athletes in freestyle and greco-roman wrestling, judo, Olympic style taekwondo (his team consistently wins national championship), and karate.
He is also a member of the Technical Committee of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). The Technical Committee of the WTF deals with the development of taekwondo as a sport, tendencies emerging in progress of its techniques, equipment both for protection and for judging, and competition rules and regulations.
Nowicki’s amazing success as the winning factor in Olympic-level martial arts coaching for Poland helped to earn him this honor, but he has paid his dues in other ways as well. He has pioneered the dissemination of eastern European training methods to western hemisphere nations. He is also a successful taekwondo coach and an international referee for taekwondo. His mental toughness program—Gold Medal Mental Workout for Combat Sports—was proved effective at the Olympics and at world championships.
Dariusz Nowicki can be contacted at dariuszDOTnowickiATinteriaDOTeu (the address is written this way so spammers’ robots do not harvest it. To send him e-mail write this address substituting symbol “@” for the “AT”, and period “.” for “DOT”). His taekwondo club has its Web page at korio-olsztyn.pl .
Dariusz Nowicki Conducts Mental Preparation of Professional Boxers
Dariusz Nowicki is in charge of mental preparation of two high-ranked professional heavyweight boxers: Artur Szpilka and Mariusz Wach, ranked 4th by WBC.
Dariusz Nowicki prepared Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, the current WBC Cruiserweight World Champion, for defense of his title against Australian Danny Green
Dariusz Nowicki in the ring with the champ
Dariusz Nowicki Coaches National Taekwondo Team
Dariusz Nowicki—coach coordinator of the academic taekwondo club (AZS-UWM Olsztyn) at the University in Olsztyn, Poland, and founder of Taekwondo School Korio—won the contest to become the men’s coach of Poland’s national taekwondo team. He has been in charge since October 2008. Tomasz Pyciarz is in charge of the women’s national taekwondo team.
After elections of new directors of the Polish Olympic Taekwondo Association (PZTO), Dariusz Nowicki entered the contest for the national team’s coaching positions (“positions” because the team has two coaches, one for men and one for women).
“I entered the contest because such was the need at the time. Since 10 years, fighters of all weight classes and age groups from AZS-UWM Olsztyn take the podium at Championships of Poland. Olsztyn is the strongest taekwondo center in Poland, and the previous coach of the national team, Marcin Chorzelewski, is my student. I believe I have considerable knowledge to pass on and that I can improve the national team’s results. It was not qualifying for the Olympic Games and the recent weaker results in international competitions that caused the directors’ decision to change the coach. Among seniors, only my student, Maciej Ruta, showed consistently high form by winning Championship of Europe twice,” said Nowicki.
Nowicki trained, as the coach coordinator and the direct instructor, the majority of Poland’s best taekwondo fighters. Among them are:
1. Justyna Talan (currently Niedzialek)—bronze medalist of Academic World Championship and of Championship of Europe.
2. Marcin Chorzelewski—bronze medalist of World Championship and silver medalist of Academic World Championship.
3. Maciej Ruta—twice bronze medalist of Championship of Europe.
4. Beata Przewlocka—bronze medalist of Championship of Europe (juniors).
5. Agnieszka Benedict—bronze medalist of Championship of Europe (juniors).
6. Piotr Hatowski—bronze medalist of Championship of Europe (juniors).
New in the proposed model of national team training is conducting it permanently in regional centers as opposed to periodically taking the athletes from their clubs for national team training camps. Such a permanent center for the men’s national team is now in the city of Olsztyn, specifically in the facilities of AZS-UWM Olsztyn and, thanks to the city officials’ goodwill, in the Sports and Recreation Center (OSiR).
Nowicki, who is also a world-renowned sports psychologist and international taekwondo referee, will have to resign from some of his duties. “To avoid conflict of interest, I will resign from refereeing international matches. As far as sports psychology is concerned, I will stop working with other sports and will limit myself to passing my knowledge only to the national team players.” Nowicki began his martial arts adventure in 1972 by joining the judo section of Gwardia Sports Club. The judo training was run by coach Matracki and later by coach Szydlowski. Fascination with the world of martial arts led Nowicki to Wado-Ryu karate and Kyokushin karate, and eventually in 1977 to taekwondo. The impression made by taekwondo coaches Tomasz Gromadzki and Jerzy Konarski, the pioneer of taekwondo in Poland, caused Nowicki to choose taekwondo as his lifetime passion.
Nowicki relates: “The beginning of the taekwondo training was difficult. As I was learning from coaches Gromadzki and Konarski in the city of Lublin, I was passing that knowledge to my colleagues by conducting workouts in Olsztyn. I had to travel often to Lublin. I was also searching for foreign taekwondo manuals and devising my own training methods. All those difficulties strengthened my motivation for deeper knowledge of the Korean martial art.”
Nowicki’s involvement resulted in his qualifying for the national team for the 1979 World Championship in Sildenfingen, Germany. “This was a very important trip. First—I saw world-class sports taekwondo. That was a breakthrough for me. Second—I met a great taekwondo coach, Kyong Myong Lee, who become my mentor. He formed my vision of taekwondo training in subsequent years. He visited our club in Olsztyn several times, and thanks to him I could travel to Korea a few times in the ’80s to study taekwondo.”
Nowicki earned his basic instructor license in 1982, at the instructors course in Lublin. Later, in 1989, he upgraded his qualifications at the class I instructor course, and in 1999 he graduated from University School of Physical Education in Poznan (AWF Poznan) with a class II coaching diploma.
“Fascination with taekwondo and judo made me decide to study psychology and specialize in sport psychology. The natural choice of school was University of Marie Sklodowska-Curie in Lublin. There I could study psychology and at the same time practice taekwondo in the strongest club in Poland,” said Nowicki.
After graduating from UMSC, Nowicki entered work in the Department of Sports Psychology in the Institute of Sports in Warsaw and taught taekwondo in Warsaw Polytechnic’s academic sports club (AZS).
In 1989 he returned to Olsztyn, began to teach psychology at the local teacher’s college (WSP), and formed a taekwondo section at the academic sports club (AZS Olsztyn).
Nowicki relates: “That was the beginning of a very intense chapter of my taekwondo adventure. Thanks to involvement of athletes and instructors as well as goodwill of the city officials, we have built the strongest taekwondo center in Poland. I got involved in the work on development of taekwondo in Poland, and in years 1996-2000 I was the president of the Polish Taekwondo Association (Polskiego Zwiazku Taekwondo WTF), then its vice-president. Currently I am the president of the regional taekwondo association (Warminsko-Mazurskiego Zwiazku Taekwondo WTF).”
Establishing a national team training center for taekwondo in his native city of Olsztyn was the natural consequence of Dariusz Nowicki’s efforts.
Dariusz Nowicki Refereed the First Taekwondo Match at the 2008 Olympic Games
On the 20th of August 2008 Dariusz Nowicki, international taekwondo referee and coach of the academic taekwondo club in Olsztyn, Poland, refereed the opening match of the taekwondo tournament at the 2008 Olympic Games. Two gold-medal contenders in the 49 kg class fought in this match: Gladys Mora from Colombia (fourth place in the 2004 Olympic Games) and Shu-Chun Yang from Taiwan (bronze at World Championship).
Dariusz Nowicki relates: “It was a difficult match. The fighters had an unlucky draw and `ran into each other’ in the first match of the tournament. Additionally, the first match of any tournament is always hard on the referees and judges—who knows what was forgotten by organizers, and both referees and fighters are unaccustomed to the hall. Refereeing such a match calls for great concentration and experience. Both fighters fought very well, but Shu-Chun Yang prevailed by one point.”
In subsequent days of the tournament, Mr. Nowicki refereed up to 10 matches per day, including the gold- and bronze-medal fights. He said, “I think the judges comission appreciated my attitude and qualifications, and this is why I could referee so many matches. Many of my colleagues were disappointed because they refereed only two or three matches per day.”
Directors of the World Taekwondo Federation were very serious about preparation of officials for the Olympic tournament. The selection process took nearly two years. Dariusz Nowicki was selected from 29 Olympic referees (who were selected from among 3,000 licensed international referees) to the elite group of 15 referees chosen to officiate Olympic matches. At three weeks prior to the tournament, the selected 29 arbiters spent a whole week practicing all refereeing procedures.
“The preparation process was long and exhausting but very effective. Thanks to the preparation, I felt great during the whole Olympic tournament—fully concentrated and confident during each match,” said Mr. Nowicki.
“The most satisfying to referee was the final fight of the 80 kg class, between Mauro Sarmiento (Italy) and Hadi Saei (Iran). It was a beautiful fight. At the beginning Sarmiento surprised his titled opponent with high kicks to the head and unexpectedly in the first round led 4:0. Saei, gold-medal winner at the Athens Olympics (but then in a lower weight class), had to muster his best skills to even the score (4:4) in the second round. Sarmiento didn’t have enough experience for the duel with the titled Saei, who eventually scored two more points and won the fight (6:4). Saei is known not only as an outstanding athlete, world champion, and Olympic champion, but also for selling his gold medal from Athens and donating the proceeds to help victims of the earthquake in Iran. I am glad that thanks to the win in Beijing, the gold medal `returned’ to him.”
The 9th World University Taekwondo Championship in Valencia, Spain, May 19-21, 2006
Jacek Jarzynski, Polish fighter trained by coach Dariusz Nowicki and coach Waldemar Lakomy, won a silver medal in a very tough contest and while hampered by a broken hand. Jarzynski defeated Oden Salim from the U.S.A. (in this fight Jarzynski broke a bone in his hand), then Ming-Che Wu from Taiwan, and then faced Mauro Sarmiento from Italy. Amid deafening cheering from the spectators he did his best, but the broken hand and the height advantage (see photo below) were too much to overcome, and Jarzynski had to settle for silver.
Taekwondo fighters trained by Nowicki win like clockwork
Fighters trained by Dariusz Nowicki have won the National Junior Taekwondo WTF Championship of Poland for the ninth time in a row (1998–2006). Twenty-two teams who qualified through three previous tournaments competed in this year’s championship held on April 8 and 9, 2006 in Szczecinek, Poland.
Four fighters trained by Dariusz Nowicki qualified for the Taekwondo WTF Championship of Europe held in Riga, Latvia (October 7- 9, 2005). One of them, Maciej Ruta, took a bronze medal.
Taekwondo fighters trained by Dariusz Nowicki have won 13 medals (6 gold, 1 silver, and 6 bronze) at the 2005 National Taekwondo WTF Championship of Poland held on May 7, 2005, in Srem.
Dariusz Nowicki was named 2006 Coach of the Year in the Northeast Region of Poland for his achievements in Taekwondo.
Taekwondo fighters trained by Dariusz Nowicki have won six medals (3 gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze) at the 2003 National Taekwondo WTF Championship of Poland held on May 11, 2003, in Poznan. With its best fighter, Marcin Chorzelewski (6-time national champion, silver medallist of Academic World Championship in 2002), not participating due to an injury Nowicki’s team still took second place in team classification.
Fighters trained by Dariusz Nowicki have won the National Junior Taekwondo WTF Championship of Poland for the sixth time in a row (1998–2003). Forty-five teams who qualified through three previous tournaments competed in this year’s championship held on April 24 and 25, 2003 in Konskie, Poland.
Team members in photo above: From left Radoslaw Galazka (1st place fighting, 55 kg, 4th place poomse [forms]), Beata Przewlocka (1st place fighting, 44 kg, 3rd place poomse), coach Dariusz Nowicki, Joanna Szafranska (1st place fighting, 63 kg, 2nd place poomse), Kamil Chwesiuk (1st place fighting, 68 kg) Rafal Jaskulski (1st place poomse), Kamilo Golosinski (3rd place fighting 55 kg), behind Radoslaw Grabicki (9th place fighting +78 kg).
Nowicki’s taekwondo team (AZS UWM Olsztyn) took first place in team classification at the 2002 National Taekwondo WTF Championship of Poland.
Archers Benefit from GMMW
Dariusz Nowicki will accompany archers of the Polish National Team to the World Target Championship, which will be held in New York City from July 14 to 20, 2003. Dariusz Nowicki worked with the National Team archers since the beginning of 2002 and his program of mental training is credited with greatly improved performances (see below).
During the European Grand Prix held in Evry, France (May 27–31, 2003) Polish men took first place in team competition.
At European Cup held in Porec, Croatia (May 7–10, 2003) Polish women archers took 3rd place in team competition, and in individual competition Iwona Marcinkiewicz took gold and Justyna Mospinek took bronze.
Women archers of the Polish Olympic team have ended a 20-year bad streak after working with Dariusz Nowicki. In July 2002 the team took silver at the Championship of Europe held in Oulu, Finland. The team used Gold Medal Mental Workout for Combat Sports since the beginning of 2002. Members of the team (Justyna Mospinek, Wioletta Myszor and Iwona Marcinkiewicz) attribute their success to mental toughness—especially the self-control and excellent concentration—achieved through the GMMW training.
Famous Ski Jumper Bases His Mental Preparation on Nowicki’s Program
Dariusz Nowicki, one of the top European sports psychologists and author of Gold Medal Mental Workout for Combat Sports, coordinates psychological preparation of Polish athletes for Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City together with another sports psychologist—Jan Blecharz. Mental preparation of Adam Malysz, famous Polish ski jumper, to a large degree is based on the Gold Medal Mental Workout for Combat Sports.
Windsurfing World Champion Works with Our Author
Windsurfer Aleksander Grynis, current world champion (youth), uses Nowicki’s help in his mental preparation.
Taekwondo Fighters Coached by Our Author Take High Places
Marcin Chorzelewski, a fighter from Taekwondo club run by Dariusz Nowicki, won the bronze medal at the 2001 World Taekwondo Championship (WTF).
Dariusz Nowicki’s Taekwondo club (AZS-UWM Olsztyn) was declared the best club in Poland in 2000 and in 2001. His club won a national youth team championship, a national junior team championship, and took 3rd place in a national senior team championship.
Sports psychologist for the Olympic judo team
In recognition of his past contribution to successes of Polish judoka, Dariusz Nowicki is appointed the sports psychologist for the Polish Olympic judo team. This function is in addition to the post of the chief coordinator of psychological preparation for all Polish Olympic teams training for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Athletes coached by Dariusz Nowicki, author of Gold Medal Mental Workout for Combat Sports, are consistently the best
During an international tournament in Holland (Hantei Cup in Oldenzaal, December 11, 1999 ) his fighters took 8 medals (3 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze).
His team won the Poland Academic Taekwondo Championships (WTF—Olympic taekwondo), November 19-20, 1999.
During the 18th Poland National Taekwondo Championships (WTF—Olympic taekwondo), April 23-24, 1999, his fighters took 12 medals (2 gold, 6 silver, 2 bronze) and his team won the championship. They displayed excellent versatility by winning both fighting and forms contests, for example, Nowicki’s student and assistant instructor, Marcin Chorzelewski took two silver medals—one for fighting and one for forms.
Gold medal for contribution to development of taekwondo
On October 25, 1998, during the 12th European Senior Taekwondo Championships (WTF), in Eindenhoven, Netherlands, European Taekwondo Union has awarded Dariusz Nowicki a honorary gold medal for contributions to development of taekwondo in Europe.
Taekwondo fighters take medal places
At the 12th European Senior Taekwondo Championships (WTF), October 23-25, 1998, in Eindenhoven, Netherlands, three members of Polish team took bronze medals. The medalists were: Agnieszka Skaradzinska (59 kilos), Justyna Talan (72 kilos), and Pawel Nowak (84+ kilos). Dariusz Nowicki was the team’s psychologist responsible for fighters’ mental preparation.
Nowicki is also the taekwondo instructor of Justyna Talan. At the championships Mrs. Talan faced very tough opponents—she defeated the current world champion but in finals lost by decision to silver medalist of the World Cup.
Shooters use Nowicki’s Program of Mental Preparation
In the World Shooting Championships and Junior World Championships held in Barcelona in July, 1998, athletes prepared by Dariusz Nowicki, author of Gold Medal Mental Workout for Combat Sports, performed above expectations. Andrzej Glyda took silver in skeet (this is the first time Polish skeet shooter won a medal at the World Championships since 1976), Renata Mauer took silver in air rifle.
Shooters and their coaches attribute improved performance to their new weapon—mental preparation conducted by Dariusz Nowicki.
Miroslawa Sagun, European champion in air pistol, after a bad performance at the World Championship in July of 1998, used Nowicki’s Gold Medal Mental Workout for Combat Sports to prepare for World Cup in Buenos Aires in August 1998. She credits Nowicki’s program with her silver medal at the World Cup. Here is what she says:
“Before the start I felt inner concentration. During the finals I was concentrated on the task and shot a record score which allowed me to win silver medal. I had overcome mental block that paralyzed me during the World Championships [a month earlier]. Mental training let me release my potential.”
Olympic Committee Seminar
On April 17, 1998, Dariusz Nowicki gave a seminar for coaches of Netherlands national teams of combat sports (judo, taekwondo, boxing, karate). The seminar was organized by the Olympic Committee of Netherlands and took place in National Center of Sports in Papendal.