Posted On Monday, 12th December 2011 at 09:08
I am pleased to announce that on Saturday 6 people passed the level 1 Strength and Conditioning for Sport Course, and 2 passed the level 2.
There were some excellent examples of coaching practice on the day, using skills and knowledge gained from the previous workshops, their studies and their own experiences.
I always learn something from these days, especially on how the candidates approach the task. Most seem quite concerned about exercise choice, rather than how they deliver and stick to the plan.
I was especially pleased that 1 candidate who made a complete hash of his first assessment, managed to turn it around on being given a 2nd chance later in the day and showed that he is actually quite a good coach.
Reflections on the course.
One of the aspects of this course that has changed is that the final task is now a look at Reflective Practice and how this can help with Continuing Professional Development. This is sometimes a tricky period as people may have failed on the day, but it is an essential part of Coaching that is often overlooked. I don’t count the “score on 1-5” aspect of feedback, it is more random number gathering that doesn’t help.
Some points came up from this group:
- Read the online resources (I add research articles or practical drills every month to the resources section of Excelsior for every candidate to access).
- Use reflective practice: Whether this is daily, weekly or half termly (teachers especially struggle with anything more than firefighting in term time). We talked about using tools like Dictaphones (Evernote is my preferred option at present) or notepad and paper to help.
- Do something different. It is very easy to get institutionalised and work with the same group of people in the same environment and not be challenged. That leads to staleness and not enough critical analysis. Working with other coaches in the same environment, or change sports, or get out of sport all together will help. One of the coaches mentioned using Twitter as an opportunity to learn from others, people outside of your usual contacts and see what they say. Seth Godin, Vern Gambetta, Mike Boyle all add value. “Twitter is coffee break learning.” It is a “stream of consciousness and knowledge, that you can dip your toe into at any time.”
- Courses. Further down the list than you may think. Going on a course may seem like the easy answer, but you have to question how that course will help you. If it requires you to learn by rote some specific text in order to get an “accreditation” , then how is that helping? Of course, some stuff like First Aid is mandatory. Learning is changing, and the current group of A level students will soon realise that there is more to education than “teaching to the test”. If you have to spend £30,000 on 90 weeks where you have 6 hours of contact with a faculty member in a class of 100 people, is that good value? How else could you invest £30,000 and that amount of time? (PLEASE SUGGEST IN COMMENTS).
- Books. Again, everyone mentioned time. Those of us who work for a living, find the time to read a book cover to cover almost impossible. I suggested a couple that are easy to read and in digestible chunks. There is something to be said for learning from a sequence of thoughts and experiences in a well structured book, compared to random journal articles.
- Do it yourself. It has to be said that there seems to be a fear of “having a go”. No it may not be perfect, but all the coaches I saw at the weekend can help their athletes get better. Interacting with athletes, making mistakes, learning and improving is far better than just theorising or paying money out to go on courses. It does take guts and a bit of a thick skin to put yourself out there, but “If not you, then who?”
Everyone then wrote down 3 things they were going to achieve in the next 2 months. I emphasised the need for communities of practice, and not to get isolated. Hopefully I will see some of them in the future.
If you are interested in developing your skills, and improving your craft, then we have some spaces available for the level 1 and level 2 courses early next year. Book now.