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Posted in: Area for Member Introductions

How to share good practice amongst volunteer grassroots coaches

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  • Volunteer grassroots coaches more than often have full time jobs and fit in coaching with family life.

    I thought would be great to get people to share ideas of how they/coaches at this level can share best practice within own sports!

    such as development of coaching drills, sports specific games like situations,coaching concept and principles in that sport.... Etc

     · Jon Woodward, Lawrie O'Keeffe and 2 others like this.
     
  • That's a difficult one to answer, Wendy.

    A forum like Connected Coaches might seem to be the obvious place, but perhaps the conversation is sometimes a little too "meta" - talking about talking about how to coach?

    And the scope is huge - I would not come here for answers on how to bowl a cricket ball (although I have asked a group member about throwing javelins...).

    There is certainly a role for NGBs to encourage more sharing, perhaps through their CPD programmes. A challenge for course tutors, but perhaps they need to emphasise that being a coach is a journey, and that passing a level I or II (or higher) is only the beginning?

    But where should that sharing of ideas take place?  (I know - that was the original question.)

    I am lucky enough to work with two groups of coaches, some of whom can be very generous with their time and willingness to share ideas. But I coach often, in different environments...and I do like to talk!

    For a volunteer, working in a club, perhaps with only a couple of coaching colleagues, at most, that opportunity to share ideas is much reduced.

    National and regional coaching conferences can be very good, but how often do you talk to someone you would not see every week? And how many "two hours a week" coaches can spare the time (or money) to go to conferences?

    Perhaps local workshops, with an ex-athlete or a coach from a local professional club to attract an audience (and bring practical experience, of course), with the express purpose of sharing ideas?

    A revolution in coach education? Or just an investment in continuing personal development for volunteer coaches?

     · Lawrie O'Keeffe likes this.
     
  • Hi Wendy

    Hope you are well. ConnectedCoaches was developed to hopefully give you the opportunity to do just that smile (granted there are plenty of other ways though wink). Whilst it is a cross sport community you can absolutely still share best practice, drills etc specific to your own sport within the groups depending on your preferred format.

    For example...

    In conversations the "attach files" option when starting or replying to a conversation should enable you to upload/share your sessions in a variety of formats e.g. word, pdf. Alternatively you can do as Jon Woodward did here on his What do you do to make your sessions fun and engaging? conversation and type his session out.

    For those members who have requested to submit blogs for publishing (for those interested more info under blogs in the participation guidelines) they can also use the attachment tab as Rich Allen has done on his Objectively Linking Player Development Plans to Performance Analysis where at the end of his blog he includes player development plans and challenges templates (with the permission of Derby County Football Club)

    All members can also share videos within each group (click share, share a video etc) by pasting a link from a website that is accessible by the general public e.g. YouTube. These can be sport specific drills. As you will see Paul Thompson shared a football drill that was available on YouTube 6v3 possession game from Real Madrid Academy. Granted if you wanted to do that yourself you would have to record it and upload it to your own YouTube channel so there is time involved in doing that!

    Lack of time is obviously a big thing for coaches so the intention is that coaches can dip in and out of ConnectedCoaches at a time to suit (one member has commented that it is like going to a conference in the comfort of their home!), whilst also making connections with other coaches through participating that turn into “off line relationships” where they also continue the exchange of ideas/talk in more depth on coaching related matters. I know of a number of coaches who have done this both in the same sport and different sports – Andrew being one!

    Long term the aim is very much to also facilitate offline ConnectedCoaches meet ups to help coaches make connections, share best practice etc but that’s a bit later on in the journey!

    I know it’s not sport specific but sports coach UK run workshops (through partners e.g. governing bodies of sport, county sports partnerships etc) around various subject areas, where one of the things that always comes back from coaches is it’s great to have the chance to share ideas between fellow coaches. If you (or anyone else) is ever interested there is more info about the workshops here 

    Hopefully look forward to you sharing some of your drills in the future smile

    Cheers

    Rob

     · Wendy Russell, Andrew Beaven and 1 other like this.
     
  • Hi Rob,

    I was talking to a group of coaches and they didn't see the point of discussing things online or across sports. So when I have directed them to join connected coaches, they wanted to know what would be the advantage? I have set this up, so I can get feedback on the topic and then share that with them. To encourage them to join!

    :-) 

     · Rob Maaye and Andrew Beaven like this.
     
  • I agree that this is a big issue. My husband fits squarely into the category of coach you are talking about, as do the 8 coaches who coach in the club rugby age group that I managed for 3 years.  As a rule of thumb, they all coach for the following reasons: (i) their sons are in the squad; (ii) someone had to step up to the plate and offer to coach; (iii) they played a lot of rugby in their youth and love the game; and (iv) they find it rewarding.  However, for all of them, it is an 'added' extra around their day jobs, plus general family life.  Importantly though, if they didn't do it, there would be no one to coach the squads.

    So the big challenges are: (i) time; and (ii) inclination to develop. They will do the courses that are required of them (ie rugby ready, level 1) but struggle with anything else.  One suggestion put forward has been to start developing a bank of resources (ie drills etc) that each age group can share and use, but that requires someone to take the lead, plus communication and cohesion between the age groups, which doesn't always happen.  There are of course a myriad of ways in which the coaches could share information and knowledge online, but again, where is their motivation and time to do so?  And yet this situation, of volunteer coaches developing our young sports people, is replicated across the country in various sports.  Sticking to rugby, should the RFU take a more pro-active approach and encourage clubs to put something with teeth in place to encourage 'informal' learning. But might this put people off volunteering to coach?

    As a fairly new member to Connected Coaches, i have found it a brilliant resource, with some really useful conversations, but then I am motivated to learn and develop in this area as it's part of my day job.

    No answers I'm afraid on this one, but hopefully some useful thoughts. 

     

     · Rob Maaye and Andrew Beaven like this.
     
  • On 26/01/16 13:06, Rob Maaye said:

    ConnectedCoaches was developed to...give you the opportunity to do just that [connect with other coaches!]

    I hope my initial comment didn't come across as being dismissive of ConnectedCoaches. It certainly was not meant in that way - I like talking about talking about how to coach (and there is a lot of more practical coaching insight here, as well).

    But not every coach will have the time to dedicate to ongoing development (or even having a chat...), and I think that is the point that both Wendy and Catherine have made.

     
  • On 27/01/16 08:38, Catherine Baker said:

    should the RFU take a more pro-active approach and encourage clubs to put something with teeth in place to encourage 'informal' learning

    I do think there is an educational role for the respective NGBs, or sportscoachUK (possibly more the former) - by making the "growth mindset" for athletes an explicit component of coach education, they can perhaps encourage coaches to value their own development more.

    Formal structures and programmes are great, but perhaps alongside informal, grassroots activity.

    As I have said before - I am fortunate to work with a couple of groups of exceptionally generous coaches.  We generally swap ideas over a coffee after a coaching session (rarely a beer...odd, that), or even, as last night, as one of the team went through a rather painful looking workout with a set of massage balls!

    It doesn't take long - 5-10 minutes - but I have probably learnt as much through the accumulated exchange of ideas as in any coaching workshop.

    More formal "coaches' meetings" are useful, but can feel a little too much like business meetings, sometimes (simply because they have a formal start time and venue, and because they tend to be called by the Head Coach).

    Perhaps this might be a template for ongoing coach development - post-practice, informal review.  It just needs an agent provocateur to start the conversation - "how did it go today?"

    But the coaches have to want to share, of course - it probably won't work if this was imposed from on high.

     · Catherine Baker and Luke Thorp like this.
     
  • On 27/01/16 11:09 AM, Andrew Beaven said:
    On 26/01/16 13:06, Rob Maaye said:

    ConnectedCoaches was developed to...give you the opportunity to do just that [connect with other coaches!]

    I hope my initial comment didn't come across as being dismissive of ConnectedCoaches. It certainly was not meant in that way - I like talking about talking about how to coach (and there is a lot of more practical coaching insight here, as well).

    But not every coach will have the time to dedicate to ongoing development (or even having a chat...), and I think that is the point that both Wendy and Catherine have made.

    No worries Andrew I didn’t take your comment like that at all. I completely appreciate everybody’s points about time and an inclination to develop being big hurdles to overcome. I just saw the conversation and took the chance to further explain how we hope the community can help so that if anyone does land on this thread in the future they can see the potential that’s all. Ideally then they will join ConnectedCoaches and be encouraged to share their experiences, drills, solve problems etc with others helping to create a free resource for all coaches who are looking to develop wink

     
  • On 27/01/16 11:30 AM, Andrew Beaven said:

    by making the "growth mindset" for athletes an explicit component of coach education, they can perhaps encourage coaches to value their own development more.

    I really like that Andrew! I'll see if I can get it on the agenda for the next meeting of sports coach UK relationship managers (those who liaise with governing bodies of sport).

     · Wendy Russell, Elly Moore and 1 other like this.
     
  • Something from Sweden that might be useful.

    Form a 'learning circle' at your club or with a group of coaches. Book them in at regular times across the year and get them into coaches diaries. Make them about more than learning so add in a meal or some yummy cakes etc.

    Plan for a short amount of time approximately 30 minutes is spent looking at a piece of learning (Book, new insight, blog, article, resource, etc). Each time someone different in the group leads the discussion. It could be a group discussion or smaller paired discussions.

    Have the additonal social time as part of the event so that conversations can continue beyond the 30 minutes allocated.

    Get coaches to say what they will try unti the next time you meet.

    Have this as part of the agreement for someone coaching as part of your organisation that they will take part in these.

     · Wendy Russell, Luke Thorp and 3 others like this.
     
  • Thanks for stimulating this discussion Wendy.

    How we engage with coaches who are not as committed to self-development is a constant dilemma.

    I like the example from Sweden though Liz and the 10 min, informal chat suggested by Andrew. They sound great.

    We do have some campaign ideas to reach out wider by challenging coaches thinking. And as a follow-up to such campaigns, we are considering creating a group for new coaches where people can ask questions, however niaive, without feeling silly.

    Wendy, Andrew and Catherine and any other members who work with new coaches, if you get the chance, could you help us by asking your coaches if such a group would appeal to them? If the answer is yes, could you feedback their thoughts on what they might use it for?

    Acting Community Manager
     · Wendy Russell, Catherine Baker and 1 other like this.
     
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