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Coaches Association UK

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  • Hello

    I just finished the elite coaches course with UK sport and I met a lot of very good coaches. In our discussion we noticed that we don't have any professional body that represent us as coaches. If you look at most professions like teachers or Physio's, they have a body that sets the standards and that represents them. 

    In our coaching we have to deal with a lot of people, children and adults and as a performance coach you might have to select team and you have to make tough decisions . I think when things go wrong we have nobody that looks after our interest. The federation will not support you and even UK sport is not the place to go.

    I would be interested if this topic comes up in your discussion around coaching and what your experiences are.

    Christian 

     · Brett Holland and Barry Farquhar like this.
     
  • Hi Christian.

    An interesting point, but don't forget when it comes to advice and support full (gold) membership of sport coach UK will provide this. I once used their legal advice benefit on a coaching matter, and was given first class support and advice, free of charge. The legal team were excellent and even came back to me on several occasions, to monitor the situation.

    David 

     · Rob Maaye and Ian Mahoney like this.
     
  • Hi Christian,

    unlike David, I think you have a point, and is a valid question, mainly because there is far more problems to coaching than legal and when it gets to legal, it’s often too late. The same for advice and help, by the time you’ve had to ask for help and advice, it’s too late, because it’s reactive to a problem, where’s the proactive advice and help, that stops problems happening in the first place?

    For example, the joke that we call our governing bodies, twenty years running one of the top junior clubs, producing the foundation for a senior European champion and two time Olympic representative; at one time having 5 ex-juniors ranked in the top senior national 50; at no point did any representative from the governing body - support, visit, advise, coach, fund, question, audit, & develop, in the twenty year life span of the club.

    In other words, you right, our governing bodies don’t represent us professionally and you are right, there is a need for a professional body that oversees all governing bodies and directly helps coaches with the list I gave above.

    I’m not sure about the tough delicious, but coaching does get very ‘tasty’ sometimes.

     
  • Hi Ralph

    I also said that Christian made a good point, I was just pointing out that sport coach UK membership has it's benefits. As I said the excellent advice I got on just a minor company law issue was first class, and they have also been very helpful with my CPD. Would a new coaches association work? it would be interesting to see.  

     
  • Whilst Christian idea is basically good the following need to be address

    1. Who will run it. Its bad enough to get people to take on jobs in most sports within a club 

    2  Would there be a subscription and if so what would it be used on.  I am a Lawn Bowls Coach and I need Insurance to be         registered, so what benefits would I receive from this Association.  I am covered for any legal problems that might arise as is both my Indoor and Outdoor Bowls Clubs

    3  Are we trying to create another "Body" to look after Coaches who are already look after by Sport Coaches U.K.

    4  Is it not correct that on doing your training to become a coach in your preferred sport it already has set standards for you to achieve otherwise you fail

    5  Making tough decision has been a part of a coaches life, just take it in your stride.

     
    1. Who will run it. It’s bad enough to get people to take on jobs in most sports within a club

    That’s the point of an independent association, perhaps coaches can have an Off-Watch that can have legislative power over governing bodies. Our Water, Gas and telecom has a watchdog, yet not our sporting children. It could fine governing bodies that don’t stop the tragedies that are happening with children’s football at the moment. They get fined if there is racist chanting but don’t get fined, if they allow an abuser to coach; what message is that giving? With a convicted abuser back in 1998 and the clubs are only investigating now. Where’s the Sports Child Line?

     

    2  Would there be a subscription and if so what would it be used on.  I am a Lawn Bowls Coach and I need Insurance to be registered, so what benefits would I receive from this Association.  I am covered for any legal problems that might arise as is both my Indoor and Outdoor Bowls Clubs.

    One clear benefit is someone making sure your Gov. Body is truly looking after and protecting your interests. No one should think that because it’s Football, these cases don’t have a negative effect on all coaches, from all sports and it can ironically, perversely and conversely be a stick to beat coaches with in the guise of child protection. Latest CPD child protection course at a presidios University and the very last 5mins of a two hour course was on child welfare. Who makes these decisions? This of course assumes coaches priority is child welfare rather than chasing medals?

     

    3  Are we trying to create another "Body" to look after Coaches who are already look after by Sport Coaches U.K.

    How does S.C.UK protect coaches directly, they have no power over your gov body and you have to go to them for advice. Where’s the gold standard advice from top children’s health psychologists. Most coaches reading this don’t know what cognitive dissonance is let along have heard of it, nor do coaches know who Dunning/Krugger is. Anyone here studied Edward De Bono; Naomi Stadlen; Faber/Mazlish? Anyone here coaching children (loco-parentis) with no qualifications in child psychological welfare? Few coaches are qualified in sports psychology, yet do it day in, day out. Clearly there is a need for S.C.UK and Connect-Coaches, that the Gov. Bodies are failing to fill? Yet the vast majority of coaches aren’t members of CC and do not do the SCUK gold/silver/bronze awards.

     

    4  Is it not correct that on doing your training to become a coach in your preferred sport it already has set standards for you to achieve otherwise you fail.

    Yes, if you look at a very narrow band of coaching expertise, as long as your competent at passing on technical knowledge and objectively safe, then anyone with half a brain and a hidden sociopathic disease can get a coaching badge. How many more children have to be harmed before sport in the UK gets it act together? You absolutely sure, there isn’t an abuser right now coaching a child in sport, this week-end? Perhaps “Off-Coach” can make sure Gov. Bodies only qualify the best, raise their game with the courses that progress coaches through the levels? Of course you may believe Gov. Bodies have your best interest at heart and the coaches are their priority, it would make logical sense; rather than Gov. Bodies focusing on the superstars, I’m sure that wouldn’t happen?

     

    5  Making tough decision has been a part of a coaches life, just take it in your stride.

    NO! tough decisions need to be backed up, “extraordinary decisions need extraordinary evidence”, otherwise the coach risks everything, including their reputation, just because he was forced or advised relatively on his/her own to make the best guess his/her experience and instinct feels right.

    “Wisdom without knowledge and; knowledge without wisdom, is dangerous.”

    “Ignorance, probably the most dangerous state to have in life”

     

    Why is it, that after over a week of high level national news reporting, not one single coach on CoachesConnect has asked the tough questions this week about, looking at what else we can do, to protect the children we coach?

     
  • Christian,

    back in the days of Pat Duffy, when SCUK were looking at coaching as a profession, it became too hard. Dealing with issues such as standards and how to regulate coaching within different sports at different stages of maturity, getting buy in to all of this was gaining momentum with the Coaching Framework. When he was sacked the dream died with him and SCUK has not had the leadership to take over this area. UK Sport also seem unwilling to take a lead in this area leaving it to individual sports to take charge as issues such as public liability and indemnity. The smaller sports, however fall down in these gaps, which is why SCUK provides associated membership to support those coaches that didn't receive anything from their NGBs.

    What is the answer? Personally I think sport is crying out for leadership in this area and I think UK Sport are the only ones that can provide this in the high Performance sector and Sport England for the recreation and maybe talent. Separate to that there are companies that provide professional indemnity policies that coaches can use.

    Talking about coaching children. Let's bear in mind that while sports need to be diligent in their protection of children, sport has under gone a lots of changes since the football offences were committed. This is something high on the priority list for most NGBs and county sport partnerships and I wonder if this might be a case of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted. Professionalism of coaching and the diligence of employers of coaches must lead the charge in the area while volunteers need to be educated about the standards for coaching kids. SCUK are pretty good in the education.

    So, who support coaches? Yes they do have difficult jobs but nothing you wouldn't see in the public sector. I work as a consultant and I have to make sure that protect myself, that is what being a professional is all about. But yes I do see the need for a body that represents coaching and drives forward the 'profession.' Until UK Sport and Sport England, who exist as the key investors of coach development, take responsibility of this area it will remain in the doldrums.

     · Ralph Samwell likes this.
     
  • Here i have some observation from other coaches on the subject. It is indeed not easy. 

     

    “There have been a few attempts at forming cross sport Coaches’ Associations around the world – generally with limited success over time. I could not really point you to one that I know has survived or really been successful/effective over the long term.  I think the key issues are:

    •             Coaches are very busy and focussed and generally most of them do not prioritise time for things like this – they are usually more focussed on their coaching tasks, especially in their main seasons.

    •             They are very single (strong) minded and it is often difficult for them to work together in a concerted effort to get to any consensus on key issues (which may be important to some and not others – this makes it relatively easy for people or organisations that do not want change to succeed with divide and conquer tactics.

    •             While top level coaches are pretty influential people in their own right, they are not necessarily interested, trained or experienced in the advocacy role this requires to be effective.  

     

    To this end, I think there is more chance of success in single sport coaches’ associations which also have a non-coaching CEO or administrator driving their agendas and working closely with them to determine the critically important things they want a voice on and doing a lot of initial negotiating on their behalf. In Australia the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association has been pretty powerful in swimming and the AFL Coaches Association does some good work in this regard (they are largely funded by the AFL). The Coaching Association of Canada had an element of this for a period, with an associated Professional coaches group, but has reverted back to an education and support organisation – similar, I think, to Sports Coach UK. I am sure you will be aware of other similar organisations from around the World.

    Some links for information about these are as follows:

    http://www.ascta.com/

     

    http://www.aflca.com.au/index.php?id=11

     

    http://www.coach.ca/

     

    http://www.sportscoachuk.org/

     

    I took the time to look at the web sites which makes for good reading and see what is happening in coaching in other places. The Coach CA is the Canadian one. It’s interesting to see that ASCTA, AFLCA and COACHCA have either mission statements, values or key pillars and Sports coach UK doesn’t! or at least I couldn’t find them on their website.

     It would need to have a purpose/mission lobbying on behalf of coaching, industry recognition, promotion of coaching or contractual/employment dispute resolution. It could piggy back on something like the Football Managers association.

     

     

     
  • Hi Christian

    I thought it might be useful to summarise the discussions. The general opinion is: There is a need for more support for coaches, particularly for who are working at the talent level or above

    1. Coaches need a voice. Our hope is that ConnectedCoaches will help with this. Our hope is that long term it grows, it will facilitate wider discussions, canvas coaches view and become the voice for coaches in the same way MumsNet is the place the government goes to for the parents opinions. That’s a point for another discussion in itself though.  Rob Maaye do you have a view on this?

    2. More CPD and education on topics that prevent the emergence of legal issues eg psychology. Hopefully this is reflected in the new Coaching Plan for England that I know Sport England are announcing this week

    3. The legal advice available as part of the sports coach UK membership (and other insurance schemes) is excellent and can be called upon at any time for advice, not just once a an incident has occurred. But many coaches don’t take advantage of it.

    As you point out Christian, different countries and organisations have different structures and means of providing this support. As always, there are pros and cons to each system.

     · David Burgess, Barry Farquhar and 1 other like this.
     
  • On 28/11/16 2:28 PM, Jon Woodward said:

    1. Coaches need a voice. Our hope is that ConnectedCoaches will help with this. Our hope is that long term it grows, it will facilitate wider discussions, canvas coaches view and become the voice for coaches in the same way MumsNet is the place the government goes to for the parents opinions. That’s a point for another discussion in itself though.  Rob Maaye do you have a view on this?

    Thanks for tagging me in Jon. Yes I can confirm that in addition to providing a platform for information and inspiration, longer-term we hope the ConnectedCoaches community will represent the voice of the UK coaching community, campaigning for issues that are close to your hearts. We are very much in the early stages of the communities journey though but we will obviously be looking to grow significantly over the next year. If members would like I'm happy to start up a separate conversation to discuss this further? Or feel free to message me on here or email me if you have my info

    Cheers

    Rob

     

     · Barry Farquhar likes this.
     
  • Hi,

    I believe there is another entirely different aspect to consider first. As Christian pointed out the Teaching and Physiotherapy professions have a national federation that provides them with protection as well as a voice. I am of the understanding that these professions have what is termed a protected title e.g. Chartered Physiotherapy, meaning only a person who as completed the required training to the approved standard and holds membership to the Society of Chartered Physiotherapy may call themselves that title. At the moment the term Coach is not a protected title e.g. anyone whether they have completed the required training or not can call themselves a coach. I have had first hand experience with this issue as I am aware of individuals that are personal trainers or gym instructors that call themselves coaches and provide coaching to athletes (primarily triathletes). I believe that until the title coach is afforded the same status or protection as that of e.g. Physiotherapist then the whole issue of a national governing body to provide advice, protection, legal representation, and a national voice will be extremely difficult to implement let alone manage. It is my belief that this is complicated further by the various rules, codes of conduct, policies implemented across all the different sports, as each NGB has its own standard and/or ideals. It is my understanding (happy to be corrected if this understanding is wrong) that in order to practice either in the public or private sector all Chartered Physiotherapists must hold and pay membership to the Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. This Society provides its members with legal protection if something were to go wrong, but more importantly provides physiotherapists with a voice and unified set of professional standards. 

    In reference to the packages (Gold, Silver and Bronze) offered by Sports Coach UK as the director of a Limited Company I was advised that although any of the packages provided would cover me as an individual it would not provide any legal cover to the company. At this current moment in time I must hold paid membership with my home nation NGB (triathlon) in order to coach and hold addition business insurance to cover the company. Triathlon NGB membership provides me as an individual coach legal protection as well as advice on any matter of issues and the business insurance provides the company and myself as an employee an even higher level of protection. I am sure that the circumstances are different across all the different sports, as I also hold qualifications in single discipline sports e.g. UK Athletics require a licence which must be renewed every 3 years. I would more than happily pay additional membership to Sports Coach UK if under them the term Coach was a protected title and provided the same level of support, protection, and voice as that of the Society of Chartered Physiotherapists to its members. 

     · Melanie Mallinson, Rob Maaye and 1 other like this.
     
  • Hello Barry

    thanks for your input and yes that is the direction that we need to take, in my opinion, to get the recognition and standards required into the coaching profession. 

     · Rob Maaye and Ralph Samwell like this.
     
  • On 28/11/16 4:51 PM, Barry Farquhar said:

    professions have a national federation that provides them with protection as well as a voice.

    also, accountant's osteopaths, sports therapist, chiropractors, lawyers, Drs, OTs, teachers, pods, pharmacists, Emrg. services; even bankers.

     
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