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Posted in: General

What was your biggest challenge in 2015?

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  •  ... or what is the biggest challenge you face right now?

    It is that time of year when the ConnectedCoaches team and the product development team at sports coach UK start to make decisions about what topics to focus on over the next 12-months. And we'd love to get your input. 

    By finding out the biggest challenge coaches face, we can design tools and content that will have the greatest benefit for coaches and thus, communities in the UK. So don't be shy, make your views count.

    We'd like to know:

    1) what's the biggest challenge you face?

    2) What's stopping you overcome it?

    3) What would overcoming the challenge mean?

    Acting Community Manager
     · Rob Maaye, David Turner and 1 other like this.
     
  • Being a working mother, I find the biggest challenge (and certainly the one that was prominent throughout 2015) is finding the time, out of work to plan athlete's programmes and also improve academically as I'm completing a degree.

    Getting the balance between looking after my toddler and planning an athlete's year ahead of time is proving difficult, particularly as my little one is only 16 months and heavily reliant on myself. I'm hoping this balance will improve as I get better with allocating time although then changes that occur during the season also need to be considered.

    At the moment, there has been no detrimental effects on my athletes and they are progressing well and are happy in their sport but for my peace of mind and to satisfy my need to be highly organised then achieving this would make me more confident in my teaching!

     · Kathy Coates, Jonathan Abra and 1 other like this.
     
  • I think the biggest challenge I face is developing my sport specific knowledge. Whilst there are a number of website, with forum and methods where I can ask questions etc. However nothing better than discussing topics and aspects of the game face to face.

    The other area is trying to juggle a full time job, coaching and developing my coaching knowledge. However this group really helps as you can read and add in when you can! :-)

    I would love to coach full time at either grassroots level or higher, and work in sports development & mentoring coaches. Or work in disability sports development! 

    I am not one for barriers/stopping me achieve things. I believe there is always a way to achieve something. Especially with new networks and methods of communication- such as coaching groups for sports specific, women in sport groups, Twitter or even Facebook. Just have to reach out.

    There is more support now compared to when I started my coaching journey and coaches with growth mindset to develop our wounderful world! 

     · Dannielle Starkie, Kathy Coates and 1 other like this.
     
  • Melanie

    I think for me the number one challenge in 2015 was finding the time to balance my commitments to my day job, my coaching and my family.

    What's stopping me overcoming it is priortising my time better, something I've always struggled with, as I'm passionate about all three.

    Overcoming the challenge would mean I have the perfect life, but I think that's the never ending holy grail!!!

     · Melanie Mallinson and Kathy Coates like this.
     
  • Thanks for taking the time to repond, Steve, Dannielle and Wendy.

    It looks like balancing coaching with other commitments is a common thread for all of you.

    I like your positive outlook though: the epitomy of what ConnectedCoaches members are instilling as the community's ethos. This alone will help new coaches on their journey.  

    Acting Community Manager
     · Dannielle Starkie likes this.
     
  • Just the other day at a Sports Coach UK Talent Seminar, I was discussing with a tutor about how difficult it can be to dedicate time to reviewing, reflecting, consolidating and planning.


    Ofcourse to a certain extent we all do it in an informal way, on the drive home or lying in bed etc, but taking quality reflection time from a 'nice to do' to a 'must do' has been a big challenge.


    I have been lucky to have been in roles in the past where this has been allocated paid time as part of the job, but for many with numerous roles or working voluntary it proves more difficult.

    One of the best ways to reflect for me is speaking with like-minded people/coaches, especially those with an interest in disability sport/football. Sharing ideas and getting insight from elsewhere is hugely beneficial and one of the benefits I feel this forum with provide for me.

    I also feel phone calls on the hands free in the car are great and help to fit in quality discussions while travelling from place to place in the hectic modern lifestyle.

    To offload frustrations, rethink scenarios and plan for future actions; more time and opportunity to reflect would be a huge asset to my personal development in 2016.

     · Melanie Mallinson likes this.
     
  • My biggest challenge (aside from finding more work...) is to begin to effectively review my coaching sessions.

    I read somewhere that the ideal was to divide one's time equally between reviewing, planning, and actually coaching. I am probably at 1:2:20, at the moment, rather than 1:1:1 (and the "1" currently allocated to review could be so much more effective).

    The challenge is partly time (easily solved, in truth, by utilising my travelling time more efficiently) but mostly knowing where to start.

    Introspection comes relatively easily; actionable insight, on the other hand...

     
  • On 12/01/16 10:11 PM, Sam Turner said:

    To offload frustrations, rethink scenarios and plan for future actions; more time and opportunity to reflect would be a huge asset to my personal development in 2016.

    Thanks Sam, really insightful and gives me some food for thought. I now need to find time to reflect on how we can help. 

    Acting Community Manager
     
  • On 13/01/16 11:45 AM, Andrew Beaven said:

    The challenge is partly time (easily solved, in truth, by utilising my travelling time more efficiently) but mostly knowing where to start.

    Thanks Andrew for your input. Completely honest, as always.

    Like you, the more I reflect the better I am, especially in this digital age. My best time for reflection is on the train, it gives me the head space to think and reason why its right to take the risk and make the change.

     I just need to to push myself to take public transport rather taking the easy option of jumping in the car. 

    My first thought is that you might value some opportunities to reflect on various dilemmas so you can hone your skills. 

    I'll take this back to the team and put it into the mix.  

     

    Acting Community Manager
     
  • My biggest challenge right now for a variety of reasons is how my career progresses! I think this for many of us can be a January thing after a few weeks off over Xmas/New Year.

    However there are other reasons. It's partly age and the fact that I've been in this role 4 years with it's funding cycle through SportNI coming to an end. I've been heavily involved in creating the action plan for 2016-20 and it's made me realize even further how much I enjoy being at this end of things as well as directly coaching.

    In my previous role in USA, I loved coaching coaches as much as my teams. I delivered coach certification classes to new an volunteer coaches on behalf of American Youth Soccer Organization and mentored young and new coaches.

    My challenge in this next year is to progress my role away from purely coaching and to find a blend of working with kids, coaching coaches and strategy development. A challenge is always a good way to reivigotate and motivate myself and to avoid stagnating in one position for too long. 

    In my football club volunteer role I am also working alongside 2 other experienced coaches to help develop a direction for our youth teams.

    What will stop me achieving this? Whilst I'd love to say nothing, it's the council powers that be in my day-role buying into my career plan and affording me more senior opportunities. 

    Overcoming this challenge will allow me to start on a more long-term career pathway (and yes the extra £ somehow would make life easier and let me pay for further coaching courses and trips).

     · Melanie Mallinson likes this.
     
  • On 15/01/16 11:28 AM, Gary Fowler said:

    Overcoming this challenge will allow me to start on a more long-term career pathway

    Gary, thanks for taking the time to express your thoughts - really helpful. 

    It sounds like you have quite a challenge ahead in 2016. But with your clear focus and determination,  it looks like you'll get there to me. 

    Acting Community Manager
     
  • I've been meaning to reply to this post for a while, however January turned out to be a very busy month after the break – regardless of prep completed before Christmas!

     

    Anyway, my challenges... As I suspect most coaches do, I feel I have several challenges to overcome (yearly, weekly, daily!) and that's one of the reasons why I love this job! However, the area I want to focus on relates to the challenge of developing myself. 

     

    I've come to a point where I've completed the relevant coaching courses and CPD workshops and need a different sort of development. I attend a yearly conference within my area of Hockey. Where other coaches meet to hear talks from international level coaches/players/staff and observe practical elements. This is really helpful and thought provoking. This then fades and you look for the next opportunity.

     

    I read as much as I can and enjoy researching and learning but I feel there is a ceiling affect here in terms of practical implementation and development. I find this platform helpful; reading other coaches thoughts and the thought provoking topics discussed.

     

    I've recently tried to look at different sports for inspiration. Similar sports such as Football as you could imagine has a wealth of resources, but also out of my comfort zone in Trampolining when I'll be heading to Lilleshall for the day to absorb as much as possible. Contacting and arranging to observe other coaches is another avenue I'm exploring, which I hope will be quite beneficial too.

     

    So, this is my challenge for 2016 and my initial plans to overcome it…

     

     · Melanie Mallinson and Rob Maaye like this.
     
  • On 02/02/16 11:24 AM, Brett Holland said:

    Contacting and arranging to observe other coaches is another avenue I'm exploring, which I hope will be quite beneficial too.

    Thank you taking the time to share your challenges and goals for 2016 Brett. Seems you are already putting your plan into action. 

    Observing other coaches is a trend amongst coaches for self-development.

    We did have this idea that members could post videos of themselves in action for other members to watch.  Its not the same as watching in person but the next best thing. It takes some organising by a coach though and a whole load of confidence.

    But  if anyone is up for the challenge ... let me know and we'll create a dedicated area. 

    Acting Community Manager
     
  • My biggest challenge was advertising our events in the local area.
    With a sport like angling it is not a sport that a lot of young people think about as an option.

    With so many other sports having a lot more media coverage than angling and the many things that young people have access too these days we are a sport neglected in the sports world, even though our national teams are the best in the world.

    Also the cost of advertising is an inhibitor for us as placing adverts in the local press is expensive and we would much rather spend that money on equipment for our sessions.

     · Melanie Mallinson and Michael Chilley like this.
     
  • On 18/04/16 2:50 PM, Paul Sargent said:

    My biggest challenge was advertising our events in the local area

    Thanks for joining in the conversation Paul with a highly practical problem that I'm sure many members will empathise with.

    Have you come across Sport England's Club Matters programmes. It offers free support and workshops locally on how to get more people to come along.

    Here's the link.http://www.sportenglandclubmatters.com/home/club-promotion/

    I hope its useful.. 

    Acting Community Manager
     · Ian Mahoney likes this.
     
  • On 18/04/16 2:50 PM, Paul Sargent said:

    Also the cost of advertising is an inhibitor for us as placing adverts in the local press is expensive and we would much rather spend that money on equipment for our sessions.

    Hi Paul

    Welcome to the ConnectedCoaches community!

    In addition to the link Melanie has provided you might also find it useful to have a look at an earlier thread in the Coaching Adults group, which could give you some ideas as well https://www.connectedcoaches.org/spaces/3/coaching-adults/forums/attracting-adult-participants/87/how-do-you-promote-your-activities-to-adult-participants

    Hope it helps!

     
  • 1)    what's the biggest challenge you face?

    How to deal with the wave of Narcissistic parents coming through followed by giving up club coaching.

     

    2)    What's stopping you overcome it?

    Ego, having coached for 35years, it’s like a bereavement.

     

    3)    What would overcoming the challenge mean?

    Happiness

     
  • Dannielle,

    From the other responses on here it seems you are not alone. I've been there too and managed to run myself ragged trying to give my all to work, family and coaching. I got to the point of burnout and was no use to my athletes (who got substandard sessions), my family (who I was grumpy around) or my employer (I was knackered and resented the job). Most importantly, I was miserable and had fallen out of love with my sport.

    I took a conscious step to prioritise. My family is most important and I am guessing your little one means the world to you. Build the other stuff around that. 

    Although my career is essentially just a way to pay for the other stuff in life (I'm not in love with what I do) I have to pay the mortgage and bills or the fun stuff can't happen.

    So I scaled back my coaching commitments. It was painful and I felt as though I was letting the athletes and the club down. 18 months on, I have refound my mojo and the sessions I coach have become fun once again. I am doing less than half what I did before but the family sees me more, I don't fall asleep on the commute to work (train, not driving!) and I am much more likely to stay in the sport. One of my daughters is even talking about taking her Level 1 coaching badge!

     · Melanie Mallinson and Rob Maaye like this.
     
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