For the past 18 months we have dabbled in committing more time and resources to education – primarily coach education.
The ‘hours of power’ coupled with the more formal National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS) courses appears to have been a good first start and is meeting the educational needs of some members, but not all…
For many years we have missed the mark when it comes to educating and passing on valuable knowledge to our coaches. Relaying on delivering Level 1 and 2 courses is no longer enough. Times have changed, yet how we approach coach education hasn’t – there are many people coaching today that aren’t even aware of the NCAS, and some that don’t see any value in what it offers …
Not just a challenge for rowing, Aprils edition of Sports Coaching Brain, states “the way we (ie sports generally) have done coach ed isn’t working “ and suggests there are three options available to us:
1. Keep doing what we are doing and fail – I completely agree
2. Change a few things that we are doing and hope for improvement – this is where we are now I feel
3. Listen to your members and ask them what experience they want – the future…?
The quote in the SCB article that caught my attention was:
“now the coach education ‘game’ is about context: about helping individuals and coaches aces quality and relevant, reliable information they need when and where they needs it and in a way which directly impacts them, their coaching and their athletes”
so, back to point 3 … how can Rowing NSW respond to this challenge? What do you want? Does Rowing Australia have a role? How can clubs and schools support any initiatives? Is coach ed really that important anyway...?
We are very fortunate to have excellent coaches in New South Wales; some underestimated and some undervalued. Our coaches are a clear strength to our sport.
What is clear to me is that the future successes of rowing in NSW will be limited by how well we can respond to this challenge.
On May 23, 2012, Sue Smith [Shellharbour City] said:
The difficulty we have down the South Coast is we have to travel to Sydney to do any sort of courses, which makes it difficult with working through the week and trying to get to Sydney before 6pm sometimes just for a 1 hour course when it takes us sometimes a 2 or 3 hour round trip in the first place.
Our Club has 4 very enthusiastic coaches and most of the information we are gathering is off the internet, we also have over 3000 members on our face book page and we chat with other coaches from around the world to get their points on some forms of programs they have in their country and also any hints they can give us on certain training issues.
We try and attend as many courses in and around our area that would assist with training athletes but there is no courses specific to our sport.
We have a great venue to do some courses out of and with Shoalhaven Rowing club only being 45 minutes south of us, I am sure we could get quite a few people to join in some Coaching courses relevant to rowing .
On May 15, 2012, Andrew Morrell [Leichhardt] said:
As someone new to coaching one of the things I have found difficulty in is getting the resources that are required to carry out the job.
Athletes as me questions and I don’t always have the answers. I like to answer these questions for the athlete, not only improving their knowledge by mine also.
Perhaps an online database for accredited coaches where we can look up relevant materials and for the more experienced, where they can pass on their knowledge.
I would like to be able to find information on subjects such as on stretching, warm ups, how to formulate a program, how to put together an off water program that ties in with on-water activities, weights programs, how to rig a boat, etc.
Also info such as tinnie lighting, rules of waterways, local rules of waterways eg Iron Cove where are turning points , where should boat traffic be traffic be on the water, where to buy equipment like stroke coaches, stop watches, etc.
This info is all currently out there but its hard to find for those that are new to coaching. With so many sources and info often handed down by word of mouth we are often not on the same page.
So what I simply think would be a good start in assisting coach education in Australia would be by having a central caches information point/web site.
On May 11, 2012, Philip Winkworth [Radford College (ACT)] said:
Good rowing programs have good coaches. Programs don't become 'good' until they develop their coaches. This applies not only at the club level but also at the state and national level. Strong rowing countries have good coaches. How long they remain strong depends upon how well developed their coach education programs are and whether they are capable of lifting the calibre of their coaches in response to competitive pressures.
Whilst we will always need a formal education framework, there is scope for states and clubs to augment this system in response to their own particular needs. The NCAS is our formal framework and the progressive pathway it provides enhances the skills of those who participate.
What we need now is a less formal system that can be more responsive to local demand and pressures. This might be something as simple as a coaches chat line or discussion board. Ideally it would be driven by the coaches and provide them with the opportunity to share their knowledge so that all participants benefit. Curriculum and methods would be less rigid than with the NCAS but would be a significant indicator of interest and demand for future courses.
The role of bodies such as RNSW would be to simply facilitate this opportunity rather than direct or manage it. This would keep costs low and reduce the need for manpower resources.