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The work continues - after a quite excellent start with Scottish Athletics, Darren Ritchie continues the journey of creating a movement framework for England/UK Athletics. Many years ago we created a tiered journey where the foundation movements are coupled with fundamental movements as a pre-cursor to the movement patterns associated with track and field events. The key was always going to be the delivery of this information directly to the coaches in a more mentoring style than the usual information-centric course structure. How the coach creates a progressive learning journey for the individual athlete has to be the central element of this coach development package. Darren has now created a 5-tier journey that starts with a Diploma in Sporting Excellence. While all the Regional coaching officers are able to deliver this new process it is vital that tertiary education grasp the importance of this content and start to include it in all those courses that relate to Physical Education, Human Movement and Coaching. The attempt is one of trying to create a general movement vocabulary (a basic entitlement of all children) that leads to a special movement vocabulary e.g. running, jumping, throwing, that then opens the door to the learning and progression of the specific event movements. The excitement comes from the fact that a sporting entity has been willing and able to listen and adapt to the needs of the coaching world. While copious "Athlete Pathways" continue to be regurgitated ad nauseum every few years, we never see the corresponding Coaching Pathway being improved. All we have is the failing coaching certification program that is simply a cash-cow for national federations. A powerful, progressive coach mentoring system where coaches learn their trade at the coal-face in the presence of master coaches and are supported by learning-centric coaching content as illustrated in the movement vocabulary journey is possible.
So far I have presented this concept to three Australian Federations and been met with, “We do that already”; “We have a world-class Athlete Pathway system that works OK”; “Our coach education is really up-to-date and is world-leading.”; “We have a committee that is looking into all this.”
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