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A brave, and exciting way of working | Coach Developers

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Posted in: Remote support - challenges, ideas & solutions

A brave, and exciting way of working

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  • ABradshaw

    Despite the current home and social challenges, this week has been amazing for all the new learning options for coaches - each day there has been new webinar offering or virtual community of practice and the choice will continue to grow I'm sure.

    But how do we support the coaches to navigate this brave new world.  Things I've been thinking about include:

    • Signposting coaches who aren't that well connected to some of the great learning opportunities
    • Supporting them to make sense of content presented
    • Offering reflection spaces or prompting reflection through questions
    • Connecting coaches together to do the two points above

    What else would you add to this list? 

    What is working for you and those you work with?

  • JennyC
    Hey CD family :) I think it would be really useful to find outwhat coach developers need and what they are hearing from their coaching network that they need so we can get the ball rolling.
  • Singleblade

    I've yet to find an inspired coach who genuinely struggles with his or her developmental journey. Once motivated, most coaches fly. They just view the world differently, recognising the value in routes they might otherwise have ignored but above all seeing no "sacrifice" in making a commitment to doing whatever it takes to follow up where they get curious.

    The four suggestions at the head of this thread are all have a process focus: signpost, support, provide space, connect. Any one might lead to inspiration - but if there's one thing we might really nurture among our coaches right now it's a sense that they don't need to come to US for content, or for help making sense of things. Just look around: they're already bouncing off each other!

    Our starting point should always be that our coaches are awesome, amazing people who do not need us. The hard part is inspiring them with that thought... so that instead of coming to us to explore pathways we have created for them... they feel competent to genuinely chart pathways we've never even contemplated.

    Every time we present ourselves as offering "support" we convey a sense that the person we're addressing needs it. Our approach undermines any sense of us respecting those we're talking to as being ready to play and explore independently, without us. If we want to engage and inspire, our language might reflect, instead, our enthusiasm for accompanying them on THEIR journeys.

    With that in mind, I'd suggest it's the things we never even knew we cared about which tend to have the biggest impact. Those are the things that inspire the most curiosity. The thought that we have no more idea where a path might lead than they do is a great starting point... as it means we can meet as fellow travellers into as yet unexplored terrain.

    My top tip for right now would be to throw curve-balls and see what happens. Excite curiosity by going left-field... and then watch for opportunities to nurture any positive developments. What sort of thing? Well... we could start with (for example):

    1. Encouraging collaborative exploration of the key moments in personal developmental journeys... in podcasts or whatever other form of social media people prefer... to encourage reflection on material that those involved know better than anyone else - highlighting how much we gain from outside of formal training;
    2. Encouraging social media sharing of content that raises questions rather than providing answers. E.g. stories of those who triumphed despite systems rather than because of them (like Tim Henman and Andy Murray) and stories of how idiosyncratic back-yard games as kids shape approach and style as pro athlete (e.g. almost any cricketer). 
    3. Encouraging reflection on what can be gleaned from donor sports (e.g. parkour), and especially from looking at how talent emerges in streetsports (e.g. skateboarding) and other very informal contexts: in realms where we (coach educators) are likely to be out of OUR comfort zones.  
    4. Encouraging investigation of learning and development within other mammals, in sports involving animals (e.g. equestrian sport, agility, flyball) and in our own youngsters (our lab rats) - at learning in contexts where declarative knowledge cannot possibly be relevant - and at skill development in workplaces (e.g. Bernstein's study of using a hammer).

    I'm not actually too worried what goes on the list... but we are looking at a period of radical instability... so I am really keen to see anything which encourages coaches to break AWAY from the traditional notion that we go deferentially to well trodden pathways and diligently pursue apprenticeships to pre-identified learning outcomes.

    We can go back to the process-focus when the opportunity for transformation is over.





  • Marianne

    Hi Greg, 

    Thank you for getting involved. We really appreciate you joining the conversation here and there is loads of stuff to think about and explore in your response. I am looking forward to you joining us on Friday's and being part of what I hope will become an exciting and valuable community.

    Marianne Davies

  • Wirejonesy

    Greg really enjoyed your post and something i need to reflect on as perhaps highlights issues around how we have sold/introduced Coach Developers into RL, whilst there has been some success stories (I need to shout them louder), lots of work needing to be done on the "Sales Pitch" (not sure the right word) to Coaches

    As some coaches initial reaction to being offered a CD is often there must be something wrong with me, as i think i am good coach, i don't want one, why not give it to that coach over there as he isn't very good.

    Also need to perhaps rethink and  stop over-guiding as again a lot just want at the start Technical and Tactical info, allow them more time to consider broader Coaching themes that they want to explore, when and if the journey goes in that direction. 

    so as i said plenty for me to mull over 

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