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I am (again) looking at the ABCC Level 3 coaching course. To date, whilst I have completed a number of online CPD courses/modules all of my qualifications have come via British Cycling and I have been a little reticent to attempt an online qualification such as that offered by the ABCC.
Has anyone here done the course and if so what are your thoughts and comments? The BC Level 3 course is very time consuming (I'll need a week or more of holiday to do the course itself) and the cost is over £800 plus there's expenses/accommodation on top. As a volunteer coach it's a big commitment.
Any comments would be appreciated.
I cannot directly comment on the ABCC qualifications although I do know and have copies of all the modules. These are nicely presented and thought through in a similar way to a text book or workbook. However I can comment on the BC Level 3 courses being a qualified L3 Track and L3 Road and TT coach as well as a L2 MTB and CX coach. While I recongise these are expensive course you do get what you pay for in my opinion. The interaction with other coaches and the tutors is very useful both during the course and afterwards, in many ways more useful than the very extensive documentation (which in my view is much better than the ABCC modules).
It depends what you want from it? If you want to tick some boxes for general coaching then ABCC looks adequate and a good alternative, but if you want highly regarded and more widely accepted qualifications then I would go BC and be patient. For me L3 has led me into a world of further reading and research which possibly makes me question my coaching. All great stuff.
I hope that was helpful.
I've been a big fan of BC courses and am qualified at L2 Road & Time Trial, MTB and CX. I typically volunteer coach at least 45 to 50 sessions per year (weekends and evenings) across the three disciplines. It's just hard to justify the time/cost involved for the BC L3 course which I would want to take for both Road and MTB.
it would be great to hear from anyone who has the ABCC qualification.
We constantly have the same discussion at our youth cycling club. Do we need L3 coaches and if so how many? The technical and tactical elements provided by L3 are very good, indeed excellent even to coaches who would consider themselves well informed on these matters. However there is probably little in that respect that couldn't be grabbed from other publications, with the possible exception of track techniques and tactics given many are BC devised and beyond what many countries can devise themselves (we had two French national coaches on our L3 Track practical . . . seemed odd they were allowed).
Therefore what does L3 offer? A very detailed and comprehensive insight into coaching 1 to 1 in terms of evaluating riders, goals setting, benchmarking, setting annual plans and weekly plans. It also gives you a good understanding of cycling fundamentals including physics, all very useful for coaching and designing rider handouts.
This element is good, although even the best L3 coaches should and would find the course asked more questions than it answers and further ongoing study is needed if you want to be a good coach. Plainly some do not, and use the course as a box ticking exercise.
Do you want and need to coach riders 1 to 1 beyond technical and tactical stuff? If yes, than L3 is the only way to go. The ABCC documentation on this is nothing like as good or comprehensive.
I would suggest that if you need to question if you need L3 coaches, then you may not need them. Coaching qualifications should be driven by the riders you are coaching, unless its the BC L3 which they admit themselves, was intended for people who wish to become full time coaches.
I looked into the BC L3 and it was going to cost me a weeks holiday and around £1300, for which I was never going to get a return. I'm taking the ABCC which is no where near as overblown as the BC course, and alllows me more time to glean up to date information from other sources. If I were charging coaching senior riders for 1-1 coaching on a monthly basis, then I would consider the BC course, but I'm not.
Thanks for all your comments. I may not have made myself clear. It's not the efficacy of the BC L3 course I am questioning nor whether I, my Club or those I coach would benefit from me achieving the BC L3 qualifications.
What I was hoping to receive was comment/feedback from those who have done the ABCC course or who have the qualification about that course/qualification. I have no doubt that the BC course is more valued and to a higher standard.
In my opinion Ian, the ABCC course is perfectly suited to a coach who only wants to benefit riders from their club. It will allow you so do far more advanced stuff than a BC L2 qualification and will enable you to set your riders up for the next phase of their progress. It will probably qualify you do to most, if not all of the things such as FPT etc that you may have been asked to do up to now.
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