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Posted in: General

Can you, as one coach, do it on your own?

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  • paulcrocker

    So many factors need to be in place for an athlete to become “elite”, or even at the core of what we do, be able to reach their full potential.

    Im an ice skating coach and in our sport we are all independent, self employed coaches hiring a “venue” to deliver lessons.

    The way it is now we are all in competition - such a backwards way of trying to get results!

    While some coaches have managed to get athletes to the top alone, my thoughts are the majority would slip through the net of either a lack of any one of the factors or the lack of support when faced with difficulty for the coaches.

    I personally think the future of our sport and even the best possible setup for the athletes is for the coaches to work as a team. 

    is anyone else in this situation within their sport? Has anyone managed to bring a team of coaches together for the good of athletes?

    I think on a local level a development club or school would be the answer - using the best of all our coaching experience and skaters belonging to the “club” not the coach. 

  • rsccoach

    Being an Artistic Roller Skating coach I think you make a very valid point. I honestly do feel exactly the same 

  • pippaglen

    Hi Paul!

    I totally agree with you, I'm in a really very awkward situation at the moment, I'm a level 3 athletics coach and have been coaching for nearly 10 years, I became an independent coach 4 years ago, I don't charge for my coaching probably stupid of me. however I  have been coaching a 14-year-old athlete for nearly a year, his parents came to me after watching one of my sessions during a cross-country competition. They asked if I would help their son as he enjoyed taking part in schools cross country, I decided to take him on and take him back to basics implementing strength and conditioning, balance, coordination, and agility into his training program, I made sure this also fitted into his school and personal lifestyle and other sports he was taking part in. after a few months of training I noticed vast improvements in the athletes whole attitude, strength and he was winning cross country competitions, I asked the athlete if he would like to take part in athletics event's as the track season was coming up and it would be great to see him compete, he advised that he would love to, however I  advised the athlete that he would be required to join a club to compete, I live 20 miles away from him and was unable to train him in the evening due to my job so I advised him to join in the club sessions once a week and train the rest of the week with the training plan I designed and I would see him on Saturday mornings. This has been working fantastic and I have seen even more improvements and thought this was going so well for him, however the coach from the club has told him that he needs to no longer attend my sessions as I wouldn't get him anywhere and he wouldn't get his times down if he stayed with me. I'm extremely annoyed that the coach hasn't contacted or approached me with his thoughts and has approached the athlete like this. We are in the same region and county why couldn't we work together to develop better athletes for national and international level, why do coaches feel the need to pull other coaches efforts down? I'm aware that the other coach gets paid for his coaching so does this mean because he's paid he is better than myself because I choose not to charge for my coaching.  Why does it have to be a fight? When athletes end up at an elite level they end up with different coaches anyway so why all the poaching and mental torture of the athletes it's wrong and bad for the athlete's mental health. 

  • paulcrocker

    Yes Emma, we hear countless stories of elite athletes get “handed over” to the elite coaching team. Many times I’ve thought why can’t the coach who did the groundwork be invited to learn and experience their elite level of training and coaching.

    its wrong, so wrong for a coach to say that another coach is no good. Which brings me to another point about auditing and analysing coaching. If we had a structure or system where you had to keep up your licence through consistent analysis and feedback to improve all the time it would help those who don’t know better not just about technique but etiquette, and how to support new coaches if they need it.

    However, with such an “on your own” system in place in our sport I find that quite often the coaches that are still around are extremely passionate about the sport and that’s why they do it. It’s not a job you can walk into and apply for, it’s a job for life from a life experience they hope to pass on. Which quite often then pushes inexperienced or unpassionate coaches out anyway.

    I guess if you challenged the club on the situation it would put you in a bad light. I think sometimes clubs or coaches can do that passively as well, the wronged coach gets the impression even though no ones said anything bad about them. It’s hard when you care for the athlete and have the experience to know what’s best for them, at the end of the day it’s their decision to make and learn from in the long run. It’s a shame as sometimes the time window an athlete has to get really good can pass before that realisation.

  • Difficult situation which has been around for ages, a particular coach getting beyond their own ego and accepting that either they’ve taken the performer as far as they are able or it’s time for a change of direction and they and the performer need a different perspective and challenge - more often than not it’s the ego and acceptance of the coach’s own limitations that end up holding back the improvement of the performer!

  • paulcrocker

    well said adam

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