INSPIRING COACHES ACROSS HAMPSHIRE AND THE ISLE OF WIGHT
International Rugby Union Coach Eddie Jones Local Legacy Needs The Female Touch
Conquering a Crisis Top Tips Spring/Summer 2013
Win an ipad Mini
Conquering a Crisis
Solving Movement Puzzles
Talking to Teams
It seems like we’ve just finished sending out our last newsletter, before we started on the Spring Edition and yet so much has happened in a few short months. CHIOW has been getting its hands dirty on the coal face of our local coaching network by meeting coaches and volunteers in clubs through Sport Makers, providing life changing
experiences through our scholarship programme, and meeting some of the county’s
In this issue we’ll continue to talk about the ‘L’ word. Coaching, after all, is all about
most talented coaches through our Talent Coach Breakfast Club series.
legacy - creating increasingly attractive, progressive and challenging sessions for a
vast range of children, athletes and players at all levels. We’ve tried to provide articles that provide coaches with practical tools to enhance their practice and reflect on their coaching behaviours. From developing team talk strategies to understanding how to recognise and enhance deficiencies in fundamental movement, we’re helping to bring progressive practice to coaches at all levels. As austerity measures take their toll on all services funded by central and local Government, we must recognise the unique opportunity we have in sport. We all have a duty to prove to the Government that sport is about more than winning medals. Coaches continue to be the lifeblood of great sport, but we cannot afford to rest on our laurels or past successes. As coaches we must continually learn, evolve, reflect and challenge ourselves to become the best we can be. How else can we inspire a new generation of participants to explore the vast benefits available from sport and physical activity? Finally we’re planning to make some changes to the way we support coaching locally. We’ve been building our coaching network and we want more coaches to be part of our community. Whilst we’ve been doing some great work, we know there is room for improvement. Please feel free to tell us how we can improve and make a positive difference to coaching in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. CJ Lee Coaching Developing Manager
Front cover photograph ©Dominic Parkes courtesy of University of Winchester
Inspiring Coaches across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
The UK’s obesity rates amongst children and adults are fast reaching epidemic proportions, costing the Government in the region of £5.1bn per year. Obesity is not simply about being fat, but impacts on a wide range of physical, mental and social ills including heart disease, some cancers, cardio-vascular disease, depression and anti-social behaviour.
nation is being nudged into growing inactivity.
Does sports coaching hold some of the answers to the obesity issue? As far back as 1920, C.E.A Winslow proposed that public health is everyone’s responsibility, so it’s not unreasonable to suggest that coaches may hold some of the pieces of the puzzle to the obesity problem.
Well informed coaches have the power to reinforce positive messages about healthy living. To be effective, coaches must highlight the link between sport, physical activity and nutrition. What’s also clear is that whilst good physical education is central to keeping people active - ensuring people have the movement skills to feel confident, competent and motivated to stay active - nutrition and mental health are equally important components.
Let’s take the coaching of children. As roles models coaches can influence the behaviours, values and beliefs of young people and their parents. Given the wide variety of messages and societal influences faced by young people, this is no easy feat. The culture of fast-food, an abundance of cheaply priced, nutritionallypoor foods and growth of video games and social media as pastimes means the
Whilst most of us use mobile phones and other smart devices, we’ve noticed that not all coaches have yet unlocked their potential to improve coaching practice and feedback. There’s a plethora of mobile apps that can be used for observing, analysing and feeding back to other coaches and players and we’ve listed our top five: ■■ Ubersense for Iphone/Ipad – allows users to capture, annotate, compare and share video footage on performance ■■ Coach’s Eye for iphone/ ipad/android - allows users to capture, annotate, compare and share video footage on performance
However, last year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games have stirred a latent desire to change our lifestyles and be more healthy. Sports clubs are being inundated with enthusiastic children and adolescents who want to be the next Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and David Weir.
If you want to find out more about how to introduce nutrition into your coaching sessions and provide information to both kids and parents about nutrition, then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
■■ Football Coach by Canica Apps for android – allows users to create and store session plans, create set plays and animate drills and plays ■■ Swimming Coach’s Clipboard for iPad – allows users to track splits for up to 100 athletes at meets and training ■■ DartFish Easy Tag for iPhone/iPad – allows users to tag key performance indicators in real time, whilst keeping track of their frequency during your game or event.
Following Sport England’s confirmation of sports funding for the 2013-2017 period our focus turns to ensuring we deliver on the governments investment. Coaches are the golden thread for meeting some of the more challenging participation targets set out over the next four years. Locally we need to ensure coaches stay ahead of the game by providing the right services and support to meet the demands of coaches and who in turn must satisfy the needs of growing numbers of children, players and adults at all levels. Coaching Hampshire & IOW welcomes your input. We want to understand what makes coaching work locally and what barriers make coaching hard work. In short we want to hear about your successes and challenges. Please complete our bi-annual ‘What Coaches Do’ survey, which will be followed up later in the year by our ‘What Coaches Want’ survey. All coaches who complete the survey and are registered on Coaching Hampshire & IOW will be entered into a free prize draw to win an iPad Mini. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ WhatCoachesDo2013 Nationally, a new coaching group has been set up on LinkedIn – you can find out more about the UK Sports Coaches Association by visiting: http://linkd.in/13f3ctj
Spring/Summer 2013 Issue
The term ‘crisis’ is used every now and then in sporting circles, however it is also known as panic (when referring to an individual) or a collapse. Adam Kelly asks; is this a bad thing? Taking the emotion out of the situation; a crisis could be your chance to change or a turning point for you or your team. But how do you change? How can you minimise the effect of a crisis?
Tips for coaches As coaches we invest masses of time and energy into our athletes and their performances. We know that staying objective and taking our emotions out of the situation is the best thing we can do, but this is easier said than done. Coaches have an effect on how our athletes view the situations facing them. Our body language, the terms we use, tactics we apply and knowledge we provide can all impact the athletes perception of the situation. In these situations athletes are far more sensitive than usual. Therefore we need to provide a consistent message in these ‘crisis’ situations.
Tip 1: Staying calm The key to dealing with a crisis at the time, is to stay calm. As coaches we have the opportunity to step back look around and assess the situation before we make a decision. This process is what Dr Steven Peters has termed ‘putting your chimp in a box’. This term is based on a scientific understanding of how the human brain reacts to situations. We are receiving a variety of stimuli from all around us, we cannot control those stimuli but we can control our reaction. This is where Dr Peters’ term comes into play, as the primitive part of our brain will want to flight or fight the stimuli or situation. However as human beings we have developed to use our brain to make a decision based on our previous and vicarious experiences. We can come up with a variety of solutions in a matter of seconds. Commentators will often say ‘she/he is cool as a cucumber’, when actually their strength is just controlling their reaction to the stimuli they are facing.
Tip 2: Overcoming adversity In sport there comes a moment in every coach and athletes career when we face and overcome adversity. Why do some succeed and others not? I would suggest the preparation for said situation is a key component for succeeding. When preparing for a season, outline possible situations or ‘worst case’ scenarios. Implement these scenarios into training allowing the athletes to try new or reinforce certain tactics, mindsets and techniques. This helps provide the experience of these crisis situations. As we know ‘crisis’ situations will happen over a season, however not regularly enough for athletes to familiarize themselves with. When the previous experience and familiarization is
Inspiring Coaches across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
positive it helps contribute to increased levels of self-efficacy and confidence in our athletes.
Tip 3: Crisis means opportunity In the aftermath of the ‘crisis’ some athletes will react to it as a bad day at the office, some will take it personally and get angry, others will dismiss / forget it. These are all natural reactions; once they have subsided we can assess the situations and look at a variety of options for the future. This provides us with the opportunity to change or use the ‘crisis’ as a turning point as Pritchard suggests. Review the situation that the team or athlete faced, take emotions out of the equation and deal in facts (also
understand the players’ perspective). Try not to dismiss obscure tactics used by others, as this can become a bigger issue if other teams follow suit. After this review, start planning the changes, don’t be afraid of trying something new. This is the time to try new tactics, techniques, philosophy, physical training etc as the athletes will want to improve and are more open to new ideas.
Tip 1: Staying calm
A good example of this approach is the Australian cricket team losing the Ashes for the first time in 18 years in 2005. Afterwards the Australian team analysed the situation and response thereby changing their approach. Head coach John Buchanan took the team away for a boot camp where players and coaching staff were treated like soldiers. Everyone was assigned a role and had to follow a chain of command. Players and coaching staff had to carry water and camping equipment for hours across the outback. That night they only had a few hours sleep before been woken up and marched for another few hours. They played the return series in Australia 2006-7 and won all five matches.
Two examples of performers using Dr Peters ‘chimp in the box’ technique are: Ronnie O’Sullivan (World Snooker Champion) and the GB Cycling team (8 Olympic Gold’s). Both achieved great success by staying calm when difficult situations arose.
Tip 4: Detailed planning Plan future training, competition tactics and techniques in detail. Include back up plans for ‘crisis’ situations or obscure tactics. The coach and captain need to work together to provide the team with a clear direction and rationale for that direction. The direction is the new style of training or tactics being deployed. This direction needs time for the team to understand and may require reviewing. The review is a good time to include the team, as they will provide an insight into the training, which should be reflected in the new direction. A great example of using detailed planning to effect is former British Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan. He uses a 45-minute warm-up for professional rugby teams, which is detailed by the minute. No vague areas, no generalised statements, everyone is focused upon maximising time and effort to get ready for competition.
Tips for athletes As athletes we train day after day to prepare as best we can for competition and then on game day everything goes wrong. In our heads the questions are asked ‘Why do I bother?’, ‘Am I good enough?’ or ‘Everything is against me.’ So how can you perform with these thoughts and facing ‘crisis’ situations?
The same principles apply to athletes as they do to coaches, we are all human and all have the same parts to our brains. We need to control our reaction to the stimuli or situation we are facing, by thinking and not reacting on our primitive instincts. This will give us the best chance of making the right decisions, which can turn the performance around.
Tip 2: Belief
especially in amateur sport, as life can take over, but once you are at training you need to utilise every minute. As an amateur athlete you may train twice a week for two hours that is only 4 hours. Elite athletes train for 30+ hours a week and they still make mistakes, so make sure you prepare effectively and utilise training sessions to give yourself the best chance of succeeding in those ‘crisis’ situations. In conclusion we all need to take emotion out of the ‘crisis’ situation and work on the facts. Coaches should realise that the athletes will look to them for guidance and the coaches will look to the athletes to believe in their abilities. Together coaches and athletes can use ‘crisis’ situations to improve performance.
Even when these doubts are in our heads, we can still turn the performance around. Great examples of athletes performing in a ‘crisis’ situation are; Jonny Wilkinson’s drop goal to win the world cup, Ben Ainslie’s comeback to win Olympic sailing gold or the European golf team’s Ryder Cup win. What these performers have in common in these situations is an inner belief that they will succeed. This belief is linked to self-efficacy, which is our perception of us succeeding at the task in hand. Selfefficacy can be built up through the four factors: previous experiences, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion and physical state. Of these factors, we know that our physical condition and previous experience are important, however vicarious experiences and verbal persuasion can be equally important. Good examples of vicarious experiences are that of a team that ‘have the momentum’. When you see your teammates performing successfully you gain in confidence as a result, this is called vicarious experiences. Vicarious experiences can often lead to outsiders saying that the ‘momentum has changed’, as other players start performing better after seeing their teammates playing well.
Tip 3: Preparation The underpinning for success in any sport is preparation. Coaches can provide the best training session, but if you (the athlete) do not engage in the session it becomes pointless. Athletes should be looking to improve everyday and every training session. This is easy to say,
Adam Kelly PhD researcher in Sport Pyschology, Southampton Solent University Follow me on twitter: @adamkellypsych or visit my blog adamkellyblog.wordpress.com
Spring/Summer 2013 Issue
© Dominic Parkes courtesy of University of Winchester
It’s late November and the auditorium at the University of Winchester is packed. The air is awash with the kind of energy you feel when you are about to experience something rare. There are a lot rugby coaches and fans of the game in the audience, but I also recognise a fair share of other sports represented in the audience including athletics, cricket, basketball and football. It’s clear that Eddie Jones, current Head Coach of the Japan National Rugby Union Team, has got a lot to offer anyone involved in coaching. Whilst Eddie’s first occupation was as a school teacher, he has been involved in the upper echelons of elite Rugby Union for nearly two decades. His resume includes leading Australia to the final of the Rugby World Cup in 2003 and coaching and technical advisor roles to teams in Australia, England, Italy, and South Africa. During his lecture, he reveals his own coaching philosophy, which is underpinned by his love for the game, his love of teaching and the honour he derives in being a servant to his players.
THE THREE COMPONENTS OF A GREAT COACH Eddies initial statement sets the tone for an hour of honest no-holds barred introspection on what he believes it takes to be an elite coach. “Be respected - not liked,” smiles Eddie wryly as he acknowledges that coaches involved at the elite end of the spectrum are there to push players beyond their comfort zones and do the things that they might not like, but will inevitably make them a cut above the rest. He gives several accounts of how different players he has worked with didn’t enjoy strength and conditioning, stretching, watching game tape or taking care of their nutrition, but these were the very things that would set them apart from those that showed potential and those that were to become great. I prepared myself for an hour of similarly no-nonsense punches but as Eddie continued to speak, the elegance and simplicity with which he began to breakdown why he believed in his approach set out a template for coach development that, in my opinion, is relevant to coaches at all levels.
Knowledge Jones emphasises that good coaches prepare for the next game, but master coaches prepare for what’s going to be happening in 18-months time; “We don’t aim to copy the best, we aim to create something that the best want to imitate, just like Apple did with the iPod.” Eddie goes on to explain that the best coaches understand the way their sport will evolve and work to prepare their teams accordingly. He watches a lot of games, approximately eight a week in fact, to keep up with current trends and reminds us that reading is an aspect of coaching that often gets overlooked. He criticises what he describes as the ‘dumbing-down’ of modern professional players. He can’t express strongly enough the need for coaches (and players) to learn from a number of sources, not just rugby and sport, but from other disciplines like business, psychology and sociology.
Enthusiasm Creating the right environment is crucial to the success of a coach. “The coach should be the most enthusiastic person at all sessions (meetings, games and staff one-to-ones), there’s no time for cynicism,” insists Eddie. He clearly believes that if you have a love for the game and for coaching this is where the energy starts, but in order to keep enthusiasm high, the coach should be continually looking to improve him or
Inspiring Coaches across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
herself. Jones talked about approaching your own development like a business. A business wouldn’t leave their growth or improvement to chance. Like a business, coaches should utilise threemonth development plans or compile a list of Top 10 achievements they want to accomplish over the coming months. Jones’ idea is that you review the plan or achievements periodically and add at least one new thing at the end of every season.
Management Skills To be a great coach you need to be able to understand people. You need to understand your athletes; how they learn, how they are motivated, how they like to interact with you and how they like to reflect on their own performances. Eddie reflects on this by talking about his relationship with the great George Smith, the second most capped forward in Australian Rugby Union. “If I talked to George for more than 30-seconds, he would loose concentration,” Eddie told us. “But if I showed him something on the iPad he would pick it up straight away.” Team meetings and coaching sessions should build on this example and utilise a variety of mediums to convey different messages.
In the Australian Rugby Union team meetings Eddie taught plays to his team by writing then down; putting them through the moves chess board style and by using computer generated graphics so that they could see them in action. Ensuring that all of his players learning methods were covered. Finally, Jones believes that when running a team meeting or coaching session make sure it’s centred on the players (not on the coach). Be concise, keep things clear and simple and ensure you review key points at the end of each segment of a session/meeting.
Eddie’s Blueprint For Creating A Championship Team 1. Create a philosophy that is special, unique, understood and adopted by all of the players and staff. 2. Select your personnel (staff and players) based on character (not knowledge/ technique). Other staff should be reflective of you and have completely bought into the philosophy. Where possible, try to balance complementary skills and communication styles (e.g. introverts/extroverts) 3. The Hedgehog Concept - know what you are good at and what gives you the competitive edge over other teams. Identify and exploit the point of difference and make this integral to the way you train and play. Ensure that all of the players understand that this is what you are good at, this is how you will play and this is what will result in your success. Eddie quickly identified that Japanese rugby players were small and fast. They exploit this by playing attacking, running rugby and try to score as many points as possible.
5. Look outside your own sport – who is the best at what you want to improve? Can you identify why they are effective and can you transfer these methods into your environment? Japan Rugby have a small squad of players - in order for them to effectively play attacking, running rugby it is essential that the team is fit and injury free. Eddie established that AC Milan had the best injury record in European football and subsequently arranged to go and work with them to identify
why this was, taking inspiration and specific ideas from their individualised strength and conditioning plans, use of massage, stretching, and skill drills.
Learning from a Legend Eddie punctuated his seminar with a few top-tips that presented his overall philosophy for developing as a coach. The points are simple and applicable to coaches at a variety of levels, ensuring that everyone took something away they could use, reflect on or disregard.
Eddie’s Top Tips ■■ Write a coaching manual. Keep adding to this with drills, techniques or challenges that you have overcome. Always be on the lookout for ways to improve your own coaching. ■■ The 80:20 rule. When preparing for a game focus 80 per cent on yourself and 20 per cent on the opposition. Try to take away the one thing they are best at and then work on improving what you are good at. ■■ Half-Time Team Talks. The half-time team talk should focus on what the team are going to do in the first 10 minutes after the break. Try to make an impact in that first 10 minutes and set the tone for the rest of the match. ■■ You learn the most from the best players. Create player groups, talk to the best players regularly and involve them in decision making processes whenever possible. Jones finishes the seminar with a point of absolute certainty: “Coaching is like a piece of string – it never ends! Your job is to give service to players and feel that emotional connection with them and the game. In reality, you have to work harder than the players.” The seminar finishes with a flurry of questions and an impromptu photo call outside the lecture. Eddie has given the audience a whistle stop tour of his career and beliefs and left many of us wanting more. I can’t help but feel energised and inspired by his thoughts and reflection. CJ Lee
The SHIOW team with Eddie Jones from L to R: Greig Stewart, CJ Lee, Eddie Jones, Megan Horwood, Michael Coker
©Dominic Parkes courtesy of University of Winchester
It’s clear for Jones that communication, rapport building and effective education are all parts of the holy-triad for helping to build winning teams and develop players. He explains that it’s crucial for coaches to appeal to everyone and keep players interested by using visual, auditory and kinaesthetic input.
4. Create a searching environment. After every game consider your point of difference and think about how you can improve it.
Spring/Summer 2013 Issue
Over recent years sports coaches have become more aware of the importance of developing athletes. Regardless of sport or position there is a consensus among coaches that developing the fundamentals of agility, balance and co-ordination is key in producing elite performers. You only need to look in modern coaching bags which are brimming with all manner of brightly coloured pieces of Speed, Agility and Quickness equipment. However, there is a line of thought that suggests we need to look deeper, think simpler and focus further on developing the very basics of movement within the players we coach. Coaching Hampshire & IOW’s (CHIOW) Talent Coach Breakfast Series (in association with sports coach UK) welcomed Athlete Development Consultant, Kelvin Giles, to Basingstoke in October 2012. Kelvin drew on his experience as Head Track & Field Coach at the Australian Institute of Sport, Director of Performance at Brisbane Broncos and as a coach with the UK Olympic Team to provide a challenging insight into athlete development in the 21st century. There appears to be growing recognition that high-performing athletes get injured more often in the modern era than they have previously. It is popularly explained away by the idea that athletes of yesteryear played through the pain in comparison to today’s athletes who are much more injury aware. While injury identification may be more advanced there may be a deeper reason; does our ‘sit-down’ society now produce weaker people? And, can sports coaches reverse this trend to create stronger, less injuryprone athletes? “The body’s role at all times is to produce movements at exactly the right time, in exactly the right direction, with exactly the right amount of force,” explains Kelvin. Sport is a series of movement puzzles, where even the most simple skills may require one part of the body to accelerate while another decelerates; one part to stabilise while another moves and one part may flex while another rotates. As sport coaches we need to ask ourselves “Do our athletes have the necessary physical literacy to solve all the movement puzzles that will be thrown at them during practice and under the pressure of competition?” Have you ever tested their core movement skills? Try it at your next session – ask your participants to hop and land whilst maintaining their balance. This is a fairly basic skill, one
which you would hope high-performing athletes would be capable of completing, but you may be surprised by the results. Kelvin identifies six core movements as being key to developing physical literacy (squat, lunge, brace, push, pull and rotate). It is by making sure that we can complete these movements consistently, efficiently and with resilience (under pressure/fatigue etc.) that we can create performers capable of solving movement puzzles and developing to their maximum potential. Within these movements triflexion - the flexion of ankle, knee and hip - was highlighted as being particularly significant to sporting performance. Triflexion is utilised in running, jumping and landing but is often something athletes of all ages are incapable of doing efficiently. Another test for your next session – ask your participants to complete a set of squats and see how many of them put their knees together or lift their heels off the floor on the way down (compensating for a lack of hip flexion). The great news is – physical literacy is learnt and it can be improved. A number of Australian Sports Bodies are in the process of changing their coach education programme to incorporate “movement breaks” into all sessions – these are 5-minute periods where players squat, lunge, push (press-ups), pull (chin-ups), brace (planks) and rotate. There is a recognition that in movement we use all of our body, all of the time and that exercises we practice must reflect this. The use of weights machines and exercise bikes is removed in favour of movements like free-standing squats, planks and press-ups which engage the body from the tips of the toes to the top of the head. By understanding how the body works and going back to the very foundations of movement, sports coaches can equip their athletes with more resilient bodies
Inspiring Coaches across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
that can solve all the movement puzzles and that can ensure they move at the right time, in the right direction with exactly the right amount of force. CHIOW are pleased to confirm that Kelvin will be delivering his one day workshop on the 20 April at the Ageas Bowl (cost £25). The Quest for Physical Literacy workshop aims to provide delegates with an understanding of the background, rationale and arguments for a more appropriate journey for the developing athlete and the youth of today in general. There will be three practical elements that deal with the assessment of movement competence and the interventions required to develop this competence. This will be done in the light of the maturation journey and will illustrate the environments of teaching and coaching situations. To book onto the workshop please contact email@example.com Greig Stewart
What should I say and what do they hear? During a discussion with a group of youth coaches we asked if they could recall what was the most effective and ineffective talk they had received as a player from their coach. One vividly remembered a post-match ‘dressing down’ given to him and his team when he was only eight-years-old. He is now 23. That moment has impacted him for 15 years and no doubt well beyond. It served as a teaching mechanism making him even more aware of the importance of how he spoke to his young team. So is there a secret formula or a recommended approach that can positively impact a team performance before they take to the field of play, at half-time or even at full-time in terms of what to say? Why and in what way is more awareness of this issue significant? Could talking to teams be regarded as an inexact science with so many variables to acknowledge and appreciate that no single approach is better than another. Consider these situations and how complex the challenge for a coach can be. Who are the participants (adults, children, novices, enthusiastic amateurs)? What is the significance of the contest (promotion decider, cup competition, friendly or a relegation match)? How best can the information be communicated (and remembered)? What will the content of the message be (key words, critical information)? This article aims to highlight evidence of effective interventions, coaching theory underpinned by the thoughts of coaches and athletes as well as an understanding of the complex nature of ‘talking to teams’. An understanding of this topic begins with the art of communication which has been identified as a skill that differentiates great coaches from good coaches. The ability to create a ‘shared meaning’ is crucial, where all involved understand clearly the expectations, the message delivered and the potential impact. There is often too much content in the coaches’ talk (simply too much to remember). There can be a language used that should be reserved for adults due to its complexity and yet is commonly spoken to children. A young athlete is not a ‘mini adult’, so consider what the words would mean to them. There may be some inconsistency from a coach, who speaks of discipline and yet loses that in a highly emotive speech or when providing feedback from pitch side which could create problems. It’s not uncommon in the intensity of competition, in the heat of the battle, that coaches can stray from their philosophy of effective communication. Eddie Jones, current Rugby Union coach of Japan, recommended
saving the post-match words for the Monday morning to allow the players and coaches to reflect on the performance to prevent comments made being too heavily influenced by emotion.
as it reflected the importance to them of the event, however, when they maintained “poise in pressure situations” the players reacted with calm and confidence (Becker, 2009).
And what of the act of remembering what is said? The coach needs to ensure the attention of the players and that the “less is more” approach facilitates better memory function. A reference to primacy and recency in the context of memory refers to the fact that we often retain the first and last things that are said in a series of instructions and feedback, so as a coach try to keep the messages short and easy to recall. Refer to past experiences that can be used to recall successes or areas where the team can attach meaning. This may enable them to recall similar situations (marginal leads or deficits), playing the same opposition and how they performed previously. Comment on progress and development (process goals) of the team instead of a look at the scoreboard (outcome goals). Wayne Bennett, Australian Rugby League coach said; “Teach them to compete, not to give in. Teach them to forget the scoreboard.”
There has been a great deal written about the impact of adopting a positive coaching approach. The highly successful LA Lakers Basketball coach, Phil Jackson, works on 75 per cent of comments and feedback being positive. This formed part of his coaching philosophy and that this has been widely supported from other disciplines with positive feedback having a greater impact on performance, enjoyment and selfesteem. Coaches’ greater use of mistake –contingent encouragement where mistakes were identified but dealt with in a more constructive manner (a fearful climate can create underperformance and stifle individuality). Athletes’ comments from the previous research reflected this “I can’t have negative people around me, like coaches, I need them to believe in me” and “you have to have constructive criticism, [but] I don’t want a coach who continually wears you down.”
How can research, coaching knowledge and experience help? In a study of elite downhill skiers and their coaches, both emphasised that communication should not be too complicated and that the ideal team environment was one where two-way communication was encouraged (Culver & Trudel, 2000). Research among team sport athletes from a variety of sports indicated that consistency, honesty and clarity were required with appropriate and positive comments. Players responded well to coaches ‘showing a bit of emotion’
CHIOW ran a coaching Masterclass on this subject recently, and the words of renowned and experienced coaches were used to influence attitudes to given scenarios. Consider what you say, what do those words mean to you and the team; understand the nature of all the factors that will influence the content. Remember that there will be some who will never forget. Richard Cheetham
Spring/Summer 2013 Issue
I am now their Head Coach. The most daunting thing is that I coach people who coached me.” Debbie explains her first coaching experience, which will be shared by many coaches across the county. “My mum used to coach the county team and when I was 19 she asked if I could start taking the warm-ups.”
In the last issue we looked at the world of elite female coaching, focussing specifically on Lindsey Fraser’s reflections on her experiences at the London Olympic games. Some eight months on, our focus turns to local legacy. How can the most successful games for women in Olympic history create a platform to raise expectations and increase opportunities for women and girls in sport? In the buildup to the launch of Coaching Hampshire & IOW’s women in coaching programme, Project 500, we spoke to Debbie Laycock, Netball Development Community Coach for England Netball, who knows the importance of grassroots coaching. Away from the lights, cameras and spectator-filled stadiums of last summer, Debbie’s story breathes life into what legacy means in our local communities. CHIOW spoke to the 31-year-old Portsmouth native and soon-to-be mother, to find out why she got into coaching, her thoughts on what makes a good coach and why the Back to Netball programme has been so successful.
Getting into Netball “Netball was always my mum’s passion and after watching her play I wanted to get involved,” says Debbie. “I started at Meon Netball Club when I was 11 and
Whilst many coaches get into sport because of their love of working hard, Debbie shares her own rationale for getting into coaching by reflecting; “I’ve always loved playing netball…but I hated training! As a young player I hated any kind of cardio-vascular exercise.” She justifies this rather strange admission by explaining; “When I was younger I didn’t really have the coaches to motivate me [to work hard]. In hindsight I was potentially talented, if I trained, but I didn’t have particularly good coaches.” Debbie is quick to point out that she doesn’t blame her coaches, but now appreciates that the support for coach development 20 years ago was nothing like it is today. “I think that’s why I became a coach. I’ve learnt a lot from those experiences over the years. I take the good and bad from all my experiences and that’s why my main coaching ethos is to motivate everybody. Participants’ needs are all very different. I now coach at a reasonably high level and also coach Back to Netballers, and there’s a huge difference in the needs of these athletes and players.”
The Most Amazing Job in the World We all dream of having the kind of job that excites us everyday and Debbie is one of the fortunate ones who seems to have found just that. “I am so lucky and privileged to do the most amazing job in the world and after spending years volunteering within coaching, I feel very grateful to be paid to do what I love.” This is a major factor surrounding women in sport and women in coaching in Britain. There are so few paid coaching roles that asking women to volunteer amongst their already busy lives balancing jobs, bringing up children and taking part in sport can be difficult. Back to Netball has proved a successful template for inspiring women to return to sport. So what does Debbie’s role entail? “There are three aspects that are based around my job: organisation, marketing and promotion, delivery and sustainability. These are all prospects that you need to focus on when you’re delivering a coaching session.”
Inspiring Coaches across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
A woman’s work The stereotype of women as mothers has historically left the role of the woman coach to focus on the younger generation of athlete, nurturing their enjoyment of sport more than coaching for improvement. Debbie explains that when she was a child, herself and her sister would spend hours watching her Mum play netball. “We used to sit and watch her play at Fareham Leisure Centre, I even helped out with match teas,” smiles Debbie – which, she admits, left her thrilled. Women clearly have different lifestyle and leadership qualities to men, based on these experiences, with better developed soft skills, and a tendency towards nurturing all aspects of sport (including the match teas). This empathetic disposition allows female coaches to relate more closely to the needs of other female players (arguably at all levels), allowing female coaches to create an environment that suits the expectations of their participants. Debbie explains; “you
“I have had positive and negative experiences as a child in netball and I feel sometimes some of those coaches lacked motivation or the ability to motivate others,” suggests Debbie. “What has inspired me the most is to give back the motivation that I lost and put it into my coaching sessions.” Coaching sport is like any other job, what you put in, you get out and past experiences shape how coaches deliver their sessions. As a coach, your ability to reflect on those experiences and what you learn from them will inevitably shape the coach you become.
The Rise and Rise of Back to Netball Back to Netball has seen 22,000 women return to the sport since 2010. An incredible achievement for any sport, let alone one that is dominated by women. The sessions are specifically aimed and designed for women returning to the sport, providing a gentle introduction to netball with qualified coaches covering basic skill development and court play. The emphasis is on having fun with like minded people, whether it’s about rediscovering your love for netball or getting active again.
don’t get the best out of your players without flexibility. Back to Netball allows this as you don’t have to turn up every week. I have one lady who is 72 and hasn’t played netball for 60 years. She is now a keen volunteer in netball.” Elite role models and inspirational coaches are a necessity for any sport and netball is no exception. With an increased media profile, the incline of elite role models are becoming more apparent. Following England’s triumph over long time rivals Australia in the recent Test Series, televised by Sky Sports, elite, female coaches like Anna Mayes will hopefully become household names. “Inspirational female coaches are so important for keeping women interested in sport. My role model is always going to be my mum, she still plays and umpires today…and now I actually coach her!”
“Back to Netball encourages ladies to get away from the stresses in life and to relive past netball experiences,” explains Debbie. Back to Netball sessions are delivered all over the country, with ladies attending training sessions as well as festivals. Debbie believes that it’s about finding time and being organised that is key to living with sport, something she will have to practice in the coming months. “As I’m now pregnant and expecting my first child, I am going to lead by example and make sure I find time for myself. I will escape from the stress of being a mother by umpiring netball and continuing with my passion before returning to my role as a coach.” For Debbie, the legacy is about being flexible, understanding the needs of her participants and being the best coach she can by reflecting on past experiences. Her additional contribution to the legacy will be with the birth of her child, who in time may be inspired by his/her mother’s own journey in supporting local people to take from sport what they need, whatever their level, age or aspiration. Amy Hewick
Congratulations to Quinton Shillingford (or ‘Q’ as his friends call him) for winning last year’s Gillette Community Coach of the Year. Q collected his award from the awards ceremony in London alongside GB Boxing’s Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua and six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy. Quinton explains: “It’s not just recognition for me, but also for the people who dedicate their time to the club”
Quinton Shillingford (L) with GB Boxer Anthony Joshua (R)
CHIOW has worked with Q before, as one of a variety of organisations who supported our Future Jobs Fund project a couple of years ago. Since then Q’s been busy promoting boxing across the UK with his GB National Boxing Awards programme, which continues to find favour in schools, youth clubs and traditional boxing clubs. Locally Q has been instrumental in providing high-quality coaching to kids and adults in Portsmouth. Based at the Charter Academy School, Q and his team have been inspiring young people to raise their academic aspirations alongside working out in the boxing gym. We’ll be doing a full interview with this local hero for our autumn edition of the newsletter.
Spring/Summer 2013 Issue
A Building Block for Olympic Legacy Project 500 is a new campaign to address the imbalance in the ratio of male to female coaches. Its aim is to create a more diverse workforce to drive the growth of female participation in sport. Devised in partnership with Sport Hampshire & IOW (SHIOW), Oxfordshire Sport Partnership, Bucks and Milton Keynes Sports Partnership, Get Berkshire Active, Active Surrey, Active Sussex, Kent Sport and Physical Activity Service and sports coach UK, Project 500 will see a combined five hundred female coaches recruited, developed and deployed across the seven South East counties between April 2013 and March 2015. The project was launched on International Women’s Day (8 March 2013) in recognition of the increasingly powerful role that women have played and continue to play in society across the globe. The project looks to link with NGB programmes to develop a workforce which better reflects the demographics of our local communities who want to engage in sport and physical activity and in turn jump-start the creation of a women’s coaching network in the UK. So far England Netball, England Handball and the Exercise, Movement and Dance Partnership are the first three NGB’s to fully endorse the project. Liam McCarthy, Coaching Development Manager of England Handball explained; “It’s a real privilege for England Handball to have been approached to be a part of Project 500 and to have been involved right from its inception. It is our belief that not enough is being done to engage young women and girls in coaching and leadership pathways in England, and it’s an honour to be working with a special group of people who want to change that.” The seven County Sport Partnerships (CSPs) across the South East region will deliver the project supported by a number of national sports organisations including Sport England, sports coach UK and the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation. Find out more at www. coachinghampshireiow.co.uk or Like us on facebook.
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Published on Feb 28, 2014