The recent webinars set up by Aiden Oakley and Rob Pacey were hugely well received, and rightfully so. These along with recent evidence that S&C has been very CPD driven during lockdown has bought up a couple of intriguing points.
I’m sat in my training facility each day alone, while the rest of the coaching department work remotely. This is no doubt similar for you, and I’m sure you are also all using this as a period for personal and collective development, to restart your performance enhancing machines better than ever.
But what will be of interest is how much of this time invested in such study actually transfers to coaching practice?
Will the investment yield the performance gains in us as coaches that should be accountable too?
Speaking to my colleague Chris Tombs earlier this week on the topic of CPD in our field, its apparent traditional approaches are clearly being questioned in their true ability to ‘return on your investment’.
I’ve attended very few conferences in the last decade, not through laziness but through my belief at least for me, there are other ways to improve my coaching performance (although maybe a decision in part to the fall out off my wife having to look after the kids all weekend).
While very structured and formal CPD will always have its place, e.g. those early in their career where the pool to learn is much broader and your network is limited in people to call upon. For many of us, meet up’s over caffeine and skype calls while munching on a protein bar, have become a more popular choice.
The chance for you both to steer the conversation, adjust it when needed, ask things you didn’t think of prior, all drive our abilities to engage, create and learn. Plus, these don’t need to be limited to only acquaintances, in fact reaching out to hear from new professionals, experts in niches is pivotal. Why?
Such meets do have risks; ego massaging, waffle and conversation only focused on proving what you believe rather than best finding the most effective solutions for your athletes problems. And that is surely the main factor…
CPD for many of us is about learning of better ways to solve the problems we’re intrusted with fixing. While our roles aren’t just about dealing with problems; the ruptured ACL, insufficient acceleration. Everything we do to develop performance does always boil down to solutions and for these to exist there has to be challenges.
There is no doubt, S&C coaches across the globe will come out of this period of lockdown wiser. But how many of us will come out better in delivering the art out on to the gym floor or field?
Here are the approaches we’ve utilised to ensure this in our coaching department:
- Every discussion is gone into with very clear objectives as to how this will help us improve our delivery/service as coaches (very specific questions, topics, themes).
- To reflect and do so in the context of our world here at CP, all of this is discussed on a later, separate call by the whole coaching team. Specifically asking and debating, how can this make us better not just in understanding but critically in coaching execution. Everyone has a voice.
- Agreed upon specific actions are made and these are placed in our philosophy documents, all of which are recorded on a central shared folder.
- It’s understood this learning only works if we apply it, and the above creates accountability in ensuring we all do it.
What a great window this has been to develop understanding for all of us, its on us to ensure this translates to our coaching performances.
P.S – A great effort on the rehab webinar, in creating a free, large scale event, but using evidence based case studies, a quick presentation format to bring it to life.