Allen J & Reid C (2017) Developing Coaches Beyond Coach Education. International Council for Coaching Excellence, Liverpool, England, 31.07.2017-02.08.2017. https://www.icce.ws/events.html
This presentation describes a series of evidence-based development opportunities designed to increase the quality of coaches’ practice. They were developed and delivered by Scottish Hockey in partnership with the University of Stirling.
It has been identified that much of a coach’s learning and development occurs outside formal coach education in non-formal and informal learning situations leading to a somewhat ad hoc mix of developmental experiences for coaches (Cushion et al, 2010). This situation may limit coaches’ development because they may not be aware of areas in their coaching that could benefit from further development. It also provides challenges for coach developers who may seek to support and even guide the development of coaches beyond formal coach education situations. With a desire to ‘do something’ to support (and guide – check and challenge) coaches to continue their development, a series of development opportunities were implemented. Hockey coaches from two specific populations: 1) talent development pathway coaches; and 2) women coaches; were the focus of these opportunities.
Coaches were invited to engage in some or all of these development opportunities. The available opportunities included: developing action plans, regular 1 to 1 mentoring, continued professional development workshops, self-analysis, player feedback, and video observation and feedback on their coaching practice. A number of tools were specifically designed to ensure meaningful feedback was provided to coaches and to enable monitoring over time. For example, a systematic observation tool – the Hockey Coach Observation Tool was developed based on an established research coach observation tool and adapted to be appropriate to hockey. A self-analysis wheel was developed which encouraged coaches to reflect on their competence in areas of coaching such as planning, effective actions in training and games, and outcomes for players. This tool was developed through examination of research and literature on coaching activities as well through discussions with an expert coach and coach educator. A similar tool was developed to gain players’ feedback on the coaching they received. The insight gained from endeavour to support coaches’ development and the impact on coaches will be presented. The factors that facilitated as well as the challenges in the development, implementation, and evaluation of these efforts to improve the quality of coaching practice will be discussed.