Inaugural coaching conference is a resounding success
On Saturday 21st more than 250 coaches, students and parents attended the inaugural Hampshire Coaching Conference. The event was the innovation of Matt Johnson, senior Lecture in the Faculty of Business, Sport and Science and Sport Hampshire & IOW’s Coaching Development Manager, CJ Lee. The partnership aimed to bring local coaches from all levels together with students studying Sport Studies, Sport Science and Coaching Studies and Coaching Development together to share ideas and experiences that will help drive coaching and sport forward at a local level.
Coaches and Students were offered key note presentations from a vast array of elite and expert presenters in the field of business, coaching and athlete development. Terry Butcher, former England Captain and currently Manager of Inverness in the Scottish Premier Leagues spoke about his belief in the power of leadership, sport psychology and the role of energy in creating winning attitudes and winning teams. He began his powerful delivery by saying “I’ve learned as much about coaching my 52nd year as I have in the previous 20-years of my coaching career.”
Ben Hunt-Davis thrilled the conference with his account of his experience in the lead up to his 2000 Sydney Olympics Gold Medal performance, where he described the dynamics of his team and their commitment to excellence. “Everyday we said today will be a good, because we’ll make it so!” expressed the positive attitude set out by the team. “Will it make the boat go faster?” was not only the question the Ben and his teammates asked of each other, but is also the title of his new book, which becomes available on June 1st.
Lyndsey Fraser and Pete Waterfield gave an insight to creating champions by giving a blow by blow account of the lifestyle of an elite diver and the relationship between diver and coach over the lifespan of Pete’s outstanding career. Lyndsey also shared the athlete development model used by Southampton Diving to help identify divers with potential and the important role of coaches in supporting both athletes and parents to help athletes achieve their potential.
Oscar Fawanga an internationally renowned academic in the field of sport’s social utility and a member of the Solent university academic staff, spoke of the power of coaching for social change and its role in modern day community sports programmes. He explained how coaches not only teach sport, but are essential for promoting positive attitudes and values that can shape, if not change a person’s personal and worldview. The idea of coaches driving social change and playing an important role in the education of local populations left a positive impression with all the delegates who attended the session.
Paul Holder from the Football Association gave a though-provoking account of talent development systems in the UK. Paul, a former pro, teacher, and now one of the FA’s leading coach educators for Youth Coaching, explained the role of coaches in managing talent. He warned the delegation not to be too hasty in cutting a player before they’ve had the time to develop, both physically and emotionally. He challenged some of the perceived norms around intelligence, accrediting some of the world’s bad boys of football with immense game intelligence alongside their commitment to personal and team excellence.
Student presenters gave an excellent account of themselves over the course of the day with great examples of research and community innovation and enterprise. The cream of Solent’s students were involved in a range of practical sessions, symposiums and poster presentations where they shared their ideas, experiences and expertise with coaches, local sports development professionals and a more than a few proud parents. Over the course of the day the team of key note presenters alongside Sport Hampshire & IOW’s Director, Julie Aimes and Solent’s Professor Jenny Price formed an industry panel and judged the outputs of the student contributors. Three prizes, sponsored by publishing giant Human Kinetics, were presented to students by Ben Hunt Davis. The student recipients were: –
- Group poster: “Young leaders initiative” – Stuart Balfour, Dan Coombs and Alex Butler
- Individual poster: “Does incorporating team norms in a team sport increase effort” – Damien Jennings
- Verbal presentation: “The use of Self talk in Cricket” – Adam Kelly
All in all the day was a great platform from which future events can now be held. Solent University and Sport Hampshire & IOW as part of an ongoing partnership demonstrated the power of bringing together community, enterprise and academia. Some students left the day with the guarantee of a job aided by a number of commercial representatives who attended the recruitment fair, whilst coaches, student and parents alike were given a chance to meet important sponsors and industries within the field of sport and sports coaching.
Matt Johnson closed the day by explaining “the singular theme that bound today’s speakers and presenters was choice. As coaches, athletes and parents we all have choices and today we’ve presented some very good choices for those wishing to achieve success.”
A video of the conference along with content from the sessions will be available online in the coming weeks.