Right Coach, Right Place, Right Time: the coach as an agent for change
When we arrived at the University of Winchester we were really impressed with the venue. There were around 30 coaches in the room for the first of the afternoon’s speakers. The afternoon began with an illuminating talk on creativity in coaching from Richard Cheetham. He talked largely about the nature of coaches who he said, and we agree, are high on organisation but not necessarily high on freedom of expression. He also had people drawing watering cans and discussed his work with “proper genius” Danny Cipriani.
Unfortunately the RFU’s Nicks Scott was unable to attend so instead The Leisure Review’s own Mick Owen stepped into the fray and facilitated a fascinating discussion on governing body coach development processes. We will have to get in contact with Nick Scott for a final ruling on the question ‘du jour’, why do the RFU have a fifth coaching level for all areas of the game apart from children?
Using the last slide of Nick Scott’s presentation as a jumping off point Andy Heald of Premier Sport, the country’s leading provider of coaching for schools, gave a really interesting insight into their views on the kind of coaches they need and the huge amount of training they then put into developing these coaches before they come into contact with a child.
If Andy Heald challenged the coaching status quo then Oscar Mwaanga challenged everyone in the room to re-evaluate the extent to which sport and coaching affects change in society. Oscar explained his fascinating philosophy that sport should occupy a place alongside the church and the family as a key source of personal development. Sport he claimed gives people skills that go beyond being sport skills and become life skills.
Rounding up the evening, CJ Lee of Sport Hampshire & Isle of Wight thanked all the speakers and most importantly the coaches in attendance for their contribution and their contributions to the stimulating debate.