Be a beginner

DW - Marsport training dayI’ve always found it very rewarding to step back every so often from what I do and the way I do things to hear how others tackle the same tasks and challenges. I wasn’t therefore disappointed when I attended the annual British Canoeing Coaching Conference held at Wyboston Lakes in Bedfordshire last month.

As in previous years the conference brought together inspirational speakers and a wide range of presenters who addressed or led workshops with coaches from across the country resulting in a wealth of fresh ideas and new thoughts. I’m sure each of those who attended went away with a number of ‘take outs’, but the message which chimed loudest with me was Lowri Davies’ suggestion that we as coaches should take the opportunity, once in a while, to be beginners and remind ourselves what it’s like to be learners rather than deliverers.

It was good then, just a week or so later, to be able to attend one of Marsport’s DW training days. I’ve raced in marathon before but my K2 partner Barry hasn’t and we agreed that we should both go along to see what Paul Ralph and Richard Lovell had to say. I’m glad we did. Barry learned loads, but I learned plenty too. And it was useful to look at Paul and Richard’s delivery from a beginner’s, rather than a fellow coach’s, point of view.

As we head into 2015 I would encourage all coaches to bear in mind Lowri’s message to be a beginner. And if gaining new skills or a new qualification is on your New Year’s resolution list do let me know if I can help you.

Happy New Year!

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