Playing the feedback card

PLA Marlow Sep17 (1)

It’s great how paddlers and coaches share their knowledge and insights so freely, the development of our sport thrives on it. Whenever I work with other coaches I always expect to hear or see something that’s new to me and working with Andy Pearson on a Level 1 Coach course last week was no different.

I’d just used a pack of cards for the students to draw from to determine the order in which they were going to deliver their pre-planned sessions. It’s an old trick to introduce a random element to those decisions. But it also prompted Andy to share with us a way of thinking about how we give feedback on those sessions.

Feedback, Andy related, was like working with a full deck of cards and playing all the suits. As coaches we use hearts to give plenty of praise and encouragement, but need to be sparing in our use of clubs, not to beat our learners up with over-harsh criticism. We also need to employ our spades to dig out the diamonds that are the positive points our learners can work on and develop.

As with all the best tips and tricks we use in our coaching this one is simple, easily remembered, and I love it! Thanks for sharing Andy!


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