The British Canoeing Coaching Conference is always a source of new ideas and inspiration and this year’s event held earlier this month was no exception. As well as the opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues that we might not have seen for a while, perhaps meet some new ones, and hear the latest news from the team from Nottingham, we were treated to three excellent keynote speakers.
I came away from the conference with a pad of notes containing some key messages and some action points – including a list of books and biographies that I really must try to read over the coming year. One thought that resonated strongly was the concept of the coach as GP. We all know that coaching is a complicated, some would say messy, businesses. As coaches we have a range of tools and theories to guide us but we are, and the paddlers we’re working with are, pyscho/social and equally complicated creatures. No matter how good we might individually be at finding effective solutions to particular coaching problems, there is always going to be more to learn than we ever will.
The Technical Tactical Physiological Psychological framework is one of the tools we use to analyse where we might seek to make interventions that will help our learners. TTPP can also give us insights into where we may not be best placed to help and may want to refer our learners to specialists. I am not a slalom technician, nor a sports psychologist, but I know people who are! I came away from the coaching conference reflecting on what a great job we as coaches can do and that there where we can’t, there’s a strong network out there that we can refer our paddlers on to.