You are currently browsing the SJAC Blog blog archives for August, 2016.

The Quickest Way From A To B Isn’t Always A Straight Line.

Comments (0) Posted in Learning by Phil Amos on August 26th, 2016

As a general rule we are taught that the quickest way from A to B is a straight line. As coaches we often try to help our athletes learn by using a logical; straight-line; progressive approach.

Straight line learning involves assessing our athlete to establish where our starting point A is and then setting a goal of getting to point B. We plot our logical, linear progressions from A to B.

There is one essential ingredient for our learning recipe and this is engagement. Our athlete, our learner must be able to engage with the task. Engagement is like pushing down on the accelerator pedal of a car, making the car go faster. The more our athlete engages the faster their rate of learning. So what can we do as coaches to encourage engagement?

Rocket Fuel

Curiosity, creativity and challenge: the rocket fuel for engagement.

For our athletes to engage fully with whatever task they are doing, they need to have curiosity, creativity and be challenged.

Curiosity: “I wonder why…what…when…where…how much?”.

Creativity: “I’ll try solving it this way or that”.

Challenge: “I’ve had success, I’ve solved my problem, I feel pleased with myself and confident. What is my next step – where next is my curiosity leading me? I feel equipped to take on my next challenge”

The problem with straight-line learning is that we as coaches have worked out A and B and the logical progression between. We have been curious, creative and set the challenges. We have done all the thinking. We have been engaged but not our learner. They may well be doing our progressions but not necessarily engaging with our progressions fully.

The Flying Rubber Balloon Alternative

Picture yourself blowing-up a rubber party balloon. Instead of tying a knot you decide to let go of the balloon. The balloon shoots-off at high speed, flying in every direction. Using the flying balloon as an analogy:

The air escaping the balloon, powering the balloon in its flight: This is our athlete’s curiosity, creativity and the challenges they set themselves, powering their engagement and learning.

The journey travelled is maybe further and most definitely not a straight-line; but the journey is faster and richer, with more questions, more answers, more challenges and more learning.

So if we want high speed learning, we need to design sessions to foster, curiosity, creativity and challenge.

Supply the rocket fuel and let our athletes fly.

Breakdown but don’t break.

Comments (0) Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Amos on August 19th, 2016

As coaches we observe our athletes. We observe their performances; their technique; their strategies. We think about what could be better. We break things down to work on making these improvements. We breakdown:

• Technique.
• Competition strategy.
• Lifestyle.
• Physical preparation.
• Our plan.
• Our goals.

But what about building-up? Perhaps with our focus on, “fixing” by breaking things down, we are losing sight of building-up. Building-up:

• Confidence.
• Success.
• Motivation.
• Our Coach / Athlete relationship.
• Our athlete’s ability to accept more responsibility for their own development.
• Enjoyment.

Breaking-down without building-up, might just leave us with broken.

SJAC – Athlete Of The Month For May.

Comments (0) Posted in Athlete Of The Month Interviews by Phil Amos on August 18th, 2016

Genevieve Hodge Athlete Of The Month Interview. Listen to Genevieve talk about being funny, loving and cute; Jessica, Holly and Ella and the Personal Best Line. (Approx. 6 minutes).