I’ve started helping out with my swimming club and it’s weird!
I’ve now done a bit more coaching of more people and it’s really good, but yes also weird. I have done a number of sessions helping out with the kids club with the competition and pre-comp squads. It is fun to watch them and get them engaged in the task at hand. It’s also great to watch the head coach do his thing. He has so much confidence the kids look up to him. He can grab the attention of the whole pool easily. He has so much energy. I am taking mental notes all the time.
I have found it’s not always about the technical side of swimming, but rather making sure the participants are getting something out of it, whether that is having fun or technical progression. It’s important to listen to them as well and challenge them to get them thinking about what they are doing in the pool.
The other groups I have coached recently have been the Masters Swim club who I swim with and the triathlon section of the running club. Adults are completely different to kids. They want to know why they are doing things and how it will make them improve and will challenge you back if they think something isn’t right. But you can have a laugh with them and getting things wrong isn’t a big deal. Whereas, with the kids, you need to be a bit of an authority figure in order to keep their attention.
I wish had more sets of eyes though! I struggle with watching each one and pass back feedback. I need to come up with a better strategy for this, such as watching a different person each time and then concentrating my feedback each time, or make my feedback general. Also I need to work on my timing! I put together a couple of the triathlon session plans for the masters’ session I coached and thought a couple of bit would only take 15 minutes each, whereas they took 30 minutes each. I miscalculated how long each bit would take to explain, carry out, and provide feedback for.
I’m glad I’m getting some practice in as my assessment for my Level 1 Triathlon Coaching qualification is at the end of the month and I really want to do well.