Pilot “Coaching Development” course a huge success

This week, eight coaches of the North Wales Youth Climbing Academy have taken part in the first ever Mountain Training “Coaching Development” course at the Beacon Climbing Centre.

Coaching Development 2

This intensive two day training programme picks up where the level 1 “Coaching Foundations” course leaves off, and focuses on the coaches ability to develop the skills of their individual climbers over a longer period.

The first day looks at the changes that occur as climbers progress from their first valuable experiences to becoming enthusiastic and independent climbers. The day focuses on a philosophy of Climber Centred Coaching and explores the need for the coaches to adapt their delivery and behaviours to work at a higher level in support of keen and driven climbers. Coaching Development goal setting Bang up to date, the team explored the use of all the latest technology for analysis and feedback at our finger-tips, and critically reviewed several readily available Apps in the development of new skills.

The second day is all about structure and planning, as coaches move way beyond the simple delivery of technique, to cover the important tactical, psychological and physical issues in the practice of climbing.

Coaching tactical skills like route-reading and mental rehearsal require a totally different approach to coaching technical movement, and the team shared a wealth of experience from working with the young climbers in this up and coming academy as they explored a variety of scenarios. Finally, the team pulled all the threads together as they considered the structure and planning involved to deliver a learning progression over several weeks of climbing sessions.

Coaching Development Planning an onsight

With sessions on diversity and inclusivity; Long Term Climber Development; sporting pathways and motivation all covered within the two days, this exciting new course contains so much more than just technical delivery. As Jon Ratcliffe (a hugely experienced coach for the NWYCA, who manages the popular wall at Indefatigable) put it:

“For me, personally, everything really tied in together. From all my experiences as a climber, to my progress through FUNdas 1 to 3, it has given me an holistic understanding of the whole process. I feel like this course has spiralled everything up to a whole new level, and I feel a lot more confident”

At each level of the new Coaching Award Scheme, the coaches technical understanding of climbing (“what to coach” from their own experience supported by the FUNdamentals modules) is coupled with these valuable courses to explore “how to coach” climbing more effectively and efficiently to as wide a range of climbers as possible. The North Wales Academy are in no doubt as to the benefits for their climbers and academy members, but we look forward to these opportunities being made available to all climbers across the country.

The course was delivered by Martin Chester, the new Mountain Training Coaching Development Officer, who will now be reporting back to the team who are developing the new awards behind the scenes. After such a positive pilot we hope that we can press on with publishing the details of the scheme on-line, and will be looking to recruit and train a talented team of providers for these courses in the near future. Keep an eye on these pages for all the exciting developments and updates.

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