What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

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Allenkayak
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What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Allenkayak »

Not wanting to hijack other threads, so I have started this one.

The underlying reason for the BCU to move from it's old scheme to the UKCC underwritten one was to improve the standard of coaching. The outcome being that better coaches would lead to;
1) better paddlers
2) safer paddles
3) a better uptake and retention of paddlers

Well as a UKCC level 2 coach I'm not going to argue that the coaches arn't better, but the feedback also seams to agree with this, so have teh outcomes been achieved ?

Well the BCU advertise the success and numbers going through the UKCC Level 1 stage, but we don't see the same advertisment for those that achieve level 2.
Now one of my concerns was that with the cost and time involved in getting the new qualification would we see less level 2 coaches (the main stay on many clubs) becoming qualified than those leaving, so we end up with a shortfall of coaches. This would potentially then mean that more people were being introduced and taught by unqualified paddlers, and some people on this forum regularly state that you don't need qualifications to coach or lead. So does this mean that the 3 outcome above are not being achieved ? - Discuss and what do peole think needs to be done to help people become qualified ?

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Mikers »

Simple.
Stop trying to force kayakers to teach canoeing and visa versa.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by biketastik »

Mikers wrote:Simple.
Stop trying to force kayakers to teach canoeing and visa versa.
I dissagree.
I am a kayaker but I think the canoe skills can be useful and they can be easier for complete beginners to get to grips with because of the padded feeling you get from them. When I say padded I mean forgiving. I think that up to 2 star canoeing isn't a bad skill to have. And anyway, nobody's forcing you to do anything. Once you've got the qualification you don't have to teach both dissciplines it's just a way of making sure you understand the principles of both. After that you can make up your own mind. A lot of people like kayaking and all the adrenaline elements of it but probably just as many like a nice leasurely canoe trip down something nice and flat?
Anyway that's just my opinion.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

biketastik wrote: I think that up to 2 star canoeing isn't a bad skill to have. And anyway, nobody's forcing you to do anything. Once you've got the qualification you don't have to teach both dissciplines it's just a way of making sure you understand the principles of both.
Au contraire.

Anyone wishing to join the coaching scheme at any level needs to both canoe and kayak and both to a reasonable skill level which will take time to achieve.

After that, you are right, you don't need to teach anything you don't want to.

If a paddler wishes to progress through the BCU star scheme beyond 1 star, the system requires that he both canoe and kayak. If they want to omit one, the scheme has nothing for them. It is possible but rather a nonsense to suggest that they skip to the next skill level. I give an example of a couple of pensioners who have bought a canoe to take on canals; yes I know they can just be coached in the one dicipline but that makes a mockery of the scheme.

I have some thoughts on the OP but need to gather some statistics.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by twopigs »

Adrian Cooper wrote: I have some thoughts on the OP but need to gather some statistics.
What ruin a good internet squabble with some facts???? Certainly need stats to set against the stated desired outcomes.

I'm not sure how you measure "Better paddlers" and "Safer paddlers" - but more paddlers should be easy enough now that membership of CE will be made compulsory for all paddlers in England ;-D
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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by chriscw »

The old scheme was NOT broken and did not need fixing. I suppose it would be equally true to say that there is nowt so constant as change so why not change it.

Even under the old scheme however there was a lot of emphasis on competition when probably at least 95% of paddlers do not compete, paddling is not like cricket, or tennis you have absolutely no need of competition in any form to enjoy it. Canoeing and Kayaking are really more like climbing and angling they are pastimes which help people participate in a lifelong healthy pursuit.

Competitive sport is the enemy of participatory sport as competition automatically excludes almost everyone from 'success' the BCU was formed to organise the GB Olympic participation in I believe 1936 and it has unfortunately never shaken off that disastrous raison d'etre.

The BCU should ditch the UKCC coaching scheme in its entirety and go back to something like the old scheme but probably keep the new star awards system. If most of the specific competitive content was removed from the old scheme there would then be room within the scheme for extra training in being a good leisure paddling coach. There always were sports coach awards under the old scheme and those wishing to coach for competition should have a range of extra sports coach modules that they could do.
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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by robhorton »

I think the overhead of getting to L2 coach is going to be too much many volunteer coaches. I did the L2 training a few years ago but never got round to taking the assessment - there's no way I'd start from scratch now though.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Rhod »

Mikers wrote:Simple.
Stop trying to force kayakers to teach canoeing and visa versa.
Thing is that UKCC is a nationaly regognised qualification so we need to be inkeeping with the model used by other sports like:

In tennis you must also play table tennis.
Rugby you must also play football
Mountanneting you must also run a marathon
Hocky requires you to play lacross
Basketball you must also play netball.

(please note some or all of the examples above might be made up).

There is no denying that cross training is useful, but experience in a canoe is no more useful than freestyle, polo, sea kayaking, slalom or karate.

I once read something comparing the job of the BCU to a governing body responsible for every sport in the uk that uses a ball. To be fair it's not easy.

However, why does a club training in a school swimming pool have to invest in £700 worth of open boat that they will then need to store and rearly use in order to asses a very early stage performance award in kayak (and visa-versa)?
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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by peebee »

This would potentially then mean that more people were being introduced and taught by unqualified paddlers, and some people on this forum regularly state that you don't need qualifications to coach or lead.
I'm sure the new system is just not producing enough coaches.

Our local activity centre often use sailing instructors ( often in powerboats!) to supervise ( I won't say coach!) canoe/kayak sessions due to a lack of BCU coaches. These sessions are mostly raw beginners - the very groups that would benefit the most from a quality paddlesport coach.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by davidmann »

I'm changing over to the new scheme from the old one and my biggest problem has been finding a UKCC Level 2 training course that is actually running - most I have enquired about recently have been cancelled due to lack of interest. Surely and indication of how things currently are?

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Dave B »

Ok here are my views, for what they are worth.
I am an old L2 kayak coach, attached to a local canoe club.

A coach will need to be able to coach in both Kayak and Canoe. So to cover what ever people bring along.
Kayak= Kayak skills, Canoe = Canoe skills, Sit on top = kayak skills, Stand up Top = Canoe skills, ect.

The problem that I have is that the club is biased towards kayaks, no one is interested in canoes. To them they are big and heavy, and dont do white water. So after a few years of trying to do the new 2 star, I have decided to fit in with the club and teach the 2 star skills for the kayak, get them up to 2 star standard then if they want to start to teach them how to canoe up to 2 star standard.

As far as I am now conserned, I will handle the 2 star like the one star, I will coach people up to the standard that they require.

I may be coaching the skills from either an open or a kayak, so people can see what is possable. To this end I have got hold of a spec canoe (cant roll it yet) so may be this will try and disperse the myth that you can not do white water in an open canoe (once I work out how to paddle it!).

Lastly I did go on a one day transfer course from the old BCUL2 to the new UKCCL2, but I have not taken it forward due to the lack of mentors, the paperwork, and other conmitments. Also I have decided to improve my paddling skills instead, which tend to nosedive if you only paddle while coaching basic skills.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by BaldockBabe »

Rhod wrote:
Mikers wrote:Simple.
Stop trying to force kayakers to teach canoeing and visa versa.
Thing is that UKCC is a nationaly regognised qualification so we need to be inkeeping with the model used by other sports like:

In tennis you must also play table tennis.
Rugby you must also play football
Mountanneting you must also run a marathon
Hocky requires you to play lacross
Basketball you must also play netball.
My understanding is that in both Gymnastics and Swimming the coaching qualifications differ for each discipline, thus you need to different qualifications for beam, bar, front crawl, backstroke etc... If that is correct I think the BCU should have followed those examples.

As for it bein competition based, I am heavily involved in slalom and am still trying to find out if the slalom module has officially been released and if so, where it can be done!!!

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

chriscw wrote:The BCU should ditch the UKCC coaching scheme in its entirety and go back to something like the old scheme but probably keep the new star awards system.
I ca see where you're coming from, but I can't agree with it; The new coaching scheme is bringing a lot of the nitty gritty of coaching that was previously buried in the performance coaching side of the old scheme to a wider audience; and this has great potential to produce better paddlers faster when applied to the non-competitive side of the sport.

The big difference is that instead of measuring development and setting goals in terms of competition results, the metrics become what the paddler is now capable of, and the goals are more open ended (a paddler might start off and want to paddle confidently on grade 3, having reached this goal, they might then have a period of adaptation to this, after which they want to learn to playboat and so on; with the goals following what will bring the paddler most enjoyment to develop).

If people are willing to get their heads round it and switch the logistics from randomly coaching different groups from session to session (something I used to see a lot of) to coaching "their paddlers"; giving them tailored coaching, development plans* and both short & long term goals (in fairness, I know some non-competitive clubs have been doing this for some time, but it seemed/seems to be the exception not the rule). Then we have potential to bring our own sport/energetic hobby to a new level.
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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

TheKrikkitWars wrote:a paddler might start off and want to paddle confidently on grade 3
The level 2 (flat water) coach might have a group of paddlers who want to be able to simply paddle canoe.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:a paddler might start off and want to paddle confidently on grade 3
The level 2 (flat water) coach might have a group of paddlers who want to be able to simply paddle canoe.
In time, they might decide that they'd like to do longer journeys taking in sections of open water... or they might decide that simply paddling on flat water gives them enough pleasure, in which case one could say that their ultimate goal had be reached.
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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Mikers »

biketastik wrote:
Mikers wrote:Simple.
Stop trying to force kayakers to teach canoeing and visa versa.
I dissagree.
I am a kayaker but I think the canoe skills can be useful and they can be easier for complete beginners to get to grips with because of the padded feeling you get from them. When I say padded I mean forgiving. I think that up to 2 star canoeing isn't a bad skill to have. And anyway, nobody's forcing you to do anything. Once you've got the qualification you don't have to teach both dissciplines it's just a way of making sure you understand the principles of both. After that you can make up your own mind. A lot of people like kayaking and all the adrenaline elements of it but probably just as many like a nice leasurely canoe trip down something nice and flat?
Anyway that's just my opinion.
We definatelty disagree.

There is no harm in requiring your coach to be able to paddle both kayak and canoe to a reasonable standard. No problem and no argument with that. I'd even agree that it's desirable for a coach to understand both boats.

Lets face it though, the star award scheme is the recognised BCU approved route for a paddler to progress. If you want to get a coaching qualification, you will presumably be doing so because you wish to teach and examine paddlers in the star scheme. Doing so requires that you teach both disciplines at the early levels. As has already been pointed out, not only are you forced to teach a discipline that you are not necessarily interested in, but you are teaching it to people who are not necessarily interested in that discipline AND your club is forced to buy, store and maintain kit to enable this to happen.

I use the word 'force' carefully. No body is really being forced to do anything. But if you want to work within the scheme, then this is what you have to put up with. The OP asked:
"Discuss and what do peole think needs to be done to help people become qualified ?"
I till argue that the current scheme is a massive disincentive to a large proportion of paddlers, for the reasons I've given.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

If the real intention of the new scheme was to reduce the number of volunteer coaches in favour of a lower number of commercial coaches each with a higher skills base, then maybe it is working.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by biketastik »

Mikers wrote:
biketastik wrote:
Mikers wrote:Simple.
Stop trying to force kayakers to teach canoeing and visa versa.
I dissagree.
I am a kayaker but I think the canoe skills can be useful and they can be easier for complete beginners to get to grips with because of the padded feeling you get from them. When I say padded I mean forgiving. I think that up to 2 star canoeing isn't a bad skill to have. And anyway, nobody's forcing you to do anything. Once you've got the qualification you don't have to teach both dissciplines it's just a way of making sure you understand the principles of both. After that you can make up your own mind. A lot of people like kayaking and all the adrenaline elements of it but probably just as many like a nice leasurely canoe trip down something nice and flat?
Anyway that's just my opinion.
We definatelty disagree.

There is no harm in requiring your coach to be able to paddle both kayak and canoe to a reasonable standard. No problem and no argument with that. I'd even agree that it's desirable for a coach to understand both boats.

Lets face it though, the star award scheme is the recognised BCU approved route for a paddler to progress. If you want to get a coaching qualification, you will presumably be doing so because you wish to teach and examine paddlers in the star scheme. Doing so requires that you teach both disciplines at the early levels. As has already been pointed out, not only are you forced to teach a discipline that you are not necessarily interested in, but you are teaching it to people who are not necessarily interested in that discipline AND your club is forced to buy, store and maintain kit to enable this to happen.

I use the word 'force' carefully. No body is really being forced to do anything. But if you want to work within the scheme, then this is what you have to put up with. The OP asked:
"Discuss and what do peole think needs to be done to help people become qualified ?"
I till argue that the current scheme is a massive disincentive to a large proportion of paddlers, for the reasons I've given.
I agree that if your club doesn't already have the gear then yes this new system would suck pretty majorly. My home club was already moving to get a fleet of canoes because we had a few coaches who were vaguely interested and then more interested when they realised they would have to coach it all anyway. My home club is deffinately geared towards kayaking but we do now have the equipment to put people through the star system which gives people goals to achieve and anyway, who says you can't use canoes on whitewater? :D Sure you do get wet... but it can be a lot of fun. I think that given the situation probably a fair few clubs are experiencing with the lack of canoes problem then grant money for getting some should be made available for exactly that purpose (buying canoes and associated kit). But I can see that it's still a pain in the proverbial.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

Adrian Cooper wrote:If the real intention of the new scheme was to reduce the number of volunteer coaches in favour of a lower number of commercial coaches each with a higher skills base, then maybe it is working.
I think the intention was perhaps somewhere in the middle, to try and increase the number of volunteer coaches who had a higher skills base (and as a result slowly exclude the coaches who don't want to upskill); If you are seeing a strong shift toward buying in commercial coaches than maybe it's backfired (lack of accessibility??).
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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Rhod »

Thing with the kayak+canoe thing is that is recognises broad experience is good. No probs, I agree. But from my observation playboaters and people who play kayak polo/slalom learn transferable skills far quicker (not always granted) than people who canoe. In fact the quality of the coaching and entheusiasm of the coach in whatever dicipline is most important thing in progression up to 2*.

Is the idea of the requirement to also coach canoeing more to do with keeping a very minority sport alive than developing a solid skillset. If so, why not squirtboating?
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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

I'm not sure the more than 10,000 members of the Song of the Paddle forum would undestand your use of the expression 'very minority sport'.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Rhod »

Your quite right, I apologise.

More people are introduced to paddlesport through Kayaking than Canoeing though meaning that there are more kayak than canoe participants and coaches. I do wonder whether this forms a part of the rational for the two diciplines being linked at the grass roots stages. I may however just be being cynical.
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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

Rhod wrote:More people are introduced to paddlesport through Kayaking than Canoeing
That only really holds for Britain (and to a lesser extent Europe in general).

In my experience, people who have reasonable canoe handling skills have much better technique when you see them on the water than playboaters, [most] polo players and general rec paddlers; Slalomists are in a league of their own for technique and boat handling though.
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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Scots_Charles_River »

I would say that more kids and adults are introduced to Canoeing than kayaking - it's drier, boats go straight tandem pretty easy, it's all year in a canoe, better for short journeys eg ten minutes, better for expeditions.

I'm not for or against any particular discipline, I was introduced to kayaking in sea scouts. But have drifted into canoeing as I wish to progress to taking kids along the canoe expedition route. Although it is easier than the equivalent expedition on the sea (sea kayaking) for quals.

The UKCC level 1 has a relatively low entry standard, 2 star. Compared to the SPA, Sailing or ML quals.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Scots_Charles_River »

biketastik wrote:
I agree that if your club doesn't already have the gear then yes this new system would suck pretty majorly. My home club was already moving to get a fleet of canoes because we had a few coaches who were vaguely interested and then more interested when they realised they would have to coach it all anyway. My home club is deffinately geared towards kayaking but we do now have the equipment to put people through the star system which gives people goals to achieve and anyway, who says you can't use canoes on whitewater? :D Sure you do get wet... but it can be a lot of fun. I think that given the situation probably a fair few clubs are experiencing with the lack of canoes problem then grant money for getting some should be made available for exactly that purpose (buying canoes and associated kit). But I can see that it's still a pain in the proverbial.
Up to most grade 2, most solo WW trips I will stay drier in my trad. open than the kayakers ! I rarely get my top half wet at all. Most kayakers gaze at me jealously when I sneak a drink or croissant when they are wet and can't do the same.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by biketastik »

Scots_Charles_River wrote:Up to most grade 2, most solo WW trips I will stay drier in my trad. open than the kayakers ! I rarely get my top half wet at all. Most kayakers gaze at me jealously when I sneak a drink or croissant when they are wet and can't do the same.
When I said wet I ment people falling out of their canoes when it goes off on one... Obviously this happens more with begginers than the more experienced user but it is still fun in my opinion.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Scots_Charles_River »

Coaching beginners, I find more kayak capsizes than canoes. Top heavy, more tippy in a kayak.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by TommyG12 »

Something like the RYA dinghy sailing scheme could apply rather well to paddling, it would solve many of the problems people complain about on here and although it is not perfect, it could be made into a very good scheme for both kayak and canoe coaches alike.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by cp »

[quote="Adrian Cooper"]If the real intention of the new scheme was to reduce the number of volunteer coaches in favour of a lower number of commercial coaches each with a higher skills base, then maybe it is working.[/quote]

Agree with this totally, the outcome for me was to give up coaching officially and now only take out friends and family.Also one of the reasons I have left the BCU. I see no reason both could not run one for volunteer coaching of one skill only and UKCC for those who wish to coach commercially.

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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Eliza Dolittle »

The UKCC scheme can produce boat based Level 1 coaches who are supposed to have a broad general knowledge of the sport yet have never capsized a closed cockpit kayak before. (see the latest issue of CoDE for details how.)
The new L1 scheme has been very popular with young people (u18) in our club. I had hoped that this would lead to lots more help with coaching, particularly in the summer holidays, this hasn't quite materialised and now the slightly cynical part of me thinks that at £120-£150 for a 4 day course this is actually quite a cheap way to fill up your UCAS form.
I haven't seen a representative sample of the new L2s to comment on and the L3s I know are still waiting for discipline specific modules.

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