What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

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

Post by Robert Craig »

Numbers for Scotland were part of the SCA Annual Report, presented at the AGM last weekend.

For the year ending March 2011, the announced figures were:
241 BCU UKCC Level 1
119 BCU UKCC Level 2 training
74 BCU UKCC Level 2 award
51 Level 2 transfer
38 BCU UKCC Level 3 training

I've no idea whether these numbers are sufficient to keep things going in Scotland, nor how they compare with pre-UKCC numbers. There were 81 affiliated clubs, but not all those on the list above will be part of clubs.

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

Post by biketastik »

lou wrote:What I have seen, are people who have rushed through the new 2*, with an obvious preference in one craft. This then results in poor coaching in the other craft.
For me, coaches should have better skills than 2* anyway.
Lou
When I did my level 1 about a year ago I was one of only 2 on the course who had the prerequisits before attending! I couldn't believe that there were people going for coaching awards who didn't even have 2 star yet. We had one person fail the course and she failed because her paddling skills weren't up to the standard. I think it just beggers beliefe that anybody would think they are capable of coaching anybody else if they can't even do it themselves? I was overqualified by UKCC standards as I allready had the new 3* but I think that you should have better than 2* skills for coaching. Otherwise you don't have the personal skills to demonstrate anything well enough to a beginner do you? I think 3* might be over the top but there should deffinately be a high standard for the personal skills element of the course.

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

Post by Mad_Erik »

I thought that UKCCL1 wasn't a remit to coach in your own right (unless signed off/running a taster session in a very controled environment) rather that level 1's are assistants, deployed by L2's or above. Thus, if a L1 isn't good enough to do good demonstrations then the higher coach simply wouldn't deploy them for that purpose. The L2 could demonstrate or another member of the group.

I was taught to cartwheel by a L5 who can't cartwheel himself. You don't need to beable to perform the skills yourself, just have a sound understanding of how to do it and be able to coach.
I have a dog, his name is Erik.

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

Post by biketastik »

The levek one can coach up to 2* I believe but can't do it unless theres a senior coach around nereby? I'm a bit haazy on this point...

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

Post by Simon Westgarth »

Mad_Erik wrote:I was taught to cartwheel by a L5 who can't cartwheel himself. You don't need to beable to perform the skills yourself, just have a sound understanding of how to do it and be able to coach.
Indeed so, however most coaching is done as part of a river trip, and as such the coach needs to be confident within that environment, or deploy safety boaters to pick up the pieces of a failed attempt and also lead the group on the water. Still above all, it's always easier to give the example you wish others to follow, especially on white water.

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

Post by biketastik »

Simon Westgarth wrote:
Mad_Erik wrote:I was taught to cartwheel by a L5 who can't cartwheel himself. You don't need to beable to perform the skills yourself, just have a sound understanding of how to do it and be able to coach.
Indeed so, however most coaching is done as part of a river trip, and as such the coach needs to be confident within that environment, or deploy safety boaters to pick up the pieces of a failed attempt and also lead the group on the water. Still above all, it's always easier to give the example you wish others to follow, especially on white water.
I'm not sure I agree with you there, my home club did most of it's coaching on flat water (pool, gravel pits, harbour) and then transfered those skills to moving water once they had it grasped. Obviously this wouldn't work with braking in or our or ferry gliding etc. but it was basicaly what happened because most people didn't turn up to the weekend trips. Some river stuff happened on a club night but only a little on very minor moving water (not above grade 1 I don't think).

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

Post by benpilkington »

Mad_Erik wrote:I was taught to cartwheel by a L5 who can't cartwheel himself. You don't need to beable to perform the skills yourself, just have a sound understanding of how to do it and be able to coach.

It's an interesting point. Bear in mind that right at the top of the sport the coaches aren't capable of demonstrating the skills they are coaching all the time (ie, Olympic coaches etc). The idea of the demo is to create a model in a students mind of what the skill is supposed to look like so they have something against which to compare their own attempts. This doesn't necessarily have to be something done by the coach.

B

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

Post by Zool »

I have been watching this post with interest,

As a paddler trying to get onto the coaching scheme, I like many of me fellow paddlers are at the point of give up, primarily because of the cost and time required to jump through all the hoops the BCU are putting in place.
I have been paddling for over 15 years and did the old 4* kayak many years ago. As the number of coaches are falling in my clubs I decided it was time for me to step up.
I booked and passed the WWSR, AWWSR and 4* leader courses Kayak/Surf. With all this under my belt I applied for the L1 coach knowing I would have to do canoe even if my chosen disciplines are kayak and surf and I'm not interested in canoe but in order to coach I have to spend money and time on getting at least a 2* (another rant for another post!) When my pack arrived it stated that I would have to do the FSR. I assumed (wrongly) that as I had the two higher training course and 4* leaders that these would be more than ample. Unfortunately the BCU stand fast and I will have to spend more time and money to complete this course. I know there is the exemption scheme, but again it needs to be more straight forward and you should just be able to apply for an exemption if you have experience and the logbook to back it up and not wait for a board to sit.

So where is all this going, well having been around the paddling community for lots of years I have noticed a large decline and loss of faith in the attitudes towards the BCU and coaching schemes. More and more paddlers are getting fed up with the structure of the schemes, the cost of completing the courses and the complexity of the paperwork involved. Also the lack of movement from the BCU towards those paddlers who have been around for many years, have lots of experience and struggle to get the L1 coach when really we should be jumping on the ladder at L2. The UKCC scheme is succeeding on points 1 and 2, getting better coaches, safer paddlers but point 3, the retention and introduction of coaches it is failing.

At the end of the day people like myself just want to paddle and teach others to paddle. Make it simple, reduce the costs or the paddling community will continue to suffer with more and more people turning their back on the BCU and coaching schemes, which in the long term will lead to less safer paddlers and fewer coaches.

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

Post by lou »

benpilkington wrote:
Mad_Erik wrote:I was taught to cartwheel by a L5 who can't cartwheel himself. You don't need to beable to perform the skills yourself, just have a sound understanding of how to do it and be able to coach.

It's an interesting point. Bear in mind that right at the top of the sport the coaches aren't capable of demonstrating the skills they are coaching all the time (ie, Olympic coaches etc). The idea of the demo is to create a model in a students mind of what the skill is supposed to look like so they have something against which to compare their own attempts. This doesn't necessarily have to be something done by the coach.

B
On principle, I agree, but I would argue that if you don't have comprehensive knowledge and experience paddling a kayak/canoe, then you won't be able to tell where people are going wrong and you won't know what to do to correct them. I've seen quite a few UKCC coaches with little paddling experience of their own, have no idea how to help a beginner paddle in a straight line. Obviously, not all UKCC coaches are like this, but those who don't have much experience seem to struggle. I have also found that paddlers who do have lots of experience, can't be bothered with the BCU and UKCC due to time/costs and red tape that prevent them coaching on their own. It is now very costly/time consuming to get to a standard where you are allowed to coach on grade 2 rivers (see Zool's post above).

All in all, I'm struggling to find any positives at all for the UKCC coaching scheme. Perhaps the training is better, but even on that I'm still not convinced.

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

Post by lou »

Zool wrote: At the end of the day people like myself just want to paddle and teach others to paddle. Make it simple, reduce the costs or the paddling community will continue to suffer with more and more people turning their back on the BCU and coaching schemes, which in the long term will lead to less safer paddlers and fewer coaches.
Agreed!

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

Post by crashnodrog »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
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.

Correct me if I am wrong but my understanding was that if you were sufficiently skilled/ experienced etc you could come in at a 3 star level discipline specific and it was not necessary to hold the 2 star award only if you going forward into coaching. Ok you might have to do something different for 3 hrs. but not necessarily in a canoe.

e.g. For Sea Kayak 3 Star

A consistent BCU Two Star kayak standard of performance is appropriate for anyone
starting to work towards the BCU Three Star Sea Kayak award.

Prerequisites
Provide evidence of at least 3 different journeys on the sea, of about 3 hours
duration (8nm) each
Provide evidence of at least 1 session of about 3 hours duration, in an
alternative discipline


Also I do know of one course provider who issues their own certificates which are for kayak and canoe respectively up to two star competency. If you hold both of these they will sign you off for a BCU 2 star as you will have displayed the necessary skills/ knowledge. Useful where clients are not readily available on both weekends of a split course. Nothing wrong with that.

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

Post by Adrian Cooper »

crashnodrog wrote: e.g. For Sea Kayak 3 Star

A consistent BCU Two Star kayak standard of performance is appropriate for anyone
starting to work towards the BCU Three Star Sea Kayak award.

Prerequisites
Provide evidence of at least 3 different journeys on the sea, of about 3 hours
duration (8nm) each
Provide evidence of at least 1 session of about 3 hours duration, in an
alternative discipline
.
Interestingly this prerequisite only applies to sea kayaking and canoeing, not to whitewater or surf. A little lack of consistency by the BCU. Anyway, this is about the skills awards, not the coaching.

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

Post by crashnodrog »

You're right. I've lost the thread
Last edited by crashnodrog on Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by WaterStillScaresMe »

I just want to add a very simple comment to this thread - not in any way an answer to any of the issues, but something I think is relevant given what seems to be a regular return to comments about coaches needing canoe and kayak skills...

As a comparitively new paddler (although now 3*whitewater + L1 coach) I'm really really pleased that my 2* course (which was effectively my introduction to proper paddling) included both kayak and canoe. And actually equally pleased to have had a chance at that time to paddle a river boat and a tandem sea kayak. Added to previous experience on sit on tops and a little in a canoe the whole experience set me on the road to understanding paddling as a wide discipline.

As a coach I'm going to be striving to convey the same to my students. I really like the idea that there's something in this sport for all kinds of people. I think that having both canoe and kayak skills from a coach at my level (and a bit above) is an excellent idea - and actually may be a bare minimum. I feel a bit inadequate as a L1 coach not having any sea kayaking experience to speak of.

Just my contribution for what it's worth!

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

Post by Adrian Cooper »

WaterStillScaresMe wrote: I'm really really pleased that my 2* course (which was effectively my introduction to proper paddling) included both kayak and canoe.
And that's great if that's what you wanted. Now consider the 16 stone middle aged lady who wants to get a few skills to go paddling with her husband in the canoe they have just bought. The consider the 10 year old schoolboy who has been bought a playboat for his birthday and wants to become a freestyle kayaker. Try telling either of these that it is essential that they are coached to paddle something different by a coach who is not really interested in their chosen craft.

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

Post by Paddle Lochaber »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
...consider the 16 stone middle aged lady who wants to get a few skills to go paddling with her husband in the canoe they have just bought.
She and her husband could complete the double blade elements of the award in a double sit on top.
Adrian Cooper wrote: The consider the 10 year old schoolboy who has been bought a playboat for his birthday and wants to become a freestyle kayaker.

He could complete the single blade elements in a C1.
Adrian Cooper wrote: Try telling either of these that it is essential that they are coached to paddle something different by a coach who is not really interested in their chosen craft.
If the coach isn't interested then they should find a diffferent coach!
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Re: What are the outcomes of the UKCC coaching scheme ?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

You really don't get it do you? The fat lady does not want to learn to kayak! The young boy does not want to canoe! Why do you think they should be made to do these things?

Eat your greens!!!!!!

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

Post by Paddle Lochaber »

Adrian Cooper wrote: Why do you think they should be made to do these things?
I didn't say they should be made to I said they could!

If they decide it's not for them then that's ok.

Why do you think they have to have a 2*? If someone wants to learn canoe skills then they could employ a coach to teach them canoe skills.
Last edited by Paddle Lochaber on Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Paddle Lochaber wrote:Why do you think they have to have a 2*?
I don't. I think that, if the 'governing body' produces a skills progression scheme, it should suit the needs of the participants, not what the 'governing body' thinks will be good for them.

It makes sense to me that the coaching scheme should similarly reflect this skills progression and the needs of the coaches.

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

Post by Simon Westgarth »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
WaterStillScaresMe wrote: I'm really really pleased that my 2* course (which was effectively my introduction to proper paddling) included both kayak and canoe.
And that's great if that's what you wanted. Now consider the 16 stone middle aged lady who wants to get a few skills to go paddling with her husband in the canoe they have just bought. The consider the 10 year old schoolboy who has been bought a playboat for his birthday and wants to become a freestyle kayaker. Try telling either of these that it is essential that they are coached to paddle something different by a coach who is not really interested in their chosen craft.
Neither do not need the 2 Star award, just the specific 2 Star skills for their chosen craft.

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

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Agreed Simon. It makes sense for coaches to build coaching sessions around the needs of candidates/clients - of course it does, that's part of the new mantra (student-centred coaching). This inevitably leads to sessions which ignore the star awards scheme since these have become irrelevant. So why are they being 'pedalled' at all? Logic would dictate that the BCU should have a skills progression which is very much more craft specific than inclusive. A generic syllabus which could be applied to any craft the student chooses would make sense. Trouble is, this would probably lead the BCU to develop a coaching scheme even more all-encompassing whereby each coach would need to be able to coach every discipline in order that they could deal with any candidate.

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

Post by Simon Westgarth »

Adrian Cooper wrote:Logic would dictate that the BCU should have a skills progression which is very much more craft specific than inclusive. A generic syllabus which could be applied to any craft the student chooses would make sense. Trouble is, this would probably lead the BCU to develop a coaching scheme even more all-encompassing whereby each coach would need to be able to coach every discipline in order that they could deal with any candidate.
I hope we do not to multi-discipline creep beyond the UKCC L2, the flat water Coach level. There is of course a lot of attachment in some quarters that coaches collect all the badges, but I'd rather paddle white water for myself and then coach and guide for work, in an environment I am have competence in. In the coming years, I hope we see a simplification of the scheme with more direct and open access to awards, a clear step away for the ladder to a system that allows all abilities to access what they want.

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

Post by Adrian Cooper »

I would certainly agree with that. I think it would be a difficult structure to put in place but an open mind on behalf of the coaching committee might help. We should have coaches coaching what they want to coach and having both the personal and coaching skills to do this. We then have candidates who can access the coaching they want at the level they need without having to climb the long tedious ladder.

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

Post by benpilkington »

What are the pros and cons of having a scheme for industry professionals and another for enthusiastic amateurs?

As I see it, it would help the club coaches and similar who are only interested in one part of the sport and don't need the wider remit unlike those working in the industry. However, there is a problem in that you would then be saying or implying that club coaches are not or do not need to be as experienced or able as people earning a living from the sport. This is obviously not the case, there must be a number of people who coach paddlesport without a great interest or ability in it because they need to for work, and there must be a huge number of people who coach paddlesport because they are very well experienced, love the sport and want to share. Just thinking aloud really but interested to see what people think.

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

Post by Adrian Cooper »

I think people designing these schemes, and the committees approving them often adopt the 'best practice' model. It's a mantra often spouted. 'We the best coaches to train the best paddlers so we can be best in the sport'. My guess this is usually aimed at winning medals where only the single best paddler is even given a mention. Second place is the first loser!

For most recreational clubs what is required is 'sufficient' coaches to train 'self sufficient' paddlers. If they feel they need even better training then they can go to specialist coaches. We often do this with courses such as WWSR and 5*; I'm not expecting this to change.

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

Post by Scots_Charles_River »

Adrian Cooper wrote:Agreed Simon. It makes sense for coaches to build coaching sessions around the needs of candidates/clients - of course it does, that's part of the new mantra (student-centred coaching). This inevitably leads to sessions which ignore the star awards scheme since these have become irrelevant. So why are they being 'pedalled' at all? Logic would dictate that the BCU should have a skills progression which is very much more craft specific than inclusive. A generic syllabus which could be applied to any craft the student chooses would make sense. Trouble is, this would probably lead the BCU to develop a coaching scheme even more all-encompassing whereby each coach would need to be able to coach every discipline in order that they could deal with any candidate.
Level 1 and 2 can coach in any disicipline and specialise through Discipline modules. Coaches get paddlers progressing and that may be through the star awards or not. Depends what the paddlers want/need. The star awards are not being ignored. The touring award for instance allows progression for non-competitive paddlers wanting to explore environments and expeditions.

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