Some Coaching Theory...

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Chris_Eastabrook
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Some Coaching Theory...

Post by Chris_Eastabrook »

I'm basing my clinic at this years River Source event around my Level 5 research project. These things are pretty open ended but I opted for a geeky academic style (style yes, content maybe!) knowledge transfer paper on a topic I find really interesting and I think other coaches might find quite useful.
The BCU have had it for a year and not done anything with it so it's time for something more public, I'm super keen for your feedback to help me develop the model further.

The model is in the first PDF and my actual project is below for those that want a bit more information about where the ideas have come from.

Challenge, Plan, Perform.

An Arousing Performance.

For a more practical explanation of some of these ideas visit Devon in November!

eeonz
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Re: Some Coaching Theory...

Post by eeonz »

I wrote a long reply, but my session timed out. D'oh!

It's been a long time since I picked up a sports psychology textbook, but I enjoyed reading your article. Some thoughts:

- "Challenge" must also involve some sort of cost-benefit analysis as well? So the goal must be clearly defined (eddy x) and suitable for the student's skill level, the student must be at optimum arousal level for success, but also, the goal must be worthwhile as well, surely? The number of times people don't bother making certain moves because they don't consider them to be worth the effort/risk. I'm thinking along the lines of the "Hero Breakouts" on the Tryweryn - eddy halfway down the ski slope, or the first on the right as you drop in to the grave yard. Most people are capable of making those, but the self talk is usually - "I know I can make that, but if I don't, I'll be going down THAT backwards/upside down." I know there's been times in the past where I've looked at rapids that I could easily paddle, but straight away thought "not worth it." Cost-benefit, as opposed to arousal "not today."

- I was expecting some reference to Mortlock in your literature review. Colin Mortlock (The Adventure Alternative, 1984) wrote about the "4 stage conceptualization of the subjective adventure experience" - or the 4 stages of adventure, in an attempt to make the link between risk/environment and competence. Very similar to your own work with Challenge and Skill Level. The reason I suggested this is because Mortlock is one of the few to put an adventure sports context on the sports psychology models - we used to quote him to death at uni! Now as far as I can tell Mortlock was writing mostly about outdoor education and how students interpret what happened/is happening to them, as opposed to your model which looks to be more about preparing students for what is about to happen to them? It may be worth looking at anyway - maybe you already have?

There's also some "beyond Mortlock" type thoughts here, although to be honest, I've only glanced over it:

http://www.wilderdom.com/philosophy/Pri ... adigm.html

I thought that your article was well written though and hope that it is put to good use in future! Hopefully what i have written will be of use, if not, no worries!
http://www.iboutdoor.com- Your outdoor resource!

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Re: Some Coaching Theory...

Post by twopigs »

eeonz wrote: - "Challenge" must also involve some sort of cost-benefit analysis as well? So the goal must be clearly defined (eddy x) and suitable for the student's skill level, the student must be at optimum arousal level for success, but also, the goal must be worthwhile as well, surely? The number of times people don't bother making certain moves because they don't consider them to be worth the effort/risk. I'm thinking along the lines of the "Hero Breakouts" on the Tryweryn - eddy halfway down the ski slope, or the first on the right as you drop in to the grave yard. Most people are capable of making those, but the self talk is usually - "I know I can make that, but if I don't, I'll be going down THAT backwards/upside down." I know there's been times in the past where I've looked at rapids that I could easily paddle, but straight away thought "not worth it." Cost-benefit, as opposed to arousal "not today."
That'll be "motivation" then?

Not read the full article yet Chris - but I'm also interested in the history of the paddler, what previous experience has taught them.... and thus what has become somewhat hard-wired into the brain.
Canoeing - bigger boat, broken paddle, more skill!

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Re: Some Coaching Theory...

Post by andy g »

Chris
As one of the coached , as opposed to the coaches, I can relate to several of the aspects of your ideas, especially the "skewed inverted U" (performances going off the cliff when tired) and will try to use the understanding of the model to improve my own performnces.

As a coach of beginners , I would love to have the luxury of being able to formulate such plans for all the participants, but with larger and larger groups the choice is generally to find a good medium level that both the most and least able can cope with and still enjoy. However I still think that I may be able to apply some of your concepts.

I like the intellectualising of the concepts (but everyone tells me I am an academic) as it helps me to comprehend the theory better, and to apply it in my own situation. However I suspect not everyone will empathise due to differing styles and personal drivers.

Andy

PS Not surprised that the BCU showed little interest, I suspect it might be too intellectual an approach for them.
I have written articles for Canoe Focus about provision of water safety by kayakers for open water swimming, not even an acknowlegment! The triathlon press is much more interested.

eeonz
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Re: Some Coaching Theory...

Post by eeonz »

That'll be "motivation" then?
Most probably. However, I would have thought motivation would be more about the reason why somebody chooses to take on the challenge. The intrinsically motivated "I want to be better at making eddies" kind of paddler versus the extrinsically motivated "I can't be the only one not to run it" type paddler.

I'll admit to talking rubbish though.
http://www.iboutdoor.com- Your outdoor resource!

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ThePaddler
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Re: Some Coaching Theory...

Post by ThePaddler »

Hi Chris,

If you want to send me some of your coaching stuff - I will look at publishing it in Thepaddler.co.uk magazine. To get a feel for it the first issue can be seen at: http://issuu.com/thepaddler/docs/thepaddler_1

And thanks to Andy grimes for supplying the coaching article that issue and the next.

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Re: Some Coaching Theory...

Post by Mark R »

A lot of that whizzed over my head, but a fair bit also rang bells. Interesting stuff, thanks for sharing.

I wouldn't have bothered with a single word of it, but the misleadingly saucy title 'Managing Arousal' drew me in...
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roo
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Re: Some Coaching Theory...

Post by roo »

Chris_Eastabrook wrote: These things are pretty open ended but I opted for a geeky academic style (style yes, content maybe!)
A good move in my opinion.

Nice papers. I enjoyed reading those, lets just say it piqued my interest :-)

My thoughts:

1) In the first paper you write "The method for relaxing your student just as they leave the eddy will vary from student to student."

I'd say that was misguided. There's nothing more distracting than someone shouting something at you as you are about to start an activity you are focussed on!

I would say do it whilst in the eddy - and encourage the positive visualisation, but leave it there in most cases. Never force it, as this takes the coached's control away, and reduces the impact of the learning experience.

Give the tools, give the encouragement and then leave them to work it out for themselves.

2) Have you published this stuff on a blog somewhere yet?

3) Finally: I think the BCU/Canoe England types probably didn't go for it because of the typo on your second paper with the caption for Figure 3. That would be enough for me not to publish it........

have fun

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Re: Some Coaching Theory...

Post by DaveBland »

Still, not as bad as...
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dave

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Chris_Eastabrook
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Re: Some Coaching Theory...

Post by Chris_Eastabrook »

Thanks for the feedback both those that posted here and those that emailed me.
I now have some time next weekend and I plan to reply to the messages that warrant some discussion.

Cheers
Chris

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Re: Some Coaching Theory...

Post by WaterStillScaresMe »

Thanks for posting this - I like that people on here are discussing theory in regard to coaching. My comments are intended constructively:

In trying to read the longer article I lost the will to continue. This is a shame as I think I might learn from it - but time's precious. Please - I understand it may not be intended for easy reading - not a criticism at all, just an observation you might want to consider very briefly.

The shorter article needs an editor. I say that as someone who writes a bit like you - and who always finds an editor useful. I like that it's an easier read, but it could be even easier with a little bit of attention. Again not at all a criticism - it's very rare to find something like this which can't be improved, and I'm writing this because I'd like your ideas to be as accessible as possible to as wide an audience as possible. And I'm someone who is passionate about putting complicated ideas into simple language (despite that some people think ideas are only worth listening to when put in more complicated language).

Thirdly, it would be nice to have something in here to recognise (perhaps more explicitly if you think its in there already) the kind of paddler which I am. My skill level always exceeds my anxiety level - that is, I'm always more scared than I should be. Others are of course less scared than they should be. These things are important for a variety of reasons (including someone's safety) but in connection with your theories they have a big influence on performance. I see people with less skill than me sometimes paddling much better than me simply for this reason (and often being safer as a result oddly enough). My first thought on looking at the 2 dimensional diagram about skill level and challenge level was that something like perceived risk was missing. I guess you could argue that this is an inherent part of challenge level, but saying so explicitly might be helpful (so challenge level is about the person's perception rather than simply being a relationship between task difficulty and skill level).

Lastly - it might be nice to widen your writing just a tiny bit to make it relevant to non-whitewater paddling. I think the situation is no different in regard to me teaching someone to edge a boat on flat water for the first time for instance. No need to box yourself in to one aspect of paddling when your ideas are relevant more widely.

And even more lastly - maybe it might help if you could tell some stories - I find that always a helpful way to get theoretical ideas across to a more general audience - and we might pick up some of your wisdom more easily that way.

Thanks again for posting this - look forward to more.

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