A new experience for me, this year — delivering training for All Stars Cricket Activators.

Thanks to Claire, my “co-tutor” (is that a word?) for the day. Great engagement from the Activators.

Hope they enjoyed the morning as much as I did!

In my notes from the Tutor Training day, I had the following lines (specifically about the All Stars programme, but perhaps applicable also to Tutor training):

  • It’s a framework, not a blueprint
  • Be flexible; match activities to group; be prepared to modify on-the-fly

I’m not sure if I really applied our tutor training that accurately, but, following the definitions of a ‘great’ All Stars session for children, we did seem to hit some of the targets — participants were certainly Active, activities were Purposeful, the morning appeared to be Enjoyable…and, once we recognised the dangers inherent in playing right next to a large and rather impressive horse chestnut tree, Safe enough.

As part of the tutor training, we enjoyed a Tutor Development Session with UK Coaching, a pilot programme derived from their “Coaching the Person in Front of You” course — fascinating insight into how to engage with participants, with three main themes.

CONNECT — with the person: ‘meet & greet’ at the beginning of a session, say ‘hello’; issue name badges, tutors & coaches to wear badges, too; especially for a first session, or a one-off, build in time & activities for participants to get to know each other.

UNDERSTAND — the particular needs of the participants: it’s not (just) about what you want to teach/coach/show, but also what they need and want to find out.

THRIVE — we want participants to leave the course equipped to thrive (i.e. “to grow or develop well or vigorously”), not just to survive, to muddle through. In the context of All Stars, that means helping them become enthused Activators who want to go out & activate.

As preparation for the tutor training, we were asked to identify the key challenges faced by tutors in the All Stars Cricket scheme, linking to the Connect, Understand & Thrive themes. I came up with this:

UNDERSTAND & CONNECT — the (mostly) volunteer Activators will be from diverse backgrounds and might have very little practical coaching experience.  To give the Activators the best chance of success, the tutors will need to understand and connect very quickly during training, and not deliver a generic “coach ed” session.

I hope we managed to achieve some of this in the Activator Training today. We did ask a lot of questions, and encouraged the Activators to share their own experiences, in preference to telling.

Looking in from the ‘tutor’ side, I certainly don’t think we delivered anything like a generic coach ed session.

And I hope it worked.

But we will find out later in the year, when the Activators have stood in front of their first group of All Stars.

Very much looking forward to hearing how they get on!

Published by Andrew Beaven

Cricket coach, fascinated by the possibilities offered by the game. More formally - ECB level 2 cricket coach; ECB National Programmes (All Stars & Dynamos Cricket) Activator Tutor; Chance to Shine & Team Up (cricket) deliverer; ECB ACO umpire.

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