Introducing swing; what is “coaching”?

Interesting re-post from @ImSporticus, just before Christmas.

It got me thinking about how I would coach someone to swing a cricket ball.

And the programme I came up with included a bit of direct instruction, a lot self-guided discovery, maybe some feedback, a demo & a drill to scaffold learning.

Rather more to it than “hold the ball like this, follow-through like this”.

This post started as a (lengthy) reply to the tweet from @ImSporticus. If you follow @theteesra, you might have seen all this already.

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That is “over”

And “good riddance” to 2020.

Last year was almost a write-off for coaching, for me. A busy 10 weeks pre-lockdown, including a very hopeful day learning to tutor new All Stars and Dynamos Cricket Activators, but nothing else for me since early March.

I’ve not been shielding, but with my parents both in their 80s to look out for, it makes sense to avoid the risk of infection by giving a wide berth to crowds — schools, and public transport, have been off the schedule.

One regular coaching venue did manage to re-open for (some of) the autumn term, but (sensibly) their draft Risk Assessment explicitly stated “… staff…requiring difficult journeys on public transport will be kept away…”. No work, there.

But, to be honest, I really haven’t missed coaching during first lockdown, nor since. The hours spent travelling, carting a kitbag on trains, for just a couple of hours coaching, had become a chore.

But what to do in 2021?

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The (blogging) year in review — the year of pedagogy

A very strange year.

Lots of free time (too much free time) spent online.

Not all frivolous — I did commit to finding out more about online teaching, and was struck by the emphasis that educators (those delivering the online courses I took, at least) placed on how people learn. Which highlighted for me just how important it is for teaching (and coaching) to adapt to support learning, both online and face-to-face.

Obvious, perhaps. But how often do we consider the learner’s experience of learning when planning and delivering a session? Yes, it has to be Fun and Engaging, Challenging, perhaps. Purposeful. Active. Safe.

But do we ever stop to think about what we are really doing when we coach? Or how athlete’s actually learn?

In 2020, I published 12 posts categorised under “pedagogy” (a category I have stretched to cover any post which discusses how we coach: theory, practice & philosophy).

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