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‘Enlightening and thought-provoking’ course helps coaches develop knowledge

A nationwide programme which has helped 11 swimming and diving coaches develop their knowledge has been hailed as ‘enlightening and thought-provoking’.

The UK Coaching Focus Programmes covers four components which are critical to a coach’s development.

Focus 1 looked at leadership and feedback, while planning and transitions were the topic of Focus 2.

The eight-week course provided a blended approach to development, incorporating one-to-one coach developer conversations, reflective tools, social learning spaces, workshops and much more.

Coaches accepted onto Focus 1 were Stephen Hewat (Luton Diving), James Milton (City of Leeds Diving), Andy Sharp (Northampton) and Marc Foster (Boldmere).

During the virtual training, they explored their knowledge of leadership, understood their leadership style and had a chance to explore the impact their leadership is having on their athletes and wider coaching team. 

Shân Veasey (Southend Diving), Kirsteen Mitchell (Luton Diving), Gavin Povall (Waltham Forest), Lesley Batson (Putteridge), Jack Chambers (Derventio Excel) and Robert Vaughan (City of Leicester) have taken part in Focus 2.

They had the opportunity to share across multiple sports their understanding and execution of effective planning – while it was also an opportunity to experience and explore programming from a personal and performance perspective. 

Lesley said: “The UK Coaching Focus 2 programme has been a fantastic experience for me – and the content and resources have been enlightening and thought provoking. 

Increased my confidence

“Having a 1:1 coach developer has been a privilege and I am very grateful for having had this opportunity. 

“The advice and guidance has allowed me to have quality self-reflective and motivational sessions with Tom which have given me the inspiration to make small changes to my coaching behaviour that I have already implemented. 

“This has increased my confidence and put me in a ‘happy place’ again, enjoying what I love. Many thanks to Swim England and UK Coaching for giving me this opportunity.”

Shân added: “I had identified planning as an area for development in the previous performance foundation course. 

“The continued support on the Focus course has been the perfect opportunity to complete the final part of that development. 

“The tutor, Emily, has the ideal experience to be able to support the learning I’ve needed. 

“This course has been incredibly enriching to my knowledge as a coach.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity and feel very motivated as a result of this development.”

The national governing body will now be nominating coaches for the final two focus groups by 1 October.