Moira Taylor, Director of Coaching
Having been asked to write an article about Coaching and Coaches I thought my first port of call should be the definition of a Coach.
So looking up my dictionary for the word ‘Coach’ I came across a definition I particularly like is “a vehicle which transports a person from one place to another”. Obviously this does not refer to a sports Coach but I think it sums up for me exactly what I feel my role is.
Whether I am coaching a person who has never picked up a bow before or an archer who is at Scottish Team level they all want to move from where they are now to somewhere different/better and it’s my job to act as that vehicle. We as Coaches therefore have a responsibility to ensure that the coaching relationship should be the best it can possibly be.
I think as Coaches many of us focus a lot on the ‘what’ to coach ie how to tune a bow, how to have a better follow through, how not to hold the bow etc and I would suggest that whilst this is obviously important we also need to focus just as much on the ‘how’ to coach. ‘What to coach’ involves a lot of telling by the Coach (and who likes to be constantly told what to do?) whereas I would suggest we need to have greater involvement from the archer (no matter what level they shoot at) by ensuring they are part of the decision making process of what changes or improvements they want to make. We do this by giving the archer responsibility to choose what they change and by constantly seeking feedback from the archer through asking open questions. I’m sure most of us know about open and closed questions but how often do we use these effectively as part of our coaching process? Many years ago when I introduced this concept to those that I coached they found the experience of being coached much more rewarding, thought provoking, they felt more involved and they took responsibility for their own shooting – and their scores improved.
Sport Scotland has a coaching app which is a great resource for coaches wanting to sign up for CPD, listen to podcasts and watch videos on different coaching topics and content from specific partners.
Visit here for the Sportscotland app.
Stop Press: have you seen the new Competition Handbook issued by Archery GB? Part of the talent pathway it covers topics such as Competition Cycle, Competition Preparation and Introducing what it takes to win. A great resource for anyone wanting to get into competition.
Next month we will be starting our #ThrowbackThursdays social media campaign. Thank you to all those who have sent in your nostalgic photos. This gem shows the Scotland Team at the Commonwealth Games in 1982. If you have any photos that you would like to feature, please email them to Communications@scottisharchery.org.uk detailing who the picture shows, where it is and the approximate year and keep an eye out on our Facebook page on Thursdays.