This weekend, I completed my Level 2 Track coaching qualification at Manchester Velodrome (National Cycling Centre / home of British cycling).
Before the day, I had to complete some online learning and an online assessment quiz. This also involved planning a session to deliver on the Saturday as a development activity.
I had a race on the Friday night, which meant an early start on Saturday morning, leaving at 6.15 for a 8.45 start.
There were 4 of us on the course, which led to lots of discussion and development opportunities.
On the Saturday morning, we discussed what we wanted to get out of the weekend and what coaching we currently did. We also discussed different types of track events and the demands for each. After a lunch break, we got ready for the track.
The tutor led a bike check and taster session for us (to show us how it was done and check we could all ride competently). Then, each of us delivered the session we had planned to the other coaches (who were riding) and got some feedback. After finishing on the track, we watched another track coach leading a taster session that was on afterwards, with some discussion and concerns, and got some homework to be completed for the assessment day the next day.
I was lucky to stay with family nearby so I didn’t have another early start. In the evening, I did my homework – to write a 15 minute session plan for a technique that we had chosen. I had chosen to do ‘rushing the gap’ because it was something I don’t remember being coached on and can work well with only 2 riders (as one of the coaches wasn’t riding).
On the Sunday morning, we were on the track delivering our sessions. I thought mine worked well, although it was hard work for the riders, and I got some good feedback. I also rode in the other coaches sessions, so got some good coaching points. We also did some track stand practice, which was harder than I expected as I hadn’t done them before on the track.
In the afternoon, we got a tour of the British Cycling head office (which was empty) and discussed about what our next steps will be. One of the main points to take from it was that we don’t need to go straight into coaching big groups of 16 riders, we can just shadow coaches and get experience first.
I had a great weekend and am looking forward to completing my cyclocross course next month. My favourite part of the course was hearing the stories of the tutor, who used to work at British Cycling with performance riders.