This time last year, I completed my first discipline specific coaching course, so I thought it was a good time to share a piece I wrote at the time (before I had a blog to share it on).
Early this month (October 2018), I completed my Level 2 Road and Time Trial coaching qualification. It had been about a year since I had completed my L2 award so it was ideal to learn some more about coaching.
This blog won’t go into the depths of the course but is more about my personal reflection on the course and what I learnt:
1. I really love cycling. The course was made up of an online test (completed first) and 2 days of learning/ coaching. I think my reflection on this point isn’t that I love riding my bike (which I do, of course), it is that I love cycling in general, from riding and racing to coaching and spectating. The 2 days of development were long and cold but I loved every minute of it.
2. A lot of the course was learning about road and time trial cycling. There was a much larger focus on learning about cycling than I expected (I expected it to be more about coaching). I already knew a fair bit about road cycling, but I learned so much about time trialling, road racing and crit racing. The discussions about different tyres of racing and riding, and the skills and coaching required was very interesting.
3. Riding other coaches sessions was really helpful for developing as a coach and a rider. There were 7 coaches, including me, on the course, which I meant that I got to ride in 6 other 15 minute sessions. During youth sessions, I had been coached by many different coaches but since coaching, I haven’t been. It was useful to identify different coaching styles and how well they work. There were a couple of things that other coaches did that I thought worked really well and could implement into my coaching. The range of techniques coached were vast and developed my riding. One session was lunging for the finish line, which was something I hadn’t been coached on before. The next race (cyclocross) I managed to beat someone in a sprint finish, having never been in front of the during the race. That coaching session definitely helped because I don’t know how I managed to beat her.
4. Coaching adults isn’t that scary. I remember feeling really intimidated coaching adults during the assessment for my Level 2 course, and have avoided it since. This time, I thought it wasn’t that bad and I managed to coach the session confidently and roughly following my plan. My confidence was probably due to the support and kindness of the group I was coaching and that I had been working with adults during my summer placement.
5. It was definitely worth doing. Before I booked onto the course, I had asked my coach if it was worth doing. He said definitely, so I booked on. Other people have asked me if it was worth it (because I had paid for it). I loved it and learned so much. Therefore, it was definitely worth it and I plan on continuing learning about coaching.