My Blog

As our students progress and become more autonomous, how as coaches, can we vary our approach to suit the needs and objectives of the student, session or a more long term programme?

Well you could start by employing more student led coaching approaches that will aid longer term learning. By this I mean we move away from a more “Command” style of approach, such as the IDEAS framework, and move towards a more student centric style such as Guided Discovery or Divergent approaches.

Read more: Student Centric Coaching Approaches - Guided Discovery

So... my latest foray to Scotland saw me successfully complete my Advanced Water Endorsement assessment - I'm now an Advanced Water Endorsed UKCC Level 3 Kayak Coach in White Water - there is no higher award in the current BCU coaching scheme that is open to new applicants after the last of the Level 5 Training courses finished in 2011. There are only two of us in the UK at the time of writing that hold both of these qualifications so I guess you could say I'm one of the first of the new breed of top end coaches coming through.

Read more: My Journey through the Advanced Water Coach Scheme

So...I'm now a UKCC Level 3 Kayak Coach - there is no higher award in the current BCU coaching scheme that is open to new applicants after the last of the Level 5 Training courses finished in 2011. So I guess you could say I'm one of the first of the new breed of top end coaches coming through.

I thought this blog would help those going through the process that I have been through to gain an understanding of what to expect and provide a point of reference to the key points that I picked up along the way... So I hope it's of use...

Read more: My Journey through the UKCC Level 3 Coach Award

Through delivering such a broad range of courses it's important for me as a coach to understand the needs and objectives of my students at the various stages in their learning. Why is this important? Well, for example, I may be running a White Water Skills Development Course in a grade 2/3 environment and, after a preliminary discussion with my students I find that I have one who has an objective to run grade 4 rivers in the French Alps next summer.

Read more: Understanding Student Needs and Objectives

Firstly I'd like to apologise for the lack of blogs over the past 6 months... I've been rather busy developing my centre here in Staffordshire (www.tittesworthwater.co.uk) - it's been an absolutely fantastic journey and the British Canoeing accredited centre is now going from strength to strength. Open all year round, we offer a wide range of British Canoeing courses and other activities. 

Anyway, back to the new Coach Award... this new award launched on the 2nd January. I think it's going to be a fantastic suite of qualifications, with 18 options to choose from, and a much more paddler centric approach. 

Read more: The New British Canoeing Coach Award Is Here

Organisation as a group is key to running any rapid - be clear on your plan as a leader and make sure that your group is fully briefed. As a leader you should also make sure that everyone in the group is capable of implementing the line that you have deemed suitable. Remember as a leader your role is to facilitate the safety but also the enjoyment of the trip, ensuring that the group is having a positive experience which is important when runnning white water. Below I outline some strategies to help facilitate this...

Read more: River Running Strategies

As we head into the realms of open water canoeing, keeping an eye on the wind and it's effects on our environment are incredibly important. In order to assess the wind and it's impact on open water and sea conditions, the Beaufort Scale is used.

Read more: The Beaufort Scale
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