Road Into Coaching

Coaching May 31, 2014

Road Into Coaching
May 16, 2014
By: Ian Murray, Rocky Mountain Racers

road to coaching #1I made the first step into coaching fall of 2012 with Rocky Mountain Racers based in Canmore / Calgary. I’d like to say a few words to athletes thinking of getting into coaching and my experience thus far regarding the intro NCCP courses.

After being an athlete for many years, and cross country skiing being one of my biggest passions, it has been natural for me to transition into coaching.  There is always the debate whether you go for the high paying work, having less time to enjoy your passion but really enjoying those few days you do vs. living your passion and sharing it with others and finding a way to make it work financially.  Having lived that other life, being an engineer in the fiberoptic industry in boom days of the early 2000’s and having seen a lot of different things I have to say that the opportunity to work with keen, focused, individuals in sport has been very rewarding.  For now, while the opportunities are there, I`m going to stick with coaching athletes.

Regarding the courses it would be natural to think that the higher level courses (T2T and above focused on athletes aged 13 and older) would be the most applicable for those coaching athletes 15+.  I found the intro courses just as valuable if not more since it has been so long since I entered sport and the concepts still apply to older high end athletes.  One example is the taxonomy of motivations people generally participate in sport (straight from the NCCP ICC & CSI Intro A manuals).  The desire for:

  1. Achievement
  2. Affiliation
  3. Sensation (excitement of sport, sights, sounds & physical feelings)
  4. Self-direction

These are all things that deep down inside we know but having the time to see them written down, think about them and how they apply to the athletes I coach has been paradigm shifting for me and will be hugely beneficial down the road.  Thinking back these were all big reasons that myself and my buddies got into sport back in Nova Scotia and they are fairly universal motivations for the athletes that we coach.

road to coaching #2Working through the courses around my coaching and my other part time work has been a small challenge.   Most courses are weekend based so fitting in around 9-5 Mon-Fri  work is not a problem.  The courses are valuable no matter how you are involved with sport (coach, tech, athlete, parent, racer) and the CSI multi-sport Intro A & B and Developing Competition modules are also very worthwhile.

With the nature of education & the ease of communication these days one would think that the most time effective way to learn the material would be to read the manual, watch the video and write the quiz but with the facilitative approach that the NCCP has taken I felt the opportunity to learn from the other coaches was as good as from the instructors / course material.  I was taking notes the whole time since there were so many applicable things said.

I have to say a huge thanks for the facilitators, club members and coaches that made the courses informative and enjoyable thus far.  It was a pleasure to learn, share ideas and get a bit of a picture of how things operate in different parts of Western Canada.  I look forward to more.