Useful Resources for Coaches
Coaching Adventure Sports, Paul Smith and Dan Wilkinson.
Published late 2020, this is up to date and very comprehensive. By far the most useful 'all round' book I can recommend for coach award. Really worth getting.
How we Learn to Move, Rob Gray.
A new book (late 2021) which relly helps to explain the rationale behind an ecological dynamics/constraints led approach to coaching. My new favourite book 🙂
Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman.
Really explores decision making, from the man that got a Nobel prize for coming up with the theory! Fascinating stuff for coaching and life in general.
Canoe and Kayak Games, Dave Ruse and Loel Collins
Loads of ideas! Some are more ‘instructor-y’ rather than ‘coach-y’ but with a bit of creativity you can use them as a start point for some great games/challenges that promote decision making, adaptability and perception action coupling in your students.
The language of Coaching, Nick Winkleman.
Goes above and beyond the scope of topics in coach award, but is fascinating if you enjoy thinking about the way you use language in coaching affects the people you are coaching (see podcasts below for Nick's chat about the book)
Websites, pages etc
The website of the BC English award delivery centre. Come here for information on all the BC awards, plus guidance documents on all sorts.
British Canoeing Awarding Body
This is where you’ll find all the documents relating to the coach award (and all other BC awards), under the 'award documents' tab.
Under the 'learning and development tab there's the digital library, which is full of loads of really useful things, some of which will be relevant to you and others not, just go explore! The magazine articles are a good starting point, particularly Doug Cooper ones as these are aimed squarely at the coach award. Also the coach self analysis tool, which is definitely worth doing. This is also where you'll find the coach award e-learning (register for the award to get free acccess). Plus there’s another e-learning section called ‘developing your coaching craft’ which has some good activities (this is different to the coach award e-learning, and isn’t compulsory)
This is the website of Marianne Davies - queen of all things ecological dynamics/adventure sports! Loads of really good stuff to read to further your understanding of the ED approach - this is a good place to start. Also some great articles on motivational climates that tie in nicely with the 'optimum learning environment' part of the sylabus.
lots of really interesting articles, blogs, and forum conversations from, and for, all sorts of coaches. Also they run free webinars, which are often really interesting (and available to view afterwards). You can sign up to a weekly e-mail of the highlights. There’s a free version (loads of great stuff), or can pay £24 a yr for further access, particularly to training courses and further development, which is a bargain I think!
There is a fantastic guide to skill acquisition in there, which I think is worth the £24 in itself...
The Freestyle Laboratory
Plenty here on Nick Beavis’s blog that’s relevant to all sorts of paddling, not just freestyle. For example this post on visualisation techniques is very good.
Blogs from loads of different people, worth a browse. A couple there from Shahid Wahab that are specifically about coaching, coming from an 'information processing' angle: schema-building and coaching for memory.
Lots of nice short videos to help with understanding constraints based learning. All football related, but you should be able to take loads from it that is applicable to paddlesport. This one is a good place to start.
From the maker of the Perception and Action Podcast (listed below). Loads of great stuff here, but this video in particular is excellent at explaining the difference between the ecological and information processing approaches to skill acquisition.
(if these are new to you, I use the free version of Spotify to get all of the below, other suppliers are available)
British Canoeing have two – the coaching one has some great episodes, and the clear access, clear waters one is nice for some lighter listening. If you fancy listening to me chatting about coaching, try this one 🙂 https://britishcanoeingcoaching.podbean.com/e/s2-e18-coaching-philosophy-jenna-saunders-miniseries/
The below are all non-sport specific, but really relatable and fascinating if you like that sort of thing:
The talent equation. UK based, loads of them, just pick out the ones that look interesting. They are often long, but worth it for some really in depth chatting. Would recommend starting with the one where he talks to Marianne Davies – a great intro to the work she does (September 25 2019). Also there’s a brilliant one with Kathy Sierra and Marianne talking about training horses with ecological dynamics (May 11 2020).
There’s some paddling ones too – Greg Spencer (July 8 2020) I really recommended if you are involved in club committees/coaching. Craig Morris (October 28 2020 and Sep 21 2021) is a slalom coach and is great to listen to.
learner Lab. Short and easy to listen to episodes on all sorts of topics related to being a good learner (and helping others to be one). The sleep one is great.
Perception and Action. From Rob Gray mentioned above. Some interesting ones, again loads of them so just go browse. These are more science based, so if you are keen on an evidence based approach to your coaching then this is a really good one to go for. Some of the more recent ones are in a ‘journal club’ format where 3 or 4 experts discuss a research paper in depth. Nick Winkleman (April 9th 2020) gives a good intro to his book (mentioned above) and his thinking.
Maestro on the Mic. I definitely recommend the ‘how to be a badass anything’ one with Kathy Sierra.
Also there are lots of excellent podcasts on UK coaching (did I mention it's well worth the £24?), including a series with Marianne Davies talking to people about skill acquisition.
Open University – Exploring Sport Psychology
The OU has quite a few free courses on their Open learn platform, and this one is well worth a look.
I'm adding to this list all the time, so pop back occasionally for a look. Even better, if you find anything useful that you think should be on this list, please drop me a line!
Core Topics: Specific Resources
(This bit is in development - if you find something good out there please do drop me a line with a link!)
Reflective Practice - some thoughts and a worked example here for you to have a play with.