Triathlon Australia has launched an innovative approach to coach development, with the introduction of a blended learning environment for the Foundation Coach Accreditation.
The new Foundation Coach Training Program, the entry level into the National Coaching Framework, is targeted primarily at new coaches to support a higher accredited coach in a club or squad environment. The revised approach requires coaches to complete an online component through the Triathlon Australia Knowledge Hub, before attending a two-day face to face workshop to implement the skills learnt online in a practical coaching environment.
Triathlon Australia’s National Manager – Coaching Pathways, Graeme Hill believes the revised program, with its coach-focused approach, has significantly improved the learning outcomes for coaches starting their triathlon coaching journey.
“We believe the new ‘flipped classroom’ model with initial learning online followed by active coaching practice during a face to face workshop, provides much greater learning and development for coaches,” said Hill.
“The initial online component can be completed in a self-paced environment at a time and place that suits the learner. The quality of the online content is world-class and focusses on the key principles of “how to coach” . We have embedded mentor coaches into the workshop to guide coaches through the process of planning, delivery, self reflection and review, which ultimately develops a more holistic coach.”
Historically, coach accreditation courses have been very much presenter driven and only had coaches actively coaching for 10-15 minutes per day,” Hill explains “Driven by a commitment to world best coach development we completely rebuilt our approach to optimise the face to face time with our coaches, the embedding of the mentor coaches has been a game changer. The new face to face workshop is coach centred and engages the coach in planning and teaching skills from the outset – they are actively engaged in the coaching process in small groups for more than 75% of the time.”
With these significant changes to the program structure Hill identifies “It’s an exciting time for coach development within triathlon …coaches have the flexibility to consolidate their understanding of the principles of good coaching through the Knowledge Hub online content and then can actively practise the ‘how’ of coaching at the face to face workshop with the support of experienced mentor coaches.”
Over 50 coaches have completed the new Foundation Coach Training Program around Australia over the last few months, and their feedback has further reinforced the new approach. NSW Foundation Coach Training Program participant Warren Williams, a Level 2 Advanced Athletics coach and Head Coach at Kincoppal Rose Bay Independent School, applauds Triathlon Australia on the new blended learning course, “this innovative approach sets a new benchmark for me in the quality of Coaching Development into the future. It works by engaging coaches in the “how to coach” and providing a mentor coach supported practical coaching environment during the workshop.”
The Foundation Coach Course is available around the country to members interested in starting their triathlon coaching journey.
For more information contact the Triathlon Australia Coach Development Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.