The past few months have probably been the most challenging since the start of the pandemic. Having come so close to a mainstream return of the club, alongside wider society, last autumn; we instead found ourselves experiencing the dark winter days fixed firmly at home with no certainty or hope for a quick change.
As a club, we have tried to remain optimistic and be creative to keep members engaged. Across the year we have learned this is not for everyone online and we look forward to hopefully seeing as many people back in person sooner rather than later. Despite this, our duty will always be to support our membership in whatever way we can…….but there were only so many quizzes you could do right?!
So after some brainstorming early in the year we took a different approach. We have been very fortunate over the years to have some fantastic players come through the club, but we are equally as lucky to have so many tremendous coaches as well. Our commitment is to unlock a persons potential and maximise their performance and enjoyment from the sport. So why not try and do this to inspire the next generation of coaches for the club too!
Truth is, the return to sport is going to be so tough. Reduced capacity, increased protocols, the club won’t be the same one we last held a session for 13 months ago. So we need as much support as we can get to build us back up again and be better than ever. So we sent out the bat signal (homonym intended) and were really fortunate to have six members sign up to take part in our very first coaching programme (online or in person).
We designed a six week programme that would introduce participants to various concepts of coaching and the club. Our intent was for this to be light, easy to digest, and open for questions and discussion each week. With homeschooling etc a priority throughout, we made these sessions snappy at an hour or less. Topics were:
Session 1 (22/01)- Coaching at EKTTC
Session 2 (29/01)- Health & Safety/Risk Assessment
Session 3 (05/02)- Bats, Balls, Rubbers & Equipment
Session 4 (12/02)- Rules, Competitions & Formats
Session 5 (19/02)- 5 C’s of Coaching/ Coaching Methodology & Philosophy
Session 6 (26/02)- Session Planning
Each session would include a short presentation element to go over the topic to participants. We then included various methods to encourage chat and build understanding. This included: breakout rooms, inviting guests along for certain topics, quizzes and videos.
As a first attempt, it goes without saying the programme would have been nothing without the participants. We were a little uncertain what to expect, but what we have seen has gone beyond what we ever could. Excellent attendance each week, contributions and feedback all in abundance. The future is bright for them all and we are delighted they have enjoyed the experience.
We have kept momentum going this month with two further weeks on session planning. Testing participants to develop sessions for a variety of groups, aims and objectives.
We will end the programme on April 21st as the participants go on a ‘Introduction to UKCC’ course, being held by friend of the club and recently appointed Director of Coach Education at TTS , Stephen Gertsen. This certified course will give participants the recognition they deserve for their efforts, in addition to further knowledge and resource for their coaching skills. Looking forward to it.