Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bad practices

At a recently concluded 1 Star course, I was one of the 4 coaches who coached 50 participants.
If I had known there were going to be that many students, I wouldn't have said ok. So much time is spent transporting equipment, reducing the practice time. Large classes also means lesser individual attention and when the participants aren't too interested, its kinda tough on the coach.
I find a class size of 6-10 ideal.

I didn't agree with the other coaches practices too. There were not enough single kayaks. So we got 1 double in each group while the rest used singles. I don't find this practice ideal. Instead, I would rather have the entire group on doubles instead of just one pair.
Also, they tried to teach dry paddling on a narrow path. The participants were so spread out that those at the extreme ends hardly knew what was going on. To make things worse the person teaching was not even a coach.

I have adopted a "teach-if-interested" style when dealing with school students "forced" to attend the course. What it means is, if they're interested, I teach if not I let them sit out. This was the case of one of the participants in my group, he really didn't care much for paddling and when my group paddled 30m to raft up, he gave up and just sat there in the water. He said he wasn't interested so I towed him back, where he sat on shore and waited.

The question now is, did I do the right thing? Should I have persuaded him to try?

1 comment:

Wolfie said...

You are on your way to being a good coach already, seeing that you have an eye on cutting down management time and increasing activity time for your class. That is one important criteria for a good PE lesson in school (from my perspective as a PE teacher).

Our environment (logistics, schedule) often conspire to reduce learning time, but do persevere and think of clever ways to 1) cut down on students organisation time 2)do activities that will teach them several learning points simultaneously 3)plan your lesson well with a appropriate weightage to talking/doing (say 30%-70%).

My advice is to treat everyone equally, encourage everyone and have a positive attitude yourself. What is your objective in coaching?

Personally, I want to share my love for paddling, raise water confidence, impart water safety, and teach skills, in that order. Thus, games, fooling around in the water, talking in a very upbeat and sunny manner is very important for me. When I do teach them any technical skills, it must be delivered like a sharing session, not in a talk-down tone (or "I talk you listen" style). Treat them as equals.

Some may not like being there at the course due to various reason - fear, reluctance, awkwardness with their physical self etc. You have to show your passion and love and use it to convince them.

Just my personal style, you are free to disagree of course :)