Monday, March 30, 2009


Just conducted a 1 Star course on Sunday and it was horrible. Didnt feel like there was much learning involved, though I tried to make the best of the situation.

An NPCC unit had signed up for the course held at Water-Venture through a company called PaddleH2O. This company is run by 2 trainers from Water-Venture, Richard Lim and Mary Zoe Lek.

So I more or less just let things happen the way Mary wanted it. This went on till I couldnt take it anymore and voiced my opinions to Mary. We then split the group and carried on coaching in smaller more condusive numbers.

Here's why:
During the split to do the capsize drill, she got her entire group to raft up and wait in the water and take turns to do the capsize. It looked all nice and organised at first, but in the end the group just ended up floating around in a mess.

It all started to go downhill when Mary started demonstrating embarking and disembarking to 28 paddlers sitting in the kayaks on the beach alongside each other. How did she expect the paddlers at the extreme ends to see her?

When I questioned her on this, she said the other instructors were supposed to teach/facilitate while she did her coaching. Whats the point? So I have to repeat everything WHILE she is talking? Who do the paddlers pay attention to then? Herself or me?

Next, she basically dispatched the whole group of 28 participants into the water at one shot. While she stood on the beach. She got them to paddle towards a pontoon abt 10m away and reverse paddle back to shore.
So there we had 28 pple floating around paddling in circles and myself and Sam had to herd them back to shore.

She did not even take a boat out into the water! Coaching a 1 Star course without getting into a boat? So you can guess the kids spent alot of time at the beach or near it.

All that techincal stuff and jargon she used didnt help facilitate learning either.

Sam also wasn't too interested in coaching. He condemned the group before they even arrived and ended up shouting most of the session. Could see that the teacher in charge was worried at this and spent most of the time hanging around his group.

Lost my watch too :( I guess one of the links came loose.
The new club manager Joyce kept coming out to the beach. Judging from her character, chacnes are she was "assessing" myself and Sam.

Quite a bad day.

But, at least 3 things brightened up my day.
1. The new capsize drill thingy worked. Got the kids all excited about capsizing. Even the non-swimmers! They found the technique fun and awesome. Saw a few smiles and heard a few screams of delight!

2. The teacher in charge was cute. Really cute :)

3. I got an exciting trip home, cycling in the rain.

1 comment:

Wolfie said...

That sounds like a very poorly managed course! I always believed that the reflective and learned coach is better than an experienced coach, because the former could have been doing the wrong things for donkey years.

Glad to know that you have the moral courage to speak up - for the children/participants, we all have the obligation to give them the very best that we can provide.

Cycling in the rain is exciting, but I really hate the experience of being pelted by the raindrops, and the cleaning up after that...