#coachlearninginsport … smelling the coffee

A picture of people meeting outside Dojo's Bakery chatting over coffeeMy Scoop.it aggregator collects a diverse range of posts and tweets about sport and performance.

I have not set it to search for posts about ‘coaching’ but sometimes it turns up some delightful surprises.

Today, for example, I was alerted to Rachel Hooper’s ‘The Best Coffee Break You’ll Ever Have‘.

Rachel describes her participation in a Modern Learning Event and shares a timeline of her day at the event.

The combination of coffee and coach learning is an important conjunction for me so I was immediately attracted to Rachel’s post. I have found coffee a wonderful social lubricant in conversations with coaches. In my days at the AIS it extended to some fine coffee roasts including Monsoon Malabar and Yirgacheffe. After an Olympic swimming success in 2004, I did serve Kopi Luwak to a coach. Only when she said how much she had enjoyed it did I mention the origins of those particular beans.

Rachel’s experience at ‘the best coffee break you’ll ever have’ sounds like the kind of place in my picture to accompany this post. The picture is of the garden at Dojo’s Bakery in Braidwood where people from the town meet to enjoy coffee, catch up on and share news. It is in Rachel’s terms ‘open space learning’.

By coincidence, I was pitching an idea to a conference organiser for an unmeeting component of the conference. Unmeetings set their own agendas. They are not chronologically time constrained. At Rachel’s event:

We were in charge of our own learning and experience for the day. We were encouraged to identify when we getting nothing from the learning experience and simply walk away. Because the rules of the day were so clear, walking away from a conversation was not seen as ‘rude’ but as an indication the individual might have got what they needed from the discussion, or simply wished to change the subject for something more relevant to them.

I am keen to explore the personal dimensions of coach learning so I am determined to push the boundaries of what coach learning contexts might be.

A picture of the cake and coffee counter at the Albion Cafe, Braidwood.

I apologise for repeating myself from other Clyde Street posts but I do think my own learning journey has been to let go of ‘coach development’ and to focus more on ‘coach learning’. I am keen to move the conversation from personalised learning to personal learning.

As Stephen Downes (2016) suggests:

In the case of personal learning, the role of the educational system is not to provide learning, it is to support learning. Meanwhile, the decisions about what to learn, how to learn, and where to learn are made outside the educational system, and principally, by the individual learners themselves.

Personal learning is like shopping at a grocery store. You need to assemble the ingredients yourself and create your own meals. It’s harder, but it’s a lot cheaper, and you can have an endless variety of meals. Sure, you might not get the best meals possible, but you control the experience, and you control the outcome.

Rachel is attending another Modern Learning Event in January. I will be keen to learn how that goes because once you hit the open road and start sipping Kopi Luwak there is no coming back to development and everywhere to go with personal learning journeys.

Part of the open learning journey is the transparent sharing of experiences. I am delighted Rachel was able to write about her day in Nottingham at the coffee break.

Photo Credits

Dojo’s (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)

The Albion Cafe (Albion Cafe website)

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