Understanding

Mark Upton wrote a post this week titled KPIs, Comparative Coaching & Classrooms.

In September, Mark and Ric Shuttleworth will begin facilitating conversations about ‘relearn Team Sports’.

I think their six-month journeys with coaches will be fascinating.

In his post, Mark wrote:

My own experiences and observations suggest there can be a disproportionate amount of time analysing, editing and preparing video clips for the “classroom”, in comparison to the time spent thinking about and designing purposeful (perhaps even creative!) on-field activities and sessions.

In October, I am presenting at the HPX 2017 Knowledge Exchange Conference in Dublin. In addition to a one-day hackathon for performance analysts (#abbotsthon17), I am presenting in a technology strand on the topic of ‘Are we there yet?‘. In it I hope to be addressing the issues Mark raises generally in his work and in his post specifically.

His post and the preparations for the October conference have taken me back to work that engrossed me in the 1990s. David Perkins and Tina Blythe from Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education helped me think critically about putting understanding up front in my teaching and coaching.

In a 1994 paper, David and Tina share their performance perspective on understanding. This perspective proposes that:

understanding is a matter of being able to do a variety of thought-demanding things with a topic … and representing the topic in a new way. (1994:5)

And that:

understanding is being able to carry out a variety of “performances” that show one’s understanding of a topic and, at the same time, advance it. (My emphasis.) (1994:6)

They add that “the mainstay of learning for understanding must be actual engagement in those performances”.

An understanding approach in Project Zero comprised four key concepts:

  • Generative topics
  • Understanding goals
  • Understanding performances
  • Ongoing assessment

This teaching for understanding approach:

is meant only as a guide, which keeps the focus on understanding while allowing teachers room to design units and courses that suit their particular styles and priorities as practitioners in their disciplines. (1994:7)

I see this approach to be connected closely with the conversations Mark and Ric will have with the coaches that join them on their relearn journeys. I imagine the conversations might explore how teachers and coaches constructively align how they create opportunities for performances of understanding that are tested in authentic ways in training environments.

Photo Credits

Over there (Dean Donaldson, CC BY 2.0)

relearn Team Sports (Mark Upton)

Times Square tilt-shift (zonalpony, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Developing resources for #abbotsthon17

The banner for the Knowledge Exchange Conference to be held in Dubli, October 2017

I was in Dublin last week and had the opportunity to meet Alan Swanton, Performance Analyst Lead, and Daragh Sheridan, Head of Capability and Expertise, at Sport Ireland Institute.

Alan has made a brave decision to invite me to participate in the HPX 2017 Knowledge Exchange Conference in Dublin in October. I am delighted that Daragh supported Alan’s decision.

My participation has two parts. The first is a one day hackathon (#abbotsthon17) with performance analysts on 5 October the day before the start of the conference. The second is a presentation on the first morning of the conference. It is titled Performance Analysis and Data Analytics – Are we there yet?  (There is a draft of the presentation on Google Slides.)

This blog post is a place holder for resources I am developing for the workshop and conference. It is connected also to a MailChimp autoresponder idea for the workshop.

By coincidence, shortly after my meeting with Alan and Daragh I saw Oisin Kelly’s sculpture, the Chariot of Life. The publicart.ie website notes:

Kelly’s large copper-bronze sculpture depicts the figure of a charioteer said to represents reason controlling the emotions.

This seems a great starting point for a conversation about performance analysis.

A photograph of Oisin Kelly's sculpture 'The Chariot of Life', Dublin.

Photo Credit

Chariot of Life (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)

#abbotsthon17: some fledgling ideas

I have been invited to participate in the HPX 2017 Knowledge Exchange Conference in Dublin in October.

This is the first time the Sport Ireland Institute and Sport Ireland Coaching have joined together to co-host the HPX conference.

The conference web site has been launched with a link to the program. I have an opportunity to share some ideas in a presentation on the first morning of the conference (6 October) after the morning tea break. My working title is Performance Analysis and Data Analytics: Are We There Yet?

Thanks to Alan Swanton, I am also facilitating the #abbotsthon17 on the day before the conference. It is my take on a hackathon to explore how a community of practice of performance analysts might come together to share their experiences.

This is a fledgling idea at the moment but my aspirations are that the hackathon might be:

  • an open invitation
  • free
  • an opportunity to explore a different approach to sharing experiences

I trust the conversations will take us in directions participants agree are of interest.

My hope is that the day provides the psychological oxygen Lars Johannesen describes. As a group we might be “supported through recognition, the sense of belonging, of being a part of something bigger than yourself” … and “being pushed out of your comfort zone regularly and in an appropriate manner”.

I am going to be discussing open sharing so I hope the day is available to as many people as possible who have an interest in the observation and analysis of performance. I am hopeful too there is no fee for the workshop. Participants have to meet their own travel and accommodation costs and I am keen that they do not have an additional cost.

I aim to support the workshop and my presentation with resources shared in advance.

As I get older I hope to share with others the fallibility of practice and the possibilities that emerge from appreciative inquiry. I do feel confident about this approach … particularly as my experiences as a volunteer firefighter in Australia have encouraged me to think about agile responses to dynamic situations.

The #abbotsthon17 event will have this edge. I am excited where it might take us and how it might become a reflection on the way each person acts in their daily environment.

The starting idea for the day is What is so important we have to share it?

I have another three months to develop and share these fledgling ideas before they take flight.

Photo Credit

Real-time monitoring (Firstbeat)