#coachlearninginsport: self-organising networks

Last month, I was invited to join a group of coaches in an online forum.

I was delighted to be asked but I have spent much of the time as a peripheral participant … enjoying the open sharing but not contributing.

I thought listening might be a good way to start in a group of online acquaintances.

Yesterday, I responded to this message from one of the group:

Hi everyone. I’m early in the process of setting up new CPD events. I’ve been slightly dissatisfied with recent experiences and groups like this show the value of sharing and exploring new ideas.

They won’t be linked to NGB/club/County – more of a ‘by coaches, for coaches’ approach focusing on interaction, conceptualisation of ideas and discussion, building a network etc.

From your recent CPD experiences, what have been the best elements? If there was one thing you want, or would want, from a CPD experience then what would it be?

Any ideas and feedback welcome.

It seemed a great opportunity for me to discuss my thoughts about #coachlearninginsport.

It coincided too with my participation in an open online course, Connectivism and Learning. Stephen Downes is the facilitator of this course and he has this to say about connectivism:

At its heart, connectivism is the thesis that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks. (My emphasis)

Elsewhere, Stephen (2012) has discussed course design. He notes that in  a connectivist course “the content does not define the course”.

By navigating the content environment, and selecting content that is relevant to your own personal preferences and context, you are creating an individual view or perspective. So you are first creating connections between contents with each other and with your own background and experience. And working with content in a connectivist course does not involve learning or remembering the content. Rather, it is to engage in a process of creation and sharing. Each person in the course, speaking from his or her unique perspective, participates in a conversation that brings these perspectives together. (My emphasis)

I am hopeful that our online group might discuss these issues … if they are of interest.

For the time being, I look forward to engaging in a conversation on the platform that explores whether we might move from CPD to CPL and to celebrate the sense each of us makes of our self-organising networks.

Connected by shared interests.

Photo Credits

At Coogee (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)

#coachlearninginsport: besides and with

I had an opportunity to meet some rugby union coaches today.

Just before the talk, I happened upon these two chairs looking out at a rugby pitch.

The chairs brought Lawrence Stenhouse to mind. In much of his educational research, he would sit besides the person with whom he was talking.

When asked about this he said that he understood that people might feel uncomfortable about this but he always asked for their permission.

When asked why he wanted to do this he would reply that in this way they could both look at the same world.

When I saw the chairs this morning I thought about the conversations that had been and would be with the same world view.

I came away with even stronger feelings about coach learning and those who share their journey being beside them and with them.

You+(+): #coachlearninginsport


I have an opportunity to meet some rugby union coaches on Sunday. (Not the ones in the slide above.)

It will be the final morning of an intensive four-day course. Some of them will have long journeys home ahead of them. I imagine all of them will have cognitive fatigue after three days of conversation, practical activities and classroom sessions.

I have been thinking about how to approach this session.

As with many of my presentations at the moment, I have flipped the presentation and shared it in advance … in case the coaches would like to access it when it is convenient for them.

I am using Google Slides for this presentation. I have speaker notes for each of the slides to indicate where my thoughts are taking me.

The theme of my talk is about personal learning journeys in coaching. In the title You+(+):

You refers to each coach’s autobiographical experience

+ refers to the qualifications they have been awarded

(+) refers to what each makes of the You+ on their learning journeys

I have a Pdf of the presentation here. The hyperlinks should work in the document to take you to two videos I might use on the day. Both are very short. Both are from 2012.

The first encapsulates some of my thoughts about my experience of playfulness and speaks to Roger Caillois’ concept of mimicry in play and games.

The second might be a good way to end. I think it facilitates a conversation about the role of a coach in supporting and creating cultural values. Clarity about values creates We and Us possibilities that might lead us into the magical space symbolised by (+).

There is delightful laughter at the end of the video.

I am hopeful that this is the essence of #coachlearninginsport … an intrinsic delight in trying to be someone who changes their life and the lives of those people they touch.

Perhaps the group might leave the room energised on Sunday. I am excited feeding forward to it as aspiring to Peter Dowrick’s sense of “being able to learn through observing successes they have not yet had”.

Photo Credit

This is Slide 5 in my presentation. These are my speaker notes about the compilation:

Rugby Coaching has emerged in my lifetime. I had the opportunity to meet some very special coaches in my formative years. Carwyn James was a tutor on my WRU coaching course. Ray Williams’ thinking gave me ideas about principles of play. Jim Greenwood took me to a completely different place to understand performance. Tony Gray helped me understand clarity of message. John Dawes helped me with the art of coaching … and then Pierre Villepreux disrupted everything!