In the run-up of this year's PeddelPraat sea camp, internationally renowned sea kayak coaches Shawna Franklin & Leon Sommé of Body Boat Blade International gave two 1-day coaching workshops for a number of Dutch sea kayak instructors.
I first met them at USA sea kayak symposiums. I was thrilled that they came over to the Netherlands and could arrive early to run some coach development sessions. But what would our Dutch sea kayak coaches think of their approach to coaching?
From the 12 participating coaches (6 per day) I heard comments like: "The best coaching ever", "Why didn't I have this kind of coaching years ago when I started coaching?", "I learned more today than in my whole coaching carreer" and "Can we already book them for next year?".
I find it impossible to summarize the two days. Anecdotal is a moment at the beginning of the second day where the participating coaches were given a combination technique without too much explanation and having them try to figure it out for themselves. Most were struggling to get it 'right'. Lots of puzzled faces. One remark of a participant I vividly remember: "This is the worst coaching I ever had". In a split-second I recognized that these first ten minutes on the water would turn into the best coach development day that I had ever observed. The combination 'technique' formed the basis for a complete and comprehensive day on individualized coaching and understanding the core fundamentals of (sea) kayaking skills and skills development. Pretty awesome!
From aspirant sea kayak coaches to senior coaches we all found coaching gems to incorporate into our coaching practice.