Coaching is tough … but rewarding!

About a year ago I took my Level 1 Swimming Coaching qualification, in order to help out at Wyre Forest Swimming Club, as they were a bit short, and I fancied having a go, thinking it might also help my swimming. I’d seen a few people coach and it seemed to me like “how hard can it be?”.

Believe you me.  It can be hard.

The age group I’ve chosen to focus on at the moment is the 11-14 year olds. I love chatting and interacting with the children, and at that age, you hope they can begin to understand some of the more complex aspects of the sport.  But given a class of 20 odd kids, with varying levels of motivation, add to that a swimming training programme whereby you’re meant to get through 2500-3500m a session, add to that the swimmers wanting to go to the loo, adjust their goggles, forgot their hats, want to swim with their mates, forgotten their drinks, etc, etc it can turn out to be quite a frantic 90 to 120 mins of your life…

Some sessions just rock.  They just seem to click, the kids get on, they don’t fuss, they just do exactly what you ask and it’s oh so easy, you come away buzzing.

Other sessions, individuals are tired, motivation and effort is lacking and the programme doesn’t seem to flow, you come away disheartened and doubting your own ability.

Been through both types of session recently. Luckily I have several fantastic people I can turn to help for, coaches who have  forgotten more about coaching than I’m ever likely to learn, who I can only dream of emulating.

I love working with the kids, they are such fantastic characters each and everyone of them. They’re all volunteers, they all work extremely hard and it’s so fantastic to see them succeed.  When they hit a target time or win a medal, their faces just light up and it make all the hard graft worthwhile.

Swimming is such a hard, hard sport to compete in. It is one of the most gruelling training regimes out there, and much of it relies on the individuals self-discipline during training. Some children have that self-discipline naturally, others acquire it though training.  But the plain fact is , you cannot make everybody successful, you can only try to help people to be successful.  I think that’s a lesson I still need to learn myself …

Looking forward to the next session.  Hopefully I can say just one little thing to one of the kids which will make a positive difference to just one them and maybe help them get that County Time or that Gold Medal …

Cheers

Dave Mc

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About davemcmahon81
Software Developer & Architect, User Group Leader, Speaker, Writer, Blogger, Occasional Guitarist, Man-made Global Warming Sceptic, Climate Change Believer, General Optimist but most of all proud Husband and Dad ...

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