by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Bowls In Focus : August September 2009
RVBA News Around the Greens RVBA News Around the Greens RVBA News Focus On bowls community in relation to what is happening with the Bowls Australia National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS) as being released currently. From an RVBA point of view, we share many of the concerns, where they are justified, but also need to address some misconceptions that are also being promoted. The RVBA recognises the significant role played by coaches, especially at club level, and the need to provide opportunities for further development and a pathway for those coaches who aspire to coach at representative levels. The VLBA also holds the same views: coaching is fundamental to our sport and education opportunities for coaches are essential to enable coaches to be the very best they can. But, coach education extends Coaching T here has been quite a bit of concern expressed amongst the Peter Hanlon beyond doing courses. Opportunities to share coaching ideas, to attend seminars, to come to terms with the latest theories in biomechanics and sports psychology, to study the tactics of the game - all are part of an on-going education which so many coaches are wanting to access. For most of my sport management career (of more than 21 years now), education programs for coaches has been my core function. I have been fortunate to have been in a position to work with many excellent coaches and coach educators. Over that time, it has been interesting to look at esteem or status provided to coaches in different sports. The role of a ‘footy coach’ at all levels is pretty much that you can’t have a team without a coach. It is the coach who calls the shots, who takes the criticism and the applause when it is due. He/she is an integral part of the sport and over the past 20 years in Victoria, the communities around the state have demanded that these coaches must be accredited. No-one can coach a team in an affiliated competition in Victoria without being accredited. Also, candidates for coaching jobs at AFL level (such as John Longmire, Chris Bond, etc) have all undertaken accredited coaching courses and served an apprenticeship prior to aspiring to coach at senior level. But the other sport with which I worked, cricket, has no such heritage or regard for the role of a coach, except perhaps at community level. Certainly, Ian Chappell, Shane Warne and others have made their views known on coaches. And no 8 Bowls In Focus matter what ways in which he may have contributed to Australia’s successes, John Buchanan will never be recognised in the way a Mark Thompson is. And maybe that’s right - the captain of a cricket team is the major manager during a Test or shorter match. So, what about bowls and the role of a coach? In many ways, the traditional role of a coach at club level is to introduce new bowlers to the sport, to make them proficient enough to participate using the basic skills, while also being aware of the basic rules and etiquette of the game. Sure, there are some clubs that employ a Club Coach who might then take regular training, and there are others who, because of the enthusiasm and expertise of a coach, also conduct training/practice sessions. In my own club, all bowlers are allocated ‘a coach’ to whom they can turn whenever they like - which is such a benefit to someone looking to improve. Coaches in bowls are also bowlers who may not see ‘their bowlers’ in a match over an entire season, and bowls coaches are largely invisible on match days anyway. Other than at National or State level (or for Under-18 Development Squads), it is extremely rare to see a coach watching his/her side/individual perform. Group 13, led by Paul Beanland and Lachlan Tighe, certainly broke the mould in relation to how the Group 13 Side was identified, trained/ practiced and prepared for the Group Sides last season. Goal-setting (at an individual and team level) was fundamental to their program, measurements were established and worked to, sharing of ideas and approaches was key, and regular practice sessions embraced by all demonstrated real commitment to the program. In excess of 100 bowler/coaches attended many of the sessions. Many learned to coach themselves, which proved of enormous benefit, but they also became comfortable with an environment of seeking to improve and knowing where to look for assistance. We all know of the great Steve Moneghetti, but how many remember his coach, Chris Wardlaw? Chris regards himself, a little tongue-incheek perhaps, as the greatest coach of all time. Why? Because, in his own words, he made himself redundant. He trained Steve in such a way that Moneghetti could effectively train himself. He knew what to do, how and when to do it, how to maintain hydration and nutrition, the importance of recovery, etc. In fact, Wardlaw claims that his aim as a coach is indeed to make himself redundant. When he found a special athlete like Moneghetti, it came to fruition. Until recently, we’d nearly say that Mark Thompson had managed the same outcome - Geelong players just seem to know what to do. A good coach probably demonstrates traits that can’t really be learned in a coaching course: empathy for the athlete, strong communication skills, the ability to analyse and provide appropriate feedback and advice, a commitment to thorough planning and preparation prior to a coaching session, and so on. But, good coach education courses aim to expose coaches to such skills and qualities, as well as the fundamentals of coaching skills and tactics. Coach education is not equal to a coaching course. The course is important, accreditation is very important, but it sets the scene for on-going education. So, we have in bowls at present a new NCAS set of courses being progressively released. There is an increase in cost and there is a need to train more Bowls Australia Assessors and Presenters. There are new manuals yet to be released, and a number of associated matters which Bowls Australia, with assistance from States and Territories, needs to address to ensure that courses are the best of their kind. Bowls Australia has recognised that there is still much work to be done to ensure that this is achieved. But, over and above the courses themselves, there is a need for all coaches to have a connection with a coaching culture that seeks more information, more ideas, more theories, more research and above all more sharing. And coaches need to be recognised for their contribution to the sport. The RVBA and VLBA will be conducting a workshop and meeting with invited representatives from DCC’s on 4 September 2009 at Newport Bowling Club at which to address a number of the points raised above. The NCAS program will be addressed, along with the broader area coach education and recognition. It is vital for the success of the sport and the position of coaching within it that all who are passionate about coaching are able to maintain a clear and active role at Club, Association, Group and State levels.