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Will CVC really go now?...

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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby javman » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:00 am

malcolm.fenton wrote:
javman wrote:Have either been successful? From my perspective not entirely. I can see that some things have gone backwards in certain areas, and even when briefly reviewing the upcoming EA Coaching Conferences, there seems to be a dominance this year towards running and jumping - I didnt notice too many high power presentations on the throws for example. A small example and perhaps outof context, but from my perspective it demonstrates a lack of coherence across the throws in particular.

In other areas I agree totaly with Winchy on the squad structures - I really cant believe that in certain events they have not been allowed to occur. From what I understand this has been down to one individual (not CVC) not allowing them to happen - for reasons i simply cannot fathom. Instead what has occured is that organisations like the Hammer Circle and UK Javelin Association have filled a void.


As the person who is the National Coach Mentor for the Heavy Throws for England Athletics, I hope I can spread some light on this. Please remember though, that I work to a remit and job description, so I cannot be everything to everybody. I will not get involved in any debate that expects me to answer questions outside my job, so please keep that in mind. From reading some of the comments on here, I can see that very few people actually have any idea of the National Coach Development Programme (NCDP), nor the Local Coach Development Programme (LCDP), to which any licenced coach may apply to be part of, within certain qualifying circunstances. Full details of these programmes can be found on The England Athletics website, under coach development. The application forn is also supplied there....

Up to 15 coaches per event, can be on the NCDP. THese coaches are then supported to help them develop further, along the lines they wish to. In essence this is a developmental pathway for coaches. My job is to support these coaches and to link between them and the LCDP. Each coach has had books, media and cameras, along with biomechamical software, if they wanted it. All are invited to days/weekends, where they attend a series of talks, lectures and practical demonstrations from coach educators and specialist speakers, along with sessions with UK and foreign coaches. over the past couple of years we have had the following speakers/Coaches:-
Mike Winch
Mick Jones
Derek Evely
Dennis Roscoe
Fuzz Ahmed
Jurgen Schulte
Art Venegas
Zsolt Nemath
Jean Paul Egger
Shaun Pickering
Rob Earle
Vesteinn Hafsteinsson
Plus speakers on coaching methodology, biomechanics, planning, periodisation, nutrition and more.

For most of these sessions, some LCDP coaches were invited, plus paying coaches from the Celtic Nations. In some cases the foreign coaches stayed longer and held coach athlete sessions with many of our top throwers.
Some of the NCDP members have been funded/part funded to attend international conferences, as well as having financial backing to undertake S&C courses.

The payback for receiving these packages, is to mentor two local coaches, agreed with the local Club and Coach Support Officer.

At two international matches a year, some members of the NCDP attend as assistant team managers, in order to both better understand this role, and to train some for future management roles.

Those on the NCDP can also undertake, when trained, flying coach visits to clubs, to further assist the coaches at grassroot level.

All this was open to every coach to apply for, so why didn't you?

Looking at the heavy throwers who attended the Olympics, most were coached by members of the NCDP, or coaches who had been on it.. Indeed one of them was a member of the NCDP! We had 3 throwers attend in the DT, with one reaching the final for the first time since 1984. In the Men's HT we again had the first finalist since 1984 and the first to attend since 1996.

Since the inception of the Programme 3 years ago, we have seen a steady rise in standards in the throws, indeed overall they are the most improved group within athletics. Check the U20 men's HT, we had 4 Britains over 70m and 3 of those over 73m. We've seen age group wins in the Commonweath Youth, World Junior and European U23 champs. So generally we are going forward.

In regard to the Conferences, coaches were asked what they would like to see presented. Only the Midlands requested anything. The system is in place, tghe coaches have got to use it.


Malcolm, that is fine and I understand the NCDP structure - it has been useful and there are some really good points to it, but like any project there are some gaping holes within and I dont think the picture is as rosy as perhaps you offer. There are coaches who are on the NCDP who arent coaching for example. Also having witnessed some of the coaching from those who are mentoring local coaches, it actually isnt that good. Also some coaches have commented that the package being offered to help them develop isnt that useful either. But that said, the principle is actually quite good and I agree that it probably has had some impact in helping to raise standards across some of the throws.

With regards to conferences - interesting that the coaches were invited to request topics to be presented - how was this communicated - I may have missed it, but I cannot recall receiving an email requesting my input.

Nevertheless, back to squad structures and squad weekends - the NCDP doesnt help what many of us remeber quite fondly as National squad entities - if structured properly they could be really useful to both athlete and coach. Just because we have the NCDP, doesnt mean we should put aside what was once a good thing to have.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby malcolm.fenton » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:31 pm

I'm sorry but I must come back to you on coach satisfaction with the NCDP. I deal with 37 coaches over the heavy throws. These are independantly contacted for feedback on their experiences. Last year the satisfaction rate averaged out at 8.4 out of 10. Only one coach expressed disatisfaction, but they never attended any sessions anyway? So I cannot accept your view that coaches on the programme told you they were not satisfied. any coach on the programme can follow their own path of development, within limits. So to anyone not satisfied, whose fault is it?

I think you may be looking at National Squads through rose tinted glasses, assuming you were ever on them? I was on tghe National Hammer Squad for 10 years as an athlete, a few years as an invited coach, then finally as National Coach. Back in the 70's and 80's, only athletes were invited, never the coaches. This changed a little in the 90's, when SOME coaches were invited. When I was National Coach I was critised roundly for inviting coaches along, along with some coaches I considered inviting for developmental purposes. But I was already considering that coaches needed a pathway for development. At the end of each winter of squads, I gathered the coaches and athletes together and asked if they were satisfied with what had been offered. I also offered to resign if they were not happy with me, or didn't want me to continue...... How many coaches would have done that? It should be noted that one of the 'developmental' coaches I invited, is now one of our top Hammer coaches.

When I was not involved in the National Squads in the late 80's and early 90's, I asked to attend the squads as an observer at my own expence. For many years this was refused? Now I offer places under the same terms to suitable coaches. Throws coaches now talk with each other, whereas before there were demarcation lines between them. This is something commented upon by coaches in other event groups who are amazed that certain coaches now speak with each other. I consider that to be one of my major achievements.

All of our NCDP education sessions are filmed and are available on DVD, to ALL coaches. I recently offered through this forum a DVD of the Copthall Pre-Olympic Discus Competition, which included many world class throwers..... Take up NIL. On another forum I offered a DVD of a two hour talk by Jean Pierre Egger on his training of Werner Gunthor, for the cost of a SAE....... Takers NIl. So what do coaches want?

Th current system allows not for 'fondly' remembered Squads, which I recollect as mainly being just old mates clubs. The current system is raising standards, something that for nearly 20 years didn't happen. Shall we return to that?
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby malcolm.fenton » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:38 pm

Javman,
With regard to your post saying some coaches on the NCDP don't coach, I'd be interested to know who.....?
One of my personal guidlines to accepting coaches onto the programme, is that they do coach, or run Flying coach visits, or are coach educators. But I believe all do coach?
I'll check them all out and let you know if any aren't coaching.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby bevone » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:13 pm

i am in agreement with javman to an extent. Malcolm I would not paint this convenient picture as it does not tell the while truth. You can add me to the dessenting voice and maybe I should tell everyone why I was put in then left twice.
'And in some case some of the foreign coaches stayed on to help our throwers....' or should i read help themselves to our throwers. VH was brought in to take Brett Morse off my hands - something that UKA were forced to admit to in the telegraph articles demonstrated - and what a success that was. The poaching that others have talked of has come to fruition and I also would like to know how many athletes have changed coaches over the past 3 years in this group.

I am not saying these are not all bad as some of it was good but the ones I went to dragged on with long periods of doing nothing and basically seemed badly organised. Many of them had few attendees as well. I think you are over egging the effectiveness as I think the discus success is more down to individual coaches doing there thing.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby javman » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:06 pm

Malcolm,

Whilst I totally respect you as a coach/athlete etc I think you also are gazing through some rose tinted specs with regards to the NCDP. I appreciate that in your position you have to robustly defend it though. I am afraid that you will have to accept that various coaches have expressed some dissatisfaction with the NCDP though, it is what they have personally told me.

Having been involved in National squads for some 20 years - both as a thrower and coach - I have seen some very good things about it and some very bad. You are right there was at times what seemed to be a coach exclusion policy, but that did alter quite significantly in the latter years. For my event it was a shame that they werent that well organised at times. However, if you structure the squads days/weekends effectively with coach and athlete you can probably meet all that the NCDP offers as well. Horses for courses I suppose.

My personal view, that whilst the NCDP is a good start it has gone to far and excluded the athletes, to varying extents, in a bid to get on the 'We have to train the coach' bandwagon (nb I am not saying that we shouldnt train our coaches though). Get coach and athlete together; deliver a form of NCDP with the athletes present and you could kill two birds with one stone.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby malcolm.fenton » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:12 pm

bevone wrote:I am not saying these are not all bad as some of it was good but the ones I went to dragged on with long periods of doing nothing and basically seemed badly organised. Many of them had few attendees as well. I think you are over egging the effectiveness as I think the discus success is more down to individual coaches doing there thing.


The NCDP is part of England Athletics, it deals with coaches, not athletes. Therefore I cannot comment on any of your charges of poaching, as this falls outside the programmes remit. We do have very strict rules on taking over other coaches athletes, having to report to the Head of Coaching to ensure fair play.

It did take a little time to get things running smoothly, but only one person ever compained? As to attendees, the initial DT group consisted of a maximum of 15 coaches, so no more than 15 coaches were going to attend these. This happened across all events where the maximum attendance was in relation to the number of attendees. We actually could take no more, so it may be that we had just about full attendance? With the introduction of inviting certain LCDP coaches and some Celtic Nation coaches, we do have more now.

I can only ask readers to assess the success of the NCDP, through checking the POWER of Ten Rankings, you will see on here a progressive rise in the heavy throws through the age groups. It is down to personal interpretation if those coaches on the NCDP, were aided by the programme, or did it by doing their own thing. If that were so, why did they join the programme?
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby malcolm.fenton » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:29 pm

javman wrote:Malcolm,

Whilst I totally respect you as a coach/athlete etc I think you also are gazing through some rose tinted specs with regards to the NCDP. I appreciate that in your position you have to robustly defend it though. I am afraid that you will have to accept that various coaches have expressed some dissatisfaction with the NCDP though, it is what they have personally told me.

Having been involved in National squads for some 20 years - both as a thrower and coach - I have seen some very good things about it and some very bad. You are right there was at times what seemed to be a coach exclusion policy, but that did alter quite significantly in the latter years. For my event it was a shame that they werent that well organised at times. However, if you structure the squads days/weekends effectively with coach and athlete you can probably meet all that the NCDP offers as well. Horses for courses I suppose.

My personal view, that whilst the NCDP is a good start it has gone to far and excluded the athletes, to varying extents, in a bid to get on the 'We have to train the coach' bandwagon (nb I am not saying that we shouldnt train our coaches though). Get coach and athlete together; deliver a form of NCDP with the athletes present and you could kill two birds with one stone.


Javman,
I have not the slightest inkling who you are.....

I do my job within the parameters of my job description. as I'm sure you have to in whatever field you are employed? You really cannot be critical about the Heavy Throws, if the coaches you say are dissatisfied, are not from that group, I cannot comment on them, nor should you imply, as you initially did, that it was the heavy throws coaches who were not coaching and were not happy with the system?

England did not join the the 'we coach the coach' bandwagon, we led it. Coaches like Don Babbit, Zsolt Nemath and Jurgen Schult have all highly praised the EA system and have expressed that they wished their countries could do likewise. I recently spoke with Reece Hoffa in Birmingham, who also extolled the virtues of the system.

Rose tinted glasses, No.... Just a very clear vision of a system that is working, despite the dwindling band of critics against it.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby malcolm.fenton » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:31 pm

PS.....

Sorry that we have taken this subject off it's designated topic.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby javman » Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:21 am

Malcolm, I have never implied anything about the heavy throws, perhaps my forum name may give a clue!

Frustratingly you are not open to see that there could be improvements. The NCDP is not perfect, but perhaps you are implying that it is! I am also surprised that you link the gradual improvements in the heavy throws to the NCDP. It has no doubt played a part, but there are other drivers to any increase surely?

I think throughout this you have misunderstood my views. I am not saying that the NCDP is rubbish, far from it. Just that it could be done even better; continuous improvement philosophy!
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby yorkshire_best » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:06 am

Heavy throws would survive even if the NCDP ceased to exist and even thrive, if the right people wanted to make it so. I am not a supporter of empire builders.

The thread is about whether CVC should go, and the answer has to be a resounding yes, along with the governing body because it has failed to be a proper NGB.

In its place we need a new grass roots NGB which represents the 99.9% of people who are involved in athletics, elite athletes have in the past generally been well seviced by their great coaches who only need some lottery money to purchase the services they feel their athletes need. A small company could be developed to sort out international meetings, kit and travel.

Then implement a reward for success system which is fail proof and works in the real word over seen by a charitable trust to handle the money, like the art and sports charity.

Thousands of self employed coaches (shop keepers) would be the best thing that ever happened to athletics, and people like Malcolm and javman could earn a lot of money and do enormous good for thier events.

Just another way of looking at things and being very cost effective during these difficult financial times :wink: No sport needs an ivory tower such as UKA have built at an enormous cost to no avail.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby AllanW » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:55 am

MF; ‘Please remember though, that I work to a remit and job description, so I cannot be everything to everybody. I will not get involved in any debate that expects me to answer questions outside my job, so please keep that in mind.’

Then why come here? This debate is meant to be an open and comprehensive dialogue about the various issues facing our sport; if you do not intend to enter them in an open and honest manner why come here at all?

You see, Malcolm, we all recognise by now the sight of a hapless spokesperson surrounded by cameras and lights who gingerly attempts to mount some feeble defense of a worsening situation while tip-toeing around the gaping chasm of other related issues; did you really want to conjure this image in our heads with your contributions on this thread because I fear you have done. We’ve all watched Paxman asking Michael Howard the same question fourteen times and not getting an answer so why put yourself willingly into that position?

You have achieved two things;

Firstly to confirm in stark terms that you are frightened by the culture in which you work. Why else make such a desperate attempt to elicit personal sympathy for your intention to ignore whole areas of the debate? Making such a bald statement in your first post acts as a warning sign that you think it is dangerous for you to even discuss real issues like athlete poaching which cannot be anything other than integral to the processes contained in your job description (no matter how you try to characterise it is ‘outside my job’).

And secondly, in the manner and character of your posts here you have left the impression of being something less than full and candid on certain points (hence the responses from some of the people on this thread). I’m sure you’d agree that’s not a situation that helps you or EA.

Was it your own idea to launch this defense on here?

As for the content of your posts I can see others are taking elements of it to task and agreeing with other parts, without direct experience of those things I’ll leave it in their more capable hands, but what struck me as notable so far were two things;

That you appear to justify your performance over the last three years

‘through checking the POWER of Ten Rankings, you will see on here a progressive rise in the heavy throws through the age groups’.

Now it may be that your time was short in dealing with this forum (it doesn’t appear to have been lately though) so that you have presented a shorthand answer where you really think a more nuanced and balanced picture is the real one but as javman said, do you really think the only difference that led to these gradual improvements has been your programme? That would reveal a staggeringly low understanding of the complex variables that go into producing age group athletes performances and I’m sure you have a fuller understanding than that. The calibre of reasoning you use on this point may be acceptable around the table in the organisations you are a part of but it falls flat her, I’m afraid.

And secondly that in bristling to the defense of your programme you may be guilty of reacting to perceived attacks that aren’t real. Which does not inspire confidence in your abilities to see situations clearly. It’s not clever to alienate supporters as if they were enemies when they offer constructive information or suggestions. You have made this mistake consistently on this thread.

I’m glad you’re here because some of what you have contributed is useful.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby bevone » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:01 am

Malcolm,

'The NCDP is part of England Athletics, it deals with coaches, not athletes. Therefore I cannot comment on any of your charges of poaching, as this falls outside the programmes remit. We do have very strict rules on taking over other coaches athletes, having to report to the Head of Coaching to ensure fair play'.

Well that is not quite true now is it? Scottish and Welsh throwers were invited to heavy and javelin courses and athletes attended these sessions to be coached by the various coaches - VH being the regular one. All the top throwers were in attendance from the outset or have you changed it now because all the throwers are now based at Lee Valley/Loughborough or at least report there.

Coaching regime change and interference from NGB officials have hijacked the programme - or were an objective of it originally and there are plenty of examples out there to support this. I notice you are credited in coaching 3 non local athletes so you have not done bad out of it either.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby fangio » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:19 am

Seriously Bev, you are down on Power of 10, as coaching athletes from 5 different regions so you seem to have done even better by not being part of it.

There are many reasons why "out of area" throwers may be with coaches, for example they live near the coach not their club, they are at university, they used to be at uni where the coach is etc. Why do you say Malcom "did well out of it2 by having fewer "out of area" athletes credited than you?
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby bevone » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:08 pm

Fangio

I do not coach any of those athletes any more as I moved away from Cardiff over a year ago so you are completely wrong :wink: there but in fairness to you - you were not to know so I appreciate your point as a valid one on the incorrect info you had and you were entirely justfied to make such your comments. :D I am not a hypocrite and would not knowingly accuse anyone of doing something that I was - I am and always have been honourable and full of integrity unlike the people I have dealt with and accuse. ]

I am based in Birmingham and until I get a full time job and know where I will be for the winter I have no concrete plans. I have spoken with several people and if I am based here should be working with up to 10 local (and localish) throwers who I am sure will feature in the top of their age group in the winter and next summer which is something that excites me and drives me at present.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby malcolm.fenton » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:18 pm

AllanW wrote:You have achieved two things;

Firstly to confirm in stark terms that you are frightened by the culture in which you work. Why else make such a desperate attempt to elicit personal sympathy for your intention to ignore whole areas of the debate? Making such a bald statement in your first post acts as a warning sign that you think it is dangerous for you to even discuss real issues like athlete poaching which cannot be anything other than integral to the processes contained in your job description (no matter how you try to characterise it is ‘outside my job’).

And secondly, in the manner and character of your posts here you have left the impression of being something less than full and candid on certain points (hence the responses from some of the people on this thread). I’m sure you’d agree that’s not a situation that helps you or EA.

Was it your own idea to launch this defense on here?

As for the content of your posts I can see others are taking elements of it to task and agreeing with other parts, without direct experience of those things I’ll leave it in their more capable hands, but what struck me as notable so far were two things;

That you appear to justify your performance over the last three years

‘through checking the POWER of Ten Rankings, you will see on here a progressive rise in the heavy throws through the age groups’.

Now it may be that your time was short in dealing with this forum (it doesn’t appear to have been lately though) so that you have presented a shorthand answer where you really think a more nuanced and balanced picture is the real one but as javman said, do you really think the only difference that led to these gradual improvements has been your programme? That would reveal a staggeringly low understanding of the complex variables that go into producing age group athletes performances and I’m sure you have a fuller understanding than that. The calibre of reasoning you use on this point may be acceptable around the table in the organisations you are a part of but it falls flat her, I’m afraid.

And secondly that in bristling to the defense of your programme you may be guilty of reacting to perceived attacks that aren’t real. Which does not inspire confidence in your abilities to see situations clearly. It’s not clever to alienate supporters as if they were enemies when they offer constructive information or suggestions. You have made this mistake consistently on this thread.

I’m glad you’re here because some of what you have contributed is useful.


First off this is not my programme, and I never claim that I personally have been the cause of any success. Those who know me, know I always lay praise to the people who deserve it and refuse to accept that I am but any more than a catalyst to helping improve others.
By what right do you assume the mantle of 'we', assuming you are a mouthpiece for the sport. You merely have your opinion and your flawed interpretation of what I have said? As to my being on this site recently, it is because I am on holiday and have the time to explain th programme, as it seems that a few, just a few, not the whole sport, have attacked it from a position of ignorance. So I say again, if any coach wants to apply to be part of the LCDP and the NCDP, all they have to do is apply. I currently have a waiting list, which may be a better indicator of the Programmes' success than just the rising standards of throwers and coaching standards at ALL levels and age groups. None of what I wrote was an attempt to be defensive, but to show where I come from and how I've striven to improve the sport.

I cannot and will not answer questions outside of what I do. I could come onto this forum, using an anonymous name (Well I wonder, who they may be) when I could say everything and anything I wanted with no comeback. I don't because I find it unethical not to stand up for your views and be identified. That is my opinion and how I feel, others may not be the same, that's their choice. I note that one poster on here, refuses to answer questions that would prove he does nothing more than mischief make, his excuse... that he won't answer questions from an anonymous poster, though he is one himself!

The policy by EA is that no coach should poach off others. Their are strict guidelines for athletes being taken on to be coached by mentors, which any coach can act upon if they feel that an athlete has been taken from them. I fail to see the problem there? and I repeat I cannot speak for other organisations.

My holiday is soon to end, so again I'll be absent from here. I'll be back to working as hard as I can to improve the heavy throws, both in my job and in coaching.

If anyone wants to contact me please feel free to email me on mfenton@englandathletics.org
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby malcolm.fenton » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:29 pm

javman wrote:Malcolm, I have never implied anything about the heavy throws, perhaps my forum name may give a clue!

Frustratingly you are not open to see that there could be improvements. The NCDP is not perfect, but perhaps you are implying that it is! I am also surprised that you link the gradual improvements in the heavy throws to the NCDP. It has no doubt played a part, but there are other drivers to any increase surely?

I think throughout this you have misunderstood my views. I am not saying that the NCDP is rubbish, far from it. Just that it could be done even better; continuous improvement philosophy!


Sorry Javman, but Javman could mean anything? I can't comment on other events, or how they are, as I don't know. Would you agree though that the heavy throws are improving, no matter how? I nwould be interested in learning of the other drivers you talk of, along with evidence to underline them?

NCDP gives it away.... It's a COACH plan, not an athlete one.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby bevone » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:56 pm

malcolm,

I sincerely hope you are not referring to me as an anonymous poster as i am not and by fangio's post he proves that as he refers to my p10. There is a difference between a nick name like jav sam and anonymous like fangio.

Or maybe you were directing this at me and perhaps you could be a little more specific about mischief making - and I can be more specific about how I have been affected by mischief makers. On another thread of course as this has nothing to do with CVC going anywhere
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby malcolm.fenton » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:04 pm

bevone wrote:
Well that is not quite true now is it? Scottish and Welsh throwers were invited to heavy and javelin courses and athletes attended these sessions to be coached by the various coaches - VH being the regular one. All the top throwers were in attendance from the outset or have you changed it now because all the throwers are now based at Lee Valley/Loughborough or at least report there.

Coaching regime change and interference from NGB officials have hijacked the programme - or were an objective of it originally and there are plenty of examples out there to support this. I notice you are credited in coaching 3 non local athletes so you have not done bad out of it either.


It is totally true.

Coach/athlete partnerships were invited to sessions either side of the NCDP days. These fell to UKA, who cover all the UK and have a remit toward some coach education and are solely responsible for athlete development. By running the two sessions alongside, we made better use or the resources we hade brought in and saved money. Which even the harshest critic would see as good sense? Hafsteinnson was brought in to run sessions, which I filmed and released as DVD's. Anyone can have these, which show the work he was doing for EA.

Coaches Don Babbitt and Art Venegas were brought in, in unison with the IFAC Conferences in Glasgow. So we again saved money. Jean Pierre Egger came cheap as he was in the UK for a Diamond League fixture. all to save money for a quality product, in liaison with UKA.

'Coaching regime change and interference from NGB officials have hijacked the programme - or were an objective of it originally and there are plenty of examples out there to support this' I find it hard to discuss intangibles. If you can cite any EA examples & I'll check them out?

On P oT I'm cited with coaching 3 athletes..... Sam Milner, who lives in Suffolk, as I do, but who asked if I could still coach her though her time at Loughborough, where she studies I do have the help of acoach at Loughborough, to act as my eyes and to assist development. Mel Harrison... Mel asked if I would help her, as I usually spend one day a week at Lea Valley, which is where her home club is based. Amir Williamson also asked me for help, and we use Lea Valley once a week. Amir is also a member of the NCDP. I use Lea Valley as it is 80 minutes from my house, it has all the facilities we need, along with very helpful staff. An open invitation exists for coaches to dip in on a clinic basis. Other athletes attend to train with us, but this has been done at the behest of their coaches, who remain as lead coach on the P o T. I do not seek to gain athletes, as work makes it very hard to coach regularly. I also don't need a string of athletes to prove my worth to myself, I'm just happy to see athletes further their potential.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby yorkshire_best » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:16 pm

AllanW wrote:MF; ‘Please remember though, that I work to a remit and job description, so I cannot be everything to everybody. I will not get involved in any debate that expects me to answer questions outside my job, so please keep that in mind.’

Then why come here? This debate is meant to be an open and comprehensive dialogue about the various issues facing our sport; if you do not intend to enter them in an open and honest manner why come here at all?

You see, Malcolm, we all recognise by now the sight of a hapless spokesperson surrounded by cameras and lights who gingerly attempts to mount some feeble defense of a worsening situation while tip-toeing around the gaping chasm of other related issues; did you really want to conjure this image in our heads with your contributions on this thread because I fear you have done. We’ve all watched Paxman asking Michael Howard the same question fourteen times and not getting an answer so why put yourself willingly into that position?

You have achieved two things;

Firstly to confirm in stark terms that you are frightened by the culture in which you work. Why else make such a desperate attempt to elicit personal sympathy for your intention to ignore whole areas of the debate? Making such a bald statement in your first post acts as a warning sign that you think it is dangerous for you to even discuss real issues like athlete poaching which cannot be anything other than integral to the processes contained in your job description (no matter how you try to characterise it is ‘outside my job’).

And secondly, in the manner and character of your posts here you have left the impression of being something less than full and candid on certain points (hence the responses from some of the people on this thread). I’m sure you’d agree that’s not a situation that helps you or EA.

Was it your own idea to launch this defense on here?

As for the content of your posts I can see others are taking elements of it to task and agreeing with other parts, without direct experience of those things I’ll leave it in their more capable hands, but what struck me as notable so far were two things;

That you appear to justify your performance over the last three years

‘through checking the POWER of Ten Rankings, you will see on here a progressive rise in the heavy throws through the age groups’.

Now it may be that your time was short in dealing with this forum (it doesn’t appear to have been lately though) so that you have presented a shorthand answer where you really think a more nuanced and balanced picture is the real one but as javman said, do you really think the only difference that led to these gradual improvements has been your programme? That would reveal a staggeringly low understanding of the complex variables that go into producing age group athletes performances and I’m sure you have a fuller understanding than that. The calibre of reasoning you use on this point may be acceptable around the table in the organisations you are a part of but it falls flat her, I’m afraid.

And secondly that in bristling to the defense of your programme you may be guilty of reacting to perceived attacks that aren’t real. Which does not inspire confidence in your abilities to see situations clearly. It’s not clever to alienate supporters as if they were enemies when they offer constructive information or suggestions. You have made this mistake consistently on this thread.

I’m glad you’re here because some of what you have contributed is useful.



Best post on this forum to date, very well written Allan 8)
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby boysen » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:21 pm

CVC has been o/c for a couple,3?, years. Not enough to re-invent the wheel but though we have a veneer of top class is it not the case we are still going in to court with brief case only 10% full. We have a stack of blank pages, as they have been for some years.If, for the moment, Jess and Mo were not there,,,thats what 4% of the team we are , metaphorically, naked.
Should we expect UKA..staff over 100, wages 5mn, to set about finding a couple of qualifying walkers,one young triple jumper, one javelinist,one chaser.(.we are now looking it seems after a decade of sitting on our hands), one shot putter. Yes it seems there are many people working hard with the material they have but progress, if noticeable, is modest. There may be a 5 medal mist hanging over the sport which blinds us to the fact that much of what we have is a long way from where we should like it. Much the same is true on the distaff side. Come back Judy Oakes.Vive la revolution!
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby bevone » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:31 pm

Thank you for eventually clarifying that this was a joint UKA ENG venture when VH and the others you speak of came over. I went to every session that VH came over, were they also EAA Develpment days as well.

I did not accuse you of poaching but you have done well to have picked up people like Amir who is a 69m thrower. I said the NGB UKA have used this joint venture as an opportunity to enforce coaching regime change and there are plenty of examples of athletes changing coaches for one reason or another and that Brett Morse is a good example of this and been admitted in the telegraph circa dec 6th 20011

Do readers know that some of these invited speakers have ended up recruiting UK athletes to their squads or are now 'mentoring' some of them. How is this benefiting UK coaching? BM moving to VH has done nothing for me - or seemingly him.
Last edited by bevone on Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby AllanW » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:59 pm

Thank you for your reply Malcolm, I’m much obliged.

malcolm.fenton wrote: First off this is not my programme, and I never claim that I personally have been the cause of any success. Those who know me, know I always lay praise to the people who deserve it and refuse to accept that I am but any more than a catalyst to helping improve others.


How noble that sounds! I wonder if it bears scrutiny? Your first words on this thread were;

‘As the person who is the National Coach Mentor for the Heavy Throws for England Athletics’

let’s contrast them with the first 7 words I’ve quoted above;

‘First off this is not my programme’

that doesn’t sound too shy and retiring to me but let’s not be too harsh, you may not in fact think you plainly contradict yourself.

malcolm.fenton wrote:By what right do you assume the mantle of 'we', assuming you are a mouthpiece for the sport.


Oh dear. Read that post again. I use the word ‘we’ only once and in the context meaning ‘the whole world’ when introducing an image about hapless apologists; any other points are made solely on a personal basis. Communication is difficult at the best of times Malcolm but if you’re going to fail to understand simple things like this or manage to add things that aren’t there it will be much worse.

malcolm.fenton wrote: You merely have your opinion and your flawed interpretation of what I have said?


My opinion would indeed by ‘mere’ if it were not supported as well as I’m able by evidence and logic. Furthermore, rather than just state that my interpretations are flawed wouldn’t it be better if you, you know, showed where they were? Saying ‘You’re just wrong and a stupid-head’ isn’t that elevated a discourse I’m sure you’d agree. I await any substance you might provide rather than this dead air.

malcolm.fenton wrote:I cannot and will not answer questions outside of what I do.


That is of course your own choice to make. As is our own to make of your aversion what we will. By the way, how would you effectively argue that athletes being poached from one coach to another is a factor ‘outside’ of the programme you run for those coaches, please? I’m willing to be persuaded.

malcolm.fenton wrote:The policy by EA is that no coach should poach off others. Their are strict guidelines for athletes being taken on to be coached by mentors, which any coach can act upon if they feel that an athlete has been taken from them.


Oh good grief man, did you not read the bit about the infamous Paxman interview of Michael Howard that I mentioned before? Here’s a link to help you;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQvl3GsBgos

Do you see the parallel? ‘Did athletes get poached?’ ‘The policy by EA is that no coach should poach off others.’

malcolm.fenton wrote: My holiday is soon to end, so again I'll be absent from here. I'll be back to working as hard as I can to improve the heavy throws, both in my job and in coaching.


Have a lovely time for the rest of your holiday and best wishes in achieving your aims in your job. I’m sure nobody here wants the sport to perform worse, we may however disagree on how to make it perform better. In essence this thread started to be about CVC but has now morphed into contemplation of a wider question but has raised useful information. I guess the ultimate question that CVC, UKA and the ones with real influence upon the sport need to reach a judgement about is actually defined on another thread here;

Justify the medal or points return in London by comparison with Beijing for the expenditure received in the interim.

I’m sure we got off on the wrong foot here and do in fact share much of the same aspirations so anything you’d care to contribute to answering that question would be welcome I’m sure.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby Kermit » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:39 pm

Wow this thread as evolved!

The question of should CVC go really depends on the finances. And it is a known fact that thewre WILL be some funding cuts to many sports. It is my belief that UKA will have to make some people redundant or shift them to the regions while funding of the athletes will face a modest cut thanks to thse athletes who have retired or who will be means tested out of the system due to the fact that they are gold medalists.

The other deciding factor on cuts is who is going to replace Aviva as the NGB's chief sponsor and will they be ploughing in more, less or the same as Aviva. If it is less then all areas will face cuts and CVC may well fall on his sword than see one of his appointed staff being moved sideways or see his own wages reduced.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby boysen » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:56 pm

A potential sponsor may well choose to adjudge the level of success/return that happened during Aviva's tenancy. That may be a value judgement but nevertheless be the ultimate decider on how much is put on the table.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby AllanW » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:04 pm

boysen wrote:A potential sponsor may well choose to adjudge the level of success/return that happened during Aviva's tenancy. That may be a value judgement but nevertheless be the ultimate decider on how much is put on the table.


That's a very good point; a number of interested parties will be making the assessment of whether the current setup has delivered results that are good enough including potential major sponsors. Their criteria may include different factors but will certainly overlap to some degree with both 'ours' as interested participants and consumers as well as the sports bodies themselves.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby Geoff » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:54 am

I know this topic has gone off in different directions and become so called political but it does emphasise a point I have made repeatedly that you can't change one level without affecting others. UKA are focussed on elite athletics although they have a strategic role for the whole of the sport but that doesn't seem to be working particularly well.

Whether CVC stays will, in part, be down to whether the overall system is conducive to developing elite athletics. Of course, we can debate his effectiveness at elite level but we should also remember that the fractures we see on this board are also present within UKA itself and not everyone agrees with his approach. Several UKA employees and probably athletes as well would like to see him go.

The question of funding will also come into play. Will he take a pay cut and still want the job? How many coaches will be leaving in the autumn and how will this affect his position?

If he is retained I would like him (or successor) to give a lead on how the sport should change as a whole and not hide behind his limited remit. Just producing coach education opportunities will not necessarily lead to more coaches and a harmonious structure but how can someone on £200,000 per year lecture to the majority of coaches earning nothing? This is the differnce between UKA and the rest of the sport and why questions are often asked about value for money.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby Kermit » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:31 pm

I have to disagree with parts of what you say/want Geoff.

Yes UKA are the NGB but NO to CVC making the root and branch changes required to coaching. However there should be someone responsible for coaching at a national level. But perhaps the IAAF and the EAU should also have a role to play. To some of you this may sound ridiculous, but as people have tried to use cycling as a bench mark let me expailn to you how another sport uses this platform.

FIFA is responsible for World football, UEFA is responsible for European football but answers to FIFA. In order for a coach or manager to ply their trade at a professional club they must have either a FIFA license or a UEFA one, meanwhile the FA have a license, but that allows you to coach at amateur or children's level.

If our sport followed this mechanism then it would surely be a start to having something stronger than what we have today. Having read through all the posts EA should be applauded for taking the initiative to improving coaching standards, it is a shame that is limited due to lack of funding. If it had the same level of funding as UKA then I am sure that our discussion would be drastically different to what we have now and maybe Longthrow would not be asking for a whole new NGB.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby bevone » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:00 pm

I am possibly repeating myself here but the NGB cannot be responsible for all athletics otherwise what do they nations do and then the regions. You just get three levels of administration and bureaucracy.

UKA should have lottery and elite sport at its heart. This off shoot on this thread about event groups in the throws just shows the confusion as you have UKA and EA providing the same course in a weekend which have different agenda's.
UKA should have development programme and a coaching programme that works with the nations and regions.
I am not sure the sport can afford there stupendous salaries and so many people on them
EA and he nations should deliver the coaching strategy working with UKA
I cannot see how these reams of uka and EA coaches can be justified.
I think a more effective way of delivering the sport would be through 8-10 manned centres with a selection of senior coaches there who could build squads with coached and mentor each other so athletes have options of who they want ot be coached by or stay in their own region. Maybe these 8-10 regions could be university based so this could elevate the top unis and the uni's may wish to finance some of the coaches. Who knows these could also be the basis of intercity games.
Each centre could be responsible to provide may provide one or two good quality development meets so good athletes will have the opportunity to compete at good meets and even generate some income from them. Basically these hub centres could be the centre of a lot of activity from competition to coach education for it region.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby fangio » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:22 pm

Bev, how would the centres work? Would you man it with paid coaches for each event group, even if he athletes in that group were part time and not there during the normal working day, or if the quality of the squad for that area was particularly poor? Or would you expect unpaid volunteers to travel to a centre to man it takig time away from their own training groups? Or woudl you only man it if there was teh quality to support it in an area?

If I were to take a model of sprints, middle distance, endurance, horizontal jumps, vertical jumps, heavy throws, javelin (and not including walking) that's 56 coaches required. If they were employed with lowish salaries then you don't get the best applying, (e.g my old coach was very succesful in his profession and would not have left it to become a full time coach on a low salary) so you get grumbles about the standard fo the mentor in charge. If you pay a higher salary it gets very costly very quickly, adn you get grumbles abotu how cna someone earnign £x lecture to those earngin nothing.

I like the idea of the model, especially it forming hubs for the intercity challenge, although this suffers from the problem that this would mean that either the best atheltes woudlbe spread across teh 8 centres rather than trainign together or the intercity challenge would be dominated in each event by the area where they trained together, I just don't think the money exists to do it to a sufficiently high standard.
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Re: Will CVC really go now?...

Postby Geoff » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:03 pm

Most coaches I speak to are not in favour of an over-centralised coaching system and prefer a regional approach which has many benefits in terms of developing our sport throughout the UK. We have excellent regional and even sub-regional facilities that are already part manned with EIS, Home Nations, university and local authority staff and I'm with Bevone on this in that it seems silly to have layer after expensive layer of personnel.

In my mind I firmly believe we should have a leaner UKA offering support, coordination and education through the regions and down to the clubs. At the same time we need a structure that builds from the clubs upwards that is more professional and ensures we have coaches covering all events throughout each region who can share in talent identification and offer opportunities to try and then fully develop potential athletes. All these should operate in a team and it should not always be the case that one is more important than others. It will require funding but perhaps not as much as some people believe and is possible if present funding can be reallocated.

With regards to whether the head coach should be responsible then to some extent yes. He/she should at least be supportive of such an idea and play a part in ensuring everyone is motivated and valued.

The present UKA system is an expensive hotch-potch without a truely centralised approach because UKA found it was unworkable without a fully professional structure. It has to change.
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