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:-
Jean Paul Egger
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.