The best swimmers, and the best coaches … of course
But we need moe. Would you like to join the team?
On its own content on an e-Reader such as a Kindle is NOT e-learning or m-learning.
(Though surely any kind of self-directed, personally motivated reading is learning?)
So how, in the context of swim coaching do I make it so?
There are two audiences, the athletes and fellow coaches.
I have dual responsibilities, as a coach putting in place ways to improve the times these swimmers produce (coaching) and in workforce development improving the skills of the team teaching or coaching swimmers.
(Ruben Guzman, The Swim Drills Book)
The Kindle content can be shown to swimmers; with the right content this has already proved brilliant at SHOWING the swimmers what I want them to do, complementing any demonstrations I do poolside.
Getting their eyes and ears engaged on the task is the challenge.
The right content, such as the Swim Drills Book has in place bullet pointed learning tips and focus points for the coach so that you can speed read this, or take a tip quite easily at a glance. More micro-learning that mobile-learning.
How about fellow coaches?
A colleague who was sitting out got her head around the Kindle after a few quick pointers on how to page turn (if we even all it that anymore).
She did two things, checked some progressions into swimming Butterfly for her next group of swimmers, taking from this a useful learning tip and then checked something on timing in Breaststroke for HER OWN swimming.
Next week, having primed her by email and some grabs on Kindle operation, I will show her how to highlight passsages in the Kindle and add notes. Surely, as other coaches do the same, this will build into an updated, club developed learning resource that more coaches and teachers will buy into because it is OF the club … we can identify, as you can in a Wiki, the contributions being made by people with decades of swimming experience as athletes, Masters champions and highly qualified sports coaches?
Not M-Learning yet
Now I integrate the Kindle content, this and other resources into two things:
Formal Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) qualifications, for example Levels 1, 2 & 3 Teaching Aquatics and Levels 1,2 & 3 Coaching Swimming.
Develop content in my swim coach blog, that is gradually taking the extensive offline electronic record or blog set to private, that I have now kept for five years. In here I have just about every session I have taken, possibly 1,000 sessions?
Encourage, through the formal programme of teaching and coaching that we have closer integration of what we do poolside and in the gym with both these formal and informal learning resources.
I’ve already shared ideas with an e-learning colleague in e-learning who did a Kimble e-learning piece in Articulate some weeks ago.
We are going to plan out generating our own content, including exploiting the affordances of the Kindle to create a series of ‘Flicker Book’ animations i.e. by controlling the speed at which you ‘page turn’ you generate or pause an animation that shows a specific technique. This might be as simple as how to scull, or long-legged kick for Front Crawl and Back Crawl.
Fascinating. My love for swimming and coaching swimming has been rejuventated as every time I am poolside will now be a workshop for learning.
Four days ago 17 poolside helpers, assistants, teachers, coaches and principal teachers – a team manager too, attended a traditional ‘Tell and Talk’ point point workshop on Safeguarding Children.’ I was unwell so unable to attend. I would like feedback from this, but something more than some Smiley Faces or boxes ticked.
Any suggestions on approaches to Feedback that work without having to hire in consultants?
Armed with a Kindle with the Swim Drills book loaded I was poolside teaching and coaching swimmers for three hours.
For the last year I have run programmes based on drills in ‘The Swim Drills Book’ and have relied on lesson plans and sometimes laminated print outs.
Today I took the Kindle
Never before have I found the swimmers so attentive, coming close to the side of the pool to look at the pictures.
Here is a great drill to develop streamlining
They start in what we call ‘Dead Swimmer’ then straighten up, arms first, then legs into the ‘streamline position.’ They then kick off, add a few strokes and continue up the pool.
They got, far quicker than my efforts to demonstrate and talk them through.
The pictures say it all.
Is this mobile learning?
Whatever it is, this works.
Next step to blog about in my Swim Coach website http://www.thewellyman.wordpress.com.
We bought a dozen copies of the Swim Book.
Perhaps we need a dozen Kindles.
Could we have waterproof versions?
And perhaps A4 clipboard in size?
With a wireless link to a poolside whiteboard.
Better still, an LCD screen on the bottom of the pool!
Guzman, R (2007) The Swim Drills Book
|Senior Club Coach Management Duties
(Taken from Unit 1 of the UKCC/ASA Senior Club Coach Certificate course:)
List FIVE Management duties that you could be required to undertake in your role as a Level 3 Senior Coach, including the tasks associated with each duty.
Leading and managing a team of paid and volunteer poolside helpers, assistant teachers, teachers, coaches and other poolside staff/team.
Reporting back to the club committee especially the Treasurer, Club Secretary, Welfare Officer and Chairman. Supervision, observation and encouragement of teachers and coaches. Setting their goals, recognising and rewarding them. Identifying staff needs and recruitment and induction.
Budget for costs relating to equipment hire and purchase
Communicating verbally and in writing details of the teaching and coaching team, their goals, as well as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Price, compare costs, agree budget with the Treasurer, spend, check invoices and receipts. Allocate kit/equipment and tracks its use and replacement.
Attend committee meetings as a senior committee member
Report to the committee on progress of the team and suitability of teaching/coaching. Offer comment on all matters relating to coaching swimmers: water time, teacher to swimmer ratios, attendance, galas etc:
Data gathering, analysis and communication
Ensure that appropriate methods of swimmer data collection are used regularly and hat this information is communicated and interpreted so that each swimmer understands its use.
For Swimming & Water Polo Teachers & Coaches
New teachers & poolside helpers will need to take part in an induction process.
An informal introduction to the pool, the teachers
The lesson plans
Teaching/coaching programme & contact details.
They too will need a copy of the:
It is my intention to assemble all this information into either a folder (printed out) or in digital form as an e.mail attachment or on a memory stick or CD.
They will need to read the Code of Ethics and sign a piece of paper saying they agree to abide by them.
I’m not suggesting that the Membership Secretary is responsible for all of this as it should be shared out with the Welfare Officer, Head Coach & Principal Teachers, possibly also the Chairman if someone is signing a contract or letter of agreement. Some clubs have a ‘Volunteer Liaison Officer’ who may do some of this.
Realistic (not burdened)
Support & Flexibility (they have jobs & are parents)
Many of of trained with Mick, Cathy or Norman at SwimUK.
The Roedean School Pool is the most fantastic location for this – away from the hubub of a public pool, a delightful setting and pool with views across the English Channel and even a chance to sit in a classroom of this internationally famous girls’ public school.
Through the Institute of Swimming (IoS) you can find courses near-by to suit you.
Log on to the IoS online and register.