More coaching

Time for a quick blog post before I get up to set up the course for junior parkrun. 

I’ve not held 5 coached sessions and am loving it. Saturday’s was the best so far in my opinion. Fortunately, my support coach Carol and the group appear to think so too!

I started the day feeling tired and a little grumpy and the thought of a 6am alarm wasn’t helping. However, I knew that once I was out of the house, my mood would lighten. 
On Friday evening, I’d done lots of prep. This included reading through my session plan, printing and laminating a couple more cards for new circuit stations and swotting up on some theory and benefits of the ‘plank’. Each week, my repertoire of knowledge and things I’ve laminated gets bigger. Unfortunately, I’m not sure there’s a direct correlation between the two. 

On Saturday morning, with my bag packed with a new waterproof clipboard, session plan, attendance record, circuit station cards, skipping ropes, cones, first aid kit etc, it was time to head to the Sports Centre for a session on running uphill. 

I’ve held a couple of sessions at the SC now and am loving the venue. There’s a variety of areas, routes and terrain to experience and it’s quieter than my usual haunt, Southampton Common. 

On arrival, I chatted with Carol about how I was going to adapt the session a little from my plan to make it flow a little better and then waited for the group to arrive. 

There were 7 in the group (a great number in my opinion) and we headed out for a warm up jog to the boating lake where we held the circuit ‘unit’ of the session. I’d ideally prefer not to run during the coached sessions but sometimes it’s necessary. 

The circuit consisted of:

  • rope skipping
  • calf raises
  • walking lunges
  • planks

In previous sessions, I’d had 5 stations but felt in hindsight that this was too many. It also meant that the circuit was taking 15 or so minutes. IMHO, having 4 stations worked much better. 

Once the circuit unit was over, we headed over to the incline to Coxford Road for the main technical skills unit. As it was a discovery session, I sent the group up the hill and back a couple of times before talking them through the technical skills. This worked well as it gave me the chance to organise myself and get the laminated cards I’d prepared for the skills and triple extension. 

The unit went well although I think we all struggled to grasp triple extension. It was clear everyone was doing it but difficult for anyone to judge so I videoed each runner in slow motion to share later. 

One that unit was over, it was time for the cooldown and stretches. One thing I struggle with is silent demos. For someone that’s quite introverted and shy, you’d thing being silent would be quite natural. During stretches, I seem to get verbal diarrhoea. Oh well, I think I was better but still plenty of room for improvement. 

So, overall, I’m pretty happy with how things went. Carol sent though her assessment and it was very positive. She picked up a couple of improvements I can make and I’ll be incorporating those in future sessions. 

I’m really enjoying coaching. Have day 3 of the CiRF course next Saturday which means no coached session šŸ˜¦

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