The Coaches 4 Europe (C4E) and Top Coaches Programme (TCP) programme have been successful pioneering initiatives which have been running in Europe for three years, but when COVID19 struck in 2020, it was time to go online and use the ‘pause in play’ to get our coaches to do some thinking!
As always, coaches are brilliant at thinking outside the box and adapting to a new environment so we spoke to some of our Mentors about the benefits of online coaching
Dave Passmore (TCP Mentor): “Online learning has opened up a world of opportunities for coaches to develop in recent months. It will be key how coaches use that information now and they need to be selective into the relevance of the workshops is to their own context and coaching domain that is key. You can’t train young club players like senior international athletes! It was great to work with the EHF TCP coaches in this respect as most are working with junior international teams and as such it was great to hear different cultural perspectives on how things are done in different countries and the challenges which each context brings”
Bobby Crutcley (TCP Mentor): “While it is has been a difficult time, the recent situation has forced us all to be better at communicating remotely. Being able to share knowledge and connect with other coaches is vital for our development and while nothing will replace meeting face to face, the ability to connect more frequently remotely has the potential to be a game-changer and significantly improve the standard of coaching across Europe.”
Scott McNeill (C4E Mentor): The C4E delivery during June 2020 was a fantastic initiative to be a part of and we hope the coaches found significant value in connecting with one another. The current climate has created unprecedented opportunities to connect more often. We look forward to future C4E delivery online and face to face and how we support the coaches on the programme thrive in their roles.
Simon Letchford (C4E Mentor) “In unparalleled times, everyone has been challenged to review how they operate and engage with others. Personally I found two specific phases of the last six months, one of complete lockdown where technology came to the fore and one of training while socially distanced where creativity was challenged. The use of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other platforms provided a previously unused educational pathway that I am sure will shape the way we operate in the future. I have been truly excited at the interaction between coaches and the willingness to openly contribute to a pool of knowledge and experiences that have benefitted the hockey community. The EHF Education programmes have been at the heart of this step-change in our sport”.
We are unbelievably lucky in our sport to have the calibre of Dave, Bobby, Scott, Simon and many others involved in the delivery of our Coaching Programmes and to our partner in Coach Logic which is the perfect resource, especially when live games aren’t an option!
Photograph: Simon Letchford in action with the Belgium women (Frank Uijlenbroek (c))