As soon as I got back from Tokyo, I jumped straight into applying my experience from our week at Nittadai. One of the three things I set out to do was to re-structure the sessions I was going to run, so that they were more in line with LEARNS than they had been in the past. I´m fortunate to have interactions both with coaches and students at the University level, and also I have the opportunity to work with clubs and organization through the sport of swimming.
To solve the issue of learner centered and environment, I have worked from three aspects. 1) I need to learn their names so that our communication and interaction is based on trust allowing mistakes to occur and learn from them. 2) coaches and students need to become familiar with each other, their goals and experience in sports, to allow for differences. 3) outcomes of sessions need to be clearly stated and feedback on how well this is achieved needs to be verbalized.
Getting to know who we are and where we come from. Introducing one another creating laughter, sport coaches 1, swimming, tennis, floorball and track&field coaches from all over Sweden.
Evaluation of a two-day session with sports coaches 2. Movement analysis, getting to know each other and getting ready to go home and apply our learning. All OK, more than OK to apply theoretical terminology when analyzing movements, practice active listening in order to improve communication-skills.
The big focus that I have had in my sessions is working with the heart of the session, creating more push than pull. I have really pushed myself to portray the belief that the coaches and students that I meet are motivated to learn and have the ability to understand, if they are given the opportunity to apply and connect new concepts that are relevant for them. It is my firm belief that this belief is fundamental to creating a more learner-centered approach and environment. Cliff Mallett´s “less is more” fits neatly into this. What also seems important is the interaction with others in applying new concepts and the allowance to try, fail and succeed. The Oh´s and Ah´s from individuals are the best evidence of the brain that does the thinking does the learning. A picture of a learning brain is impossible. Even though the stretch and new learning has involved different subject areas for the different coaches and students, the approach has been the same. 1) what do you know about – we know something but not all 2) here is something else that is relevant for our doings as coaches 3) how does this fit into our prior knowledge and understanding – interaction, doings and activities 4) reflecting on our interpretations and our learning process
The fun of biomechanics – looking at things that are not visible to the naked eye, after a short time of push, it is time to pull, engaging in doings, talking adduction, flexion and concentric movements of biceps zeroing in on what´s going on within the body when discussing “how to utilize angular momentum” and “improving area for friction to stabilize joints” – a lot of busy silence!
For me it has been important to sort, deconstruct and re-construct the learnings from Nittadai and NCDA, but at the same time keep it simple for myself so that my learning does not get in the way of the learning of others. I will stick to my focus “how to re-structure the sessions” and “reflect upon the process of engaging”. Thanks to “Sports for Tomorrow” and all the fantastic people – none forgotten.