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Good questions and puzzle pieces

It's been amazing to see how interested and enthusiastic people are about the things that I brought to practice from the CDA program. In particular, discussions around phrasing of questions have been inspiring. Finnish Coach Developers network is now working on the questioning with padlet tool. For myself, it has been striking to note how small changes in assignments, for example, can lead to better activated thinking and learning.

At coach education we have introduced coaching bugs, which we converted to puzzle pieces. We have used those to teach how to coach skills and the trainees have chosen what their skills to be assessed on their teaching demonstrations.

At the Synchronized Skating coaches training, the coaches chose one subject area in which they focused more. Around the chosen subject area they considered about real case to which they want to have a solution. The aim was to search for information and theory and increase the knowledge about the topic. After that they made an action plan to solve the problem and carried out the plan between training periods. Afterwards trainees told how they succeeded and what they have learned. One group chose comprehensive training as their topic and in particular they collected feedback from children. They built questionnairy, which skaters filled one or two weeks. The questions were for example about what was eaten at snack time, what were skater’s feelings before exercise and on what kind of mood the coach was etc. This poll was so successful, that it’s now shared into National Olympic Committee’s coaches toolbox. In this case the learner centered and actively involved principles from LEARNS worked really well. Personally, I think that the trainees learned lot more about comprehensive training that they have learned, if we have used lecturing as a method of teaching.

I am also particularly pleased about the Han Moo-Do instructor training process. Han-Moo-Do is sport of self-defense and martial arts, which has been developed in Finland. There hasn’t been previous coach education, and they wanted to educate CD’s and at the same time to create their A-level coach training. Idea of the first weekend was to create a good learning environment and also to shake participants mindset about learning and education processes (LEARNS-principles). We used different styles of groupings, working methods. The idea of us was that we have to convince participants that the ”brain that does the thinking does the learning” by using methods were participants must be active. We used for example drama, mind mapping, reflection and puzzle method.

First weekends topics were about role of the CD, who are the participants that take part to the education, learning, skills, different types of learners etc. They also did things and learning on tatami. In the mid session they were focused on theirselves. They created an action plan for getting their cd skills better and they also planned on session for the A-course. Second weekend started about reminding participants about what they had learned on weekend one. After that we went through how good facilitation session is built up. Then they started to work on their own A-course.

They created goals, methods etc. again with different ways. After the first weekend the participants were really confused. Afterwards they thought that, it was really good way to shake their thougts. They told that without that, the A-course would be oldschool and they wouldn’t have the courage to do it in a different way. We really could see the change in thinking of learning. At the same time I am thinking how to ask more beautiful questions.

Maiju Kokkonen is a Coach Developer, Master of Sport and Health Sciences. Her Specialty is Coach developer education, Children's coaching, personalized study pathways for coaches, coach education. She currently works in The Sports Institute of Finland: Olympic Training Center.


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