Last year I decided it was about time I gained another industry recognised qualification and after much debate I finally settled on the United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC) which is a national qualification developed by Sports Coach UK and offered through the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) via most equestrian disciplines.
Once decided on the UKCC the next decision was to be which organisation I would choose, now as a confirmed dressage enthusiast I felt that may be the correct direction but didn’t especially want a discipline specific award this time, so I opted for the British Horse Society (BHS) as there certificate is generic, which means in encompasses all 3 disciplines rather than purely dressage (that’s my next aim!)
As I already hold the BHS AI certificate I was able to go straight in at level 2 which I did.
The coaching course was to be held over 2 days at USK College Wales, it was a full day’s course and meant a very early start and late finish however it was very worthy of this. The course was expertly delivered by the Director of standards on the BHS Mrs Margret Linington-Payne.
So on the 26th August 2011 I set off to Wales, not knowing what to expect, but on arrival we were all made extremely welcome by college staff and Margret.
The morning was taken up with an introduction to the coaching certificate and an explanation of what coaching is and how it differs from teaching and handed our portfolios, wow, that was looking daunting! The afternoon was taken up with portfolio work and interaction within the group looking at various styles of learning and practicing our newly acquired coaching techniques on each other, which was a very different experience to anything you could imagine, but we laughed so much which helped!
We were to return in 2 weeks to USK again where we reviewed the portfolio, talked about any difficulties encountered, did a mock practical and finally put through our paces with the real practical assessment with use of the college students and horses. It was similar to the BHS PTT exam but using coaching rather than teaching techniques. It was very daunting but once we got in the swing of it, it became second nature.
Unlike the BHS exams we were given our results of the practical assessment straight away, mine – PASS!
The practical assessment was only a small part of the actual certificate as we were given 6 months to complete the portfolio, that gives you an idea of what it entails, we had to choose 4 of our own clients and work with them closely, develop them through the coaching techniques and document our findings and follow up work. This ranged from completing the initial client registration form, to creating individual goal charts, to the ongoing reviewing of their progress.
Alongside these individual parts we had questions on child protection, first aid, what we should do in the event of emergencies, write about psychology and how it affects individual riders plus lots more.
So what is coaching? Here are a few basic points:
Coaching is about developing and improving people and their behaviour in a sporting context. Coaches develop people in various ways:
Technically – by developing good technique and learning skills
Physically- by improving physical condition
Socially- by learning to co-operate with others
Psychologically – by learning to control emotions and develop self-confidence
Personally – by learning life skills, develop values and attitudes
This is a very small insight in to the coaching world, it is a very fascinating subject and differs so much from instructing and directing.
I am very proud to be a Qualified Coach now alongside my Instructors Qualification, I will be using both techniques to further my clients training to help enable them to achieve everything they want to.