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Coaching novices

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  1. Heather Comba
  2. Coaching Discussion
  3. Tuesday, August 21 2012, 09:28 AM
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Well the novice districts are over. This was my first experience as a team coach. I thought coaching novices would be the easiest teams to train and a good place to starts. Surprise. They have so much to learn and it needs to be broken down into small chunks so they are not overloaded. Much more difficult a task that I first imagined.

I am sending you this email because you are the best I know and I did like the experience and want to be a better coach so I need to learn too so I am looking for advice from you guys.

We had practice night every Tuesday and it was structured and planned ahead. Even when I was away bowling I sent emails and had them send me their feedback after the practice. We did warm ups, drills and fun time. Every practice was different. They commented my last practice was the best as we worked on strategy, shot choices, etc..... They were wrong. My best practices were on technique and consistency, do it right and do it again.

Our winning record was poor but the winners knew they had to play hard to beat our teams. Several nail bitters. Had 2 ladies and 2 men's teams and in all 7 games only lost 2 five enders.

I am not sure what I should be doing as a coach during the competition. Should I just let them play and debrief between games or should I sit right behind them and comment on strategy or delivery during the game? I have already sent out emails with positive observations and ideas for upcoming practices. And I hope to plan some rematch exhibition games. I would also like to think about next year. Any ideas from you guys would be great.
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Dan Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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HI Heather

Well Done... wish we had more bowlers committed to the coaching... over the years we gave many coaching courses and course conductor courses and I was always dismayed at the number who had come to these courses, not to be better coaches, but to learn more themselves about coaching... so glad you are taking the right approach and applying the things you are learning for coaching! And thanks for posting here... I think it will benefit other coaches as well.

Well the novice districts are over. This was my first experience as a team coach. I thought coaching novices would be the easiest teams to train and a good place to starts. Surprise. They have so much to learn and it needs to be broken down into small chunks so they are not overloaded. Much more difficult a task that I first imagined.

whole part whole (WPW) is still a good way of presenting things... I often use analogies from other sports I play regularly to make a point... Golf and Curling are good examples, golf especially for the WPW method... videos I have coming up should help as well
I am sending you this email because you are the best I know and I did like the experience and want to be a better coach so I need to learn too so I am looking for advice from you guys.

everyone learns from everyone else no matter how "experienced" they are... that's the beauty of learning... I played David Bryant, the "Jack Nicklaus" or Wayne Gretsky of the bowls world, and even then, and after numerous World and Commonwealth Gold medals he was still trying to learn something new... so if he can do it so can we!
We had practice night every Tuesday and it was structured and planned ahead. Even when I was away bowling I sent emails and had them send me their feedback after the practice. We did warm ups, drills and fun time. Every practice was different. They commented my last practice was the best as we worked on strategy, shot choices, etc..... They were wrong. My best practices were on technique and consistency, do it right and do it again.

what sort of input did you get from your athletes prior to a) the season, b) your practices... every practice must be purposeful and to make it so it requires knowing the needs of your athletes... and, no doubt they thought your best session was the strategy one as that is often the one they will see as being most relevant and applicable to their games... I strongly believe that practice has to be measurable to be useful in any way, else it is just a roll-up... I have lots of tips and tools available that I will be posting in the Resources section of our website throughout the next few months
Our winning record was poor but the winners knew they had to play hard to beat our teams. Several nail bitters. Had 2 ladies and 2 men's teams and in all 7 games only lost 2 five enders.

... records, especially with novices are irrelevant. and, if they knew why they lost the 5 enders then you have progress... just knowing they lost them is not enough... no matter what History teaches us you can learn by making mistakes... bowls is no different... when we first started bowling (many moons ago) we used to get hammered by the better teams, but like the ever-ready bunny we kept on going back... pretty soon the games were closer, then we started edging those same teams, and eventually we started to do our own hammering... had we known what we do today and had we had access to coaches we no doubt would have started our own hammering earlier
I am not sure what I should be doing as a coach during the competition. Should I just let them play and debrief between games or should I sit right behind them and comment on strategy or delivery during the game? I have already sent out emails with positive observations and ideas for upcoming practices. And I hope to plan some rematch exhibition games. I would also like to think about next year. Any ideas from you guys would be great.

yes... let them play... bowls is too slow a game as it is, we don't need extra time devoted to conversations between players and coaches... all sorts of things you can do while the games are going on... you can be scouting other teams, preparing your game debriefing so as to keep that session short, scouting out other greens for pregame debriefings, getting water for your team... just being there is sometimes enough... and then when they do ask you for advice be quick, but always let the decision be theirs as they are the ones playing the shots... no need to swamp them with information overload during a game

And... thanks again for getting this started! :)
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  1. more than a month ago
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Heather Comba Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Not sure I know what whole part whole means.
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Dan Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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WPW... its an old term meaning you show the delivery first (whole), break it down into components next (the parts), then show the complete delivery again (whole)
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