2 Coach developers’ potential to transform practice
In the following activity you will analyse the experiences of Alan Keane, while Head Coach of the England Under-16 Basketball team, when working with his mentor Mark Bennett. Alan and Mark met through a programme delivered by, the UK’s lead agency for developing coaches and coaching.
During this activity you will see how Mark is fulfilling one of the roles of a coach developer, as shown in Figure 3, since he is mentoring Alan within a Talent Development context.
Activity 2 Alan’s story: moving away from being a ‘playstation coach’
Watch the short video below which introduces Alan, and then listen to the audio from the Talent Equation podcast where his story is described in more detail during a conversation with Stuart Armstrong, who you met during the introduction to this course.
As you listen to Alan’s story, analyse how and why Mark had such an impact on Alan’s coaching.
Mark’s impact on Alan can be summarised as follows:
- Alan has a good sense of what he wanted from a mentor and he saw this in Mark.
- Mark’s ability to build a positive relationship with Alan over time became increasingly founded on mutual trust and respect.
- Alan was willing to take risks, and Mark was able to utilise this willingness to facilitate learning.
- Mark was able to show and illustrate a different and alternative approach. For example, Mark focused on demonstrating a different way of working with the players as opposed to just providing more technical and tactical information.
- Transforming Alan’s coaching practice stems from Mark’s ability to influence. It is not easy for a coach to have their current practice challenged. It can, as Alan discovered, be uncomfortable and perseverance is required.
This is coach development since there is the intent to support Alan, and together Mark and Alan have built a relationship over time. It is also a story about the extent to which a coach developer can transform a coach’s practice. It would be unrealistic, however, to expect that every coach and coach developer relationship can have this scale of impact. Sometimes a coach developer may focus on reinforcing good practice, as opposed to bringing about transformational change.