Thursday, June 20, 2024
ChallengesCoach EducationTeaching Methods

Do you collaborate enough?

This is a plea to all Badminton Coaches and Badminton Parents
Please take a moment this week and engage with another Coach or Parent
Share a thought or ask a question
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It seems simple and easy to do?
Do you think that some coaches and parents struggle to collaborate?
Why I collaborate
The difficulties I find
My fascination
How to collaborate as a Coach or Parent
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It seems simple and easy to do?

My issue is that I don’t think enough of you are actually talking with others.

Certainly not with the aim of developing and exploring ideas.  It’s not just saying ‘Hi’ to someone in your network, it’s about 2 more people having an active exchange of ideas with the aim of self-development.

This is part of a mini-series looking at Collaboration, why it’s important, why you may not do it, and also how to be better at it

If you think someone would benefit from seeing it, please share the post, I’d appreciate your help

Collaborating with others will improve your critical thinking.

There is evidence that people who collaborate, retain information longer than those who work quietly, as individuals.

Discussing and working with others on court is a great way to explore ideas.

Do you find that having conversations add a new viewpoint to your thoughts?

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Do you think that some coaches and parents struggle to collaborate?
I do and I’ve often wondered why that is

I’ve been told many times that the majority of your development will happen after your Coach education course has finished.  However, I was never given the tools or even the ideas about how to go about doing that!

I guess that there are several you could use, including self-reflection, self-development, and of course, collaboration with others.

It sounds so easy, all you have to do is talk and work with others coaches, but very few people actually do it.  Or, maybe you are different and you do have a network of people you can talk with, ask questions, plus accept their challenges.  Is that you?

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Why I collaborate

If you know me, you know I like to talk and ask questions!   I’ve realised that there is so much more to know and that there are people out there who can help me.

They may not realise it but everyone I meet adds something more to my knowledge.

Do I agree with everything they say and do?  Of course NOT, but that only adds to my desire to find out why they do or don’t do something.

BadmintonandyI like to think that I have a close group of Coaching and Parent friends who know me and accept my questions and thirst for knowledge.  Most are willing to talk or accept late night Whatsapp messages, while others may take weeks to reply.  I really don’t mind how long it takes.  Some even reply back with more intriguing questions!

My friends help me to take the knowledge I’ve collected (often as random thoughts) and turn it into usable, practical elements.

I love learning from those who were good players (some Olympians) and now coach.  It’s great to hear about their struggles and successes.   Especially how they made the transition from player to coach and realised that they just couldn’t coach the way they were coached.  They had to use their ‘player’ skills and apply them in a coaching environment.   Have you read this post  “The Transition from Player To Coach”

However, I also learned just as much from those who have been coaching less than 3 years and are full of questions plus shortcuts they have discovered.

I love the fact that new coaches know exactly what the problems are and demand the answers and shortcuts.  Their testing questions are often the best – open, honest and demanding, the type I love 😉

My mentor Coach, Mr Roger Mills once gave me this quote which partly explains why I need my network and all the thoughts, comments and alternative viewpoints they provide 🙂

Wisdom cant be Told

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The difficulties I find

Unfortunately, (for me), I also meet coaches who don’t want to engage.   I’m never sure if it’s my style of questions or the realism that at any moment they may feel vulnerable.  Maybe it’s because they are busy and don’t have time to chat with this ‘random’ person.  I respect whatever they choose to do.  Not everyone wants to talk Badminton.

When I first met Roger (my mentor) I was shocked and surprised!  The openness and directness of his questions made me feel uneasy.  The practices I did and the things I said were questioned.

It took me a while to understand that it wasn’t a personal attack on me, but a desire from him to fully understand my viewpoint.  He wanted to collaborate with me.

Feeling uncomfortable when someone asks you a question is something I needed to get used to

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My fascination

I’m fascinated about where people (Coaches & Parents & Sports Developers) get their information from.  Also equally fascinated about how they use that information in terms of its applicability to the tasks they face.  How often do they question their methods and beliefs, what frameworks do they use for their assessment?

However, I wonder how much self-questioning goes on.  Especially in terms of ‘relevance’ to task, player, situation, the game.

Currently, I’m intrigued about the rise of Instagram mini-training clips (mostly multi shuttle) from ‘top’ coaches.  Then how often other coaches are doing exactly the same thing with their players, recording it and posting it.  The context on the practice (the standard of the player, the situation, the practice design)( is often completely different, yet they copied without thought, or do they?

I wonder if they would do the same if they spoke with a friend and discussed what they’d seen and if it applied directly to their players


Create your own network and make it a collaborative experience
Discuss the thoughts you have, offer alternative viewpoints, explore both sides of an argument
Why Collaborate?

The shared learning will give you an opportunity to engage in discussion, take responsibility for your own learning, and become a better Coach or Parent.

Unlike individual learning, people engaged in collaborative learning capitalise on one another’s resources and skills.  It sounds exciting to me.

To be honest, I know no better way to improve as a Coach or Parent.

improve your collaboration

Read more
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A Coach recently asked me
“How do you think coaches should go about learning from other coaches? “
 “What is blocking coaches from collaboration? “

Below are my thoughts about the first question, then in a later post reply to the second one.  The tougher question!

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How to collaborate as a Coach or Parent
  1. Ask another coach in your network if they have any ideas to solve one of your current coaching or playing “problems”
  2. Create a Network of people who are prepared to share a thought or two with you
  3. Message someone on Social Media or comment on their posts: start a dialogue: why not discuss and challenge some of the ideas presented here on 🙂
  4. At a tournament,or training session start a conversation and see what happens.  Rather than just wait in silent start by saying ‘hello’.
  5. Be motivated to consider and request alternative viewpoints.  Ask another coach to watch you work, ask them to talk with you about what they observed and the thoughts they had.
  6. Explore any contradictions and search for ‘truth’ within them … have you tried to resolve these?
  7. Grow a ‘thick skin‘ : be prepared for opposing views or a ‘no response’
  8. Check your own mindset and decide if you are willing to expose yourself to the things you don’t know?  How will you feel when someone offers a different viewpoint?
If you agree with my thoughts then take ACTION.
Go and talk with another Coach, Parent or Player and share some information or ask them a question.
Work togther to explore and swap ideas  🙂

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Interesting further quick reading
44 Benefits of Collaborative Learning
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Look out for the next Post
Barriers to collaboration

I will write another post soon about the reasons why some coaches don’t collaborate.  I think there are many and it’s not all about ego!

It’s been stuck in my head for the last 3 weeks.  I’m struggling to know if I should publish this post as it could be seen as negative or an attack on those who don’t seek interaction with others.

Suggestions to explain why you don’t collaborate 

1.   You were not taught how in your Coach Education

2.   You don’t have anyone to ask

3.   Your fear of the unknown

4.   You are a good player and “It worked for you” so why change

5.   You don’t know how to

6.   You don’t have enough time

7.   You have plenty of information from Facebook & Instagram

8.   You suffer from ‘Imposter Syndrome’

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As always, I’m very grateful if you have read this far 🙂
I hope you enjoy the suggestions.
I’d love to hear your views, why not send me an email.

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