I'm writing this the day after the 2nd of the Level 1 Irish Climbing Coaching Awards and buzzing from the energy, positivity and sheer enthusiasm of the people on the course (it's amazing the enthusiasm that has been evident across both weekends that the course has run so far).
If you're looking for the official info on the award, I'll just point you at the page that is hidden away on the Mountaineering Ireland site. Below is my own brief of what it is based off my experience as the tutor on the course (trained through the excellent Coaching Ireland) and a small part of the designing and writing the course.
Who's it for
The coaching award is for anyone working with people who are learning how to climb. That can be people working at climbing walls, parents of kids climbing, experienced climbers just interested in improving their knowledge of how to pass on their knowledge to friends who may be starting out.
Over the two days, you'll work through a range of topics covering teaching practises (I'm qualified secondary teacher so have lots to pass on here) and how they transfer to coaching, ideas around how people learn (in relation to how to teach techniques and skills) as well as how to plan sessions to give the best possible, fun, experience for whoever you are coaching. There will also be sections covering
What it's not
It is not a personal training course. Or a physiotherapy course. Or a flexibility course. In short, while all these topics will be covered and a bunch of time will be spent discussing and practicing current best practices as well as demonstrating great routines and ideas that you can use to develop good habits and routines with whoever you may be coaching.
Opportunities to Practise and Learn from others
One of the greatest and unspoken aspects of these courses also is the opportunity to experiment and try out ideas in coaching that you may not get the chance to in day to day life. Surrounded by like-minded people, all there to learn (including the tutor!), there is incredible moments where new solutions and concepts are unlocked in safe, positive environment.
Dealing with nerves Teaching
Personally, I'm always terrified the days before running a course. Not sleeping properly. Worrying about the material (even though I know how much work was put into preparing it all). How the days are going to go. Will I know enough to make it worthwhile to the people attending the course. Will they have a good experience. Am I teaching them best methods (even though, again I know lots of research is continuously being done on this part).
But I always end up reminding myself: these are many of the same thoughts that those who will be taking the course are dealing with also! And that in preparing properly for the course with good assessment, planning and reviewing, it's all going to be great. Exactly like what is taught as part of the course.
I know I'm looking forward to running the next one.