Run Group Week Two Term Four

Term Four

It was great to have the running group back again for Term Four.  We had a great turnout – 30 kids came along and brought a positive attitude and some enthusiastic early term energy.  This time of year is such a great time to work with the kids because they are all keen (otherwise they wouldn’t still be there), they all have good fitness, they all know the routine and it makes for a fun and enjoyable team.

Thanks again to Claire, Richard and Kate for their assistance.  It makes running the group so much easier with three or four assistant coaches – and they each bring a unique set of skills.  As a result, we were able to do a few things differently this week to see how it went.

Today’s Training

Warm-Up:  We started with the usual hops and hurdles session.  After the session, I was discussing with Rich how much the motor skills and coordination of the individuals in the group improves over the course of the year.  We did a little exercise of bouncing over hurdles in a coordinated sequence – which wouldn’t have been possible at the start of the year.  Its great as a coach to see this kind of progress.

Dynamic Warm-Up:  New for the session and probably here to stay was some dynamic warm-ups.  Its hard to do dynamic stretching with a big group like this, so I have been searching for a few ideas and tried some of them today.  We set up a small square and jogged between exercise stations or completed dynamic stretches on the move.

Session:  Some shorter stuff today – 6 x 120m racing in pairs.  The winner of each rep received a band – and then raced the other winners.  Through progressive awarding of bands and seeding of races, we ended up with one individual with 6 bands, a few with 5, many with 2, 3 or 4 and everybody ended up with at least one band.  It was a great way to do shorter, faster session – and a great alternative to elimination games.

Warm-Down:  A couple of rounds of skipping to close out and then off to school.

Summary:  Great fun, great group – great to try a few new things.

Level Three Coaches Course

Over the holidays, I achieved my Level Three Coaching accreditation from Athletics Australia.  This required attendance at an eight day course provided by Oceania Athletics and the IAAF (Athletic’s international governing body) and involved six days of practicals/ lectures and two days of exams.  Level Three is the first level of international qualification and is intended to equip coaches with the necessary skills to coach up to elite junior level (under 20s). The course was attended by eighteen coaches from all over Oceania, including Australia, NZ, Tonga, Singapore and Tahiti.  It was a fabulous experience to share insights and practical skills with so many experienced coaches.

We covered event theory for middle distance, long distance, marathon and steeplechase as well as training theory and structure.  The exam covered basic anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and training methodology and training plan construction.  Over the course of the week, we constructed example training plans for all distances, ages and experience – both in groups and individually.  And most mornings we had practical sessions on event-specific training.

You will see some of this translating into our group – for example the dynamic warm-ups that were included today.

Thanks to Athletics Australia and Oceania Athletics for making this possible for me – and to my family for letting me indulge my coaching passion.

Posted in Avalon School, Kids, October 19th, 2017

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