I was very fortunate to have been sent to Adelaide for two days ....
Thanks to Hilton Clarke and Tammy Ebert I got to spend the last two days over in Adelaide at the National Talent ID conference, which was a very worthwhile experience. We had presenters from all sorts of interesting fields, including a police psychologist who specialised in negotiations in siege situations and an elite track and field sprint coach. For a long time now I've wanted to speak with a track & field sprint coach, we can learn much from them and that was really valuable.
The police psych may seem odd, but as coaches we have to deal with some ... fiery ... people sometimes (I had to deal with an upset and very angry sprinter very recently, for example) and learning how the police do it was very worthwhile. They (the police) have an advantage, they always win in the end - the bad guy comes out horizontal or vertical, but always comes out, and they often have the luxury of time, where we may not, but the consequences are somewhat different too!
Jan Sterling, the former Opals coach, was also a speaker and she had a lot to say about continuing to learn and develop as coaches. It's very easy to slip into an "I know it all" mindset when coaching, but it's something we have to be very much on our guards against. Jan showed us a very powerful video about sportsmanship and suggested that (and I agree!) sportsmanship is something that coaches have a strong duty to foster in their athletes. This is a longish video, but well worth watching :
Those kids knew what the right thing do to was, and that's something that their coach must have nourished in them. I hope that any athletes I work with (and I do myself) if ever in a similar situation, would also do, with grace, the right thing.
Apart from that, we had a lot of round-table talks about coaching methods, sprint development, talent identification and so on and I had a productive meeting with Tammy and Josh (NTID program directors, basically) and now I have a new t-shirt to wear. More to come on that front soon I hope, but it was a great trip and I learned a lot and benefitted a lot from it. I hope I can pass on that benefit to those of you I work with.
I also touted the sprint series to Gary West and Sean Eadie .. Watch this space!