This past weekend saw Powerade hosting its third leg of the Powerade Performance Academy for school coaches from surrounding Western Cape areas.
In what was an insightful interactive full day session, coaches had an opportunity to lean in and listen to expert performance experts. Through the Academies, Powerade has an opportunity to recognise school coaches for their role as primary influencers of the next generation of South Africa’s sporting heroes.
The panel of experts included Professor in Sports Sciences, Ross Tucker, Michael Loftman, an Orlando Pirates Performance Analyst and UEFA A license coach, High Performance coach and motivational speaker John McGrath and the former Banyana Banyana Captain and Olympian, Amanda Dlamini. The experts ran their respective sessions taking the coaches on a journey of discovery as they presented on various aspects related to coaching, leadership and youth development.
Sports Science Professor, Ross Tucker, explored the topic of Talent Enigma: The Space between the best and the right approach. “Coaches often treat talent and training separately which should not be the case. These elements have the potential to co-exist in advancing players to become elite athletes.” Tucker further mentioned that that the solve for separating talent and training lies in the mitigation in talent identification and development and the consideration of the choices that need to me made for the desired result to come to fruition. Additionally, decisions related to the development of a player are reliant on the consistency of the talent being trained to be the best.
Michael Loftman, Orlando Pirates Performance Analyst enlightened the coaches about the 8 roles of an elite coach. “Coaches and leaders are responsible for everything, however not at fault for everything.” This was the lesson by which Loftman reiterated to ensure that coaches understand that their objective ought to corelate with the methods of coaching that will achieve the desired result. Loftman correspondingly mentioned, “When developing your coaching model, use your understanding of the sport, develop a style and model of play to dictate how the players and team should train and compete.”
John McGrath, High Performance Coach tackled the mental side of preparing sports men and women. “In shifting paradigms, it is about abandoning preconceived ideas that people have about their abilities and about what is conceived as a boundary.” he said. McGrath illustrated practical examples of breaking boundaries by bending nails, breaking chains, tearing packs of cards and breaking an adjustable wrench. “These are all metaphors for what you can do and what is possible. Everyone has an inner voice that prevents us from achieving our goals and it is up to us to decide if we would like to listen to that voice or not.”
The coaches were honoured by the last speaker, Amanda Dlamini, who spoke on coaches knowing how to manage their change room. “It is important for coaches to be aware of the socio challenges affecting the player as this has an impact on how a coach manages them to their optimum.” Dlamini further mentioned the clear understanding of cultures assists in the considerate approach for players that are not necessarily overt communicators or those that are exceedingly confident, and striking a balance in the dynamic that exists in the change room.
Coaching continues to be an ever-transforming discipline that incorporates innovative techniques and principles to improve performance. The Academy allowed the coaches from the various schools and sporting codes to go back to their respective schools in the spirit of “teach one, teach all’.
To connect the coaches across the country, Powerade has also introduced a Powerade Facebook Community, Coaches Corner where coaches can interact and share their daily challenges and achievements with their peers. The next and final leg of Powerade Performance Academy will take place in Johannesburg later in November.
For more information, visit Powerade Facebook page (@PoweradeZA) and #AlwaysForward.