#Janathon 2015 Day 21 – Learning about learning

Nowadays, my Janathon isn’t just about my running but my coaching too.  After another successful session developing my Tuesday night group yesterday, tonight was all about my own development.

I am very fortunate to come to athletics coaching at a time when the elite athletes are doing well.  This isn’t just great inspiration for me but actually inspires greater levels of participation in general and therefore more money available for grass roots coaching.  As a result, organisations like England Athletics and Oxfordshire Sports Partnerships (other county sports partnerships are available!) put on programmes of workshops and seminars to help develop coaching talent.

I’m fortunate to be on the Local Coach Development Programme which has provided me with the opportunity to not only develop practical skills associated with coaching running specifically, but also to develop higher-level coaching skills about the process of coaching.  Tonight’s workshop falls into this second bracket.

Where I am freshly qualified, there are some things that I’m familiar with from my course, like the “learning ladder” or 4 stages of competence, but there were other aspects of identifying someones preferred learning style and also their mindset that I hadn’t come across before – all of which should help them to learn as effectively as possible.

The Learning Ladder, or 4 stages of competence
The Learning Ladder, or 4 stages of competence

By using ourselves and our own learning experiences we were able to spot the different methods of learning and which we tend towards.

The Honey & Mumford Learning Cycle
The Honey & Mumford Learning Cycle

Learning ways to encourage a positive and open “growth” mindset (rather than a closed “fixed” mindset) was also interesting, especially as I work with a lot of people new to running who often find themselves out of their comfort zone.

It’s surprising how much of these theories I already practice without realising it.  I hope that being more conscious of the theories will make me a more effective coach.  I’m looking forward to putting it all into practice, not just with my running group but in my day job too!

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