24 coaches from all around Malaysia converged at the EduCity Sports Complex Johor. They were welcomed by the Malaysia Triathlon Association Coach Ungku Azhar and Singapore MTA Course Facilitator Eugene Lee.
Participants immediately went down to business, beginning their 3 day intensive coaching certification program with basic coaching philosophies. From understanding the coaching process to long term talent development.
Day 1 ended with more swim, bike and run theories. Participants were sent home with their take home assignment of coming up with a simple training plan for their practical assessments.
Early morning day 2. Participants walked through the importance and methods to improve athlete’s performance. A short session on training theories and they were ushered to the pool for their first practical – the swim practical assessment!
Broken into 4 groups, each group are required to coach their fellow team mates through a series of swim drills. Coaches are required to provide peer to peer feedback. Feedback are kept constructive. What can be observed is how each coach’s ability to present, elicit feedback and actively engage their learners have all improved with each subsequent session.
After the swim practical, teams return to the class for more theories before being given their final assignments to be carried out on their final day.
Bikes and running shoes lined up in front of the sports complex early this day. Day 3 starts immediately with the bike practical assessment. Back in their teams, coaches further honed their coaching skills. This time, involving crowd control as learners are exposed to the external elements. Safety has always been emphasized in each of these coaching sessions.
After the bike session, teams return to the classroom to prepare for their written assessment. This comes in the form of session planning and course reviews. After that coaches engage in an active class discussion.
In the afternoon, coaches prepare for their final practical session – the running practical! By this time, coaches have practiced enough that everything felt almost second nature. The sessions went on quite seamlessly! A marked improvement from the first session, which all coaches could notably feel.
Coaches definitely ended the 3 day intensive coaching program on a high. More confident in their ability to convey their desired message, which means they are more able to create and add value to their athletes. Aside from delivery, coaches leave with a deeper understanding of the sport and great appreciation of their role as a coach.
After all is said and done, this inaugural Coaching Certification is a huge success. As Eugene Lee, the MTA Facilitator from Singapore says “This inaugural coaches’ course will pave the way forward for triathlon in Malaysia. Opening new pathways for the nation through talent development and best practices.” He adds, “I am expecting to see exponential growth of the sport as a whole in the near future.”