At the Canoe England Coach Conference part 1

Kayak coaches need to stay up to date with current thinking. This event is part of our staff training programme. A chance to meet with paddlers from many disciplines and regions, share a few ideas, experiences and meet up with people you may not have seen for years (over 20yrs in my case!). Here are a few notes from the event.

The workshops

The art of assessing kayaking. Lee Pooley

How do you assess paddlers. Lots of take aways here:

Assessments is only good if you learn from it and this should not just be about identifying what you can’t do.

No-where in the Star tests does it say an assessment must be non interventionist. Non interventionist assessments (e.g the clip board and tick list approach) are less effective.

Giving coaching during an assessment is OK suggests Lee if it will fix things and you see performances which subsequently demonstrate they have learned. The issue is when it is so new and their skill set is such that it is not going to be replicated in a fluid way. This is when it might be time to switch the assessment to more training. The student will usually know this and be telling you if you.

Find out what the student wants/needs and work out how to meet them. Are they on the right course?

Mid term review and feedback. Find out from the student how they are feeling.

Have an assessment plan. Students need to know what is actually being assessed, when, where and how. Break the assessment down e.g. when is the towing/rescue/ session.

Nothing says you can’t run an assessment over a couples sessions. Starts sounding like Paddlepower approach but some remarked this is only OK if you have time and cash to go and do a few assessment sessions.

Assessors do not write the syllabus and must assess against the criteria.