Useful Coaching Acronyms
Simple ways to hold a coherent coaching session together or lead a river trip
Adam Hall (29 Apr 2014)
Briefings ⇨ Me, You, ABCDE
Giving a good briefing is a bit of an art as you need to get the important info across without losing everyone’s attention or scaring them to death. Try and pitch the level of briefing to the experience of the group and the trip.
It’s important to remember you can’t tell them everything so concentrate on what is most important and emphasise what people should do not what they shouldn’t.
Get to know your group. Names, experience, etc.
- About the session
What are the aims, what is the trip like, how long are we out, ferrying, dry kit, etc.
- Boats and Boating
What boats and kit are we using. What paddling skills do you need concentrate on.
Confirm the signals and group control that is needed for the session or trip.
What to avoid or be aware of; don’t labour this point and consider doing it earlier in the briefing to end with positive thinking.
What to do in the event of likely incidents for the group members. You don’t need full drills here and again consider doing this earlier in the briefing.
Group Control and Leadership ⇨ CLAP
This one very nicely encapsulates all the key elements of leading a group and is now the basis of most four star training courses. It was originally conceived for white water paddling but really fits any situation. The tactics that you adopt for a particular trip need to be included in the briefing but it is also important to regularly reiterate them at appropriate points through the trip. I would strongly recommend reading White Water Safety and Rescue by Franco Ferrero for a detailed explanation.
Signals, instructions and briefings.
- Line of Site
There are two aspects to this; how to maintain visual contact with at least one other group member at all times and don’t run anything blind.
Planning, preparation, practice
Being in the right place at the right time. Are you in the position of maximum usefulness.
Structuring a Training Session ⇨ iDeAs
This is a bit of a dated approach but it still very useful for putting structure to ad hoc sessions and does address the needs of visual, audio and kinesthetic learners. The focus of the session should be on the D and the A signified by capital letters in acronym.
Brief Introduction to the skill, technique or drill. What Is used for.
A clear demonstration show from a number of viewpoints. Traditionally delivered with no explanation during the demonstration to ensure people watch.
A breakdown of the demonstration focusing on three key point (see BBB and BAT below)
This main event for the session giving participants the chance to put the theory into practice. Activities need to encourage maximum participation and should focus on the key points of the explanation.
Wrap up the session with a summary of the key points.
Coaching Paddling Skills ⇨ BBB
This is a useful prompt for breaking down a paddling skill into key points. Generally you need to think about one keypoint for each activity but as students get more advanced you can think more about the interaction of the three elements and increasing effectiveness. This is a key element in current Coaching Processes courses.
What does the boat need to do.
How does your body contribute.
What happens with the blade.
Moving Water Techniques ⇨ BAT
Another old but very effective approach to introducing moving water skills (this was a staple of Senior Instructor training in years gone by). It builds on BBB but introduces reading the water and importance of timing.
Essentially what edging and leaning is required but can be developed into forwards and backwards trim
Identifying features on the river and getting to the right place. Encourage centimeter accuracy.
How all the elements fit together to complete the move effectively.
Rescue Prioritisation ⇨ Shout, Throw, Row, Go
Simple mnemonic for prioritising a rescue to minimise the risk to the rescuer.
Attract attention and give verbal instructions to enable a self rescue.
Throwline, reaching or throwing a buoyant item to the casualty.
An appropriate boat based rescue.
A swim based rescue (e.g. a strong swimmer (live bait) rescue).