What do junior athletes learn from international competition? #CLChat
This fortnight’s #CLChat was hosted by Andy Muir and took a different structure to normal with only one principal question posed. We’ve reviewed the chat for those who could not attend or catch up on Twitter.
The main question asked was:
We had contributions from four top coaches:
- Stu Field – Director of Sport & Head of Hockey at Ipswich School
- Phil Gooderham – University of Birmingham Women’s Coach
- Darren Cheesman – Director of Hockey at Haileybury School
- Mark Shaeffer – Bishop Shanahan Youth Coach
Stu, experienced in International Competition with both Hockey Wales U16 and U18’s, got us started and suggested two on-field and one off-field learning that the players take. He proposed the need to develop an on/off switch for avoidance of burnout in tournaments and for peaking at the right times. He also explained youth athletes use international competition to gain an understanding of what is expected if stepping up to a full squad. An opinion we’d agree with and stood out during the chat was Stu advising being talented at 16 doesn’t guarantee success.
Next to reveal their thoughts from experience was Phil Gooderham, Senior Coach at University of Birmingham, Wales and Bablake Boys School. Phil suggested 1 specific on-field, 1 off-field and 1 x general. What was really interesting was Phil explaining how learning opportunities are dictated by environment. A certain amount of resilience is required to learn at tournaments due to the intense environment.
Darren Cheesman, a regular contributor to Coach Logic, who combines being a High Performance Coach and Coach Educator alongside his Haileybury duties, spoke of the tactical challenges to playing teams from various countries with differing styles of play. Due to being exposed to something ‘new’ there are vast learning opportunities of which the players can utilise. It is up to the players and coaches to grasp these, which can often be challenging due to the short time length of a tournament.
Mark Shaeffer, who has focused on various age groups (U9 to U19) in his coaching career spoke about the learning benefits from a wider perspective. On delving deeper he echoed Darren’s thoughts on the opportunities available because of the exposure to new styles. As with many tours, the ability to see new cultures from around the world was mentioned as a real learning opportunity. This ‘human development’ was agreed as being important and that playing ability is far from the only characteristic needed to have a successful playing career.
Thanks once again to all contributors. We are always open to new ideas about times, hosts and topics. Send us any suggestions. It is reassuring to receive new messages through email and Twitter about the success of the chats and how coaches are thinking more widely about their development. The next one will take place on the 4th December.