If you have been reading this blog over the last year, you will know that Mackayak and I have been wrestling with the beast that is the UKCC Level 2 coaching qualifications. Although we have done heaps of sea kayak coaching in the pool and over the summer, the award requires equal proficiency, and ability to coach, in both double bladed and single bladed craft. Thus we have to canoe. But on Orkney we only have access to one canoe and it’s always windy… Problem!
This weekend we made the journey from Kirkwall to Inverness to attend a L2 support day where we could discuss our difficulties and get assistance from an experienced coach. As the opportunities for us coaches to get coaching in Orkney are non-existent, we jumped at the chance to attend. Our coach (and host) for the day was Mags Duncan, a level 5 coach based in Nairn. Mags finds a sheltered corner to coach in
We were joined on the day by Justin Grant from the Inverness club who is also primarily a sea kayaker and who we know from Paddle Orkney ‘09 last year.
Canoe training and coaching were at the top of the list so that was the focus of the day. It was blooming freezing at Muirtown Basin in Inverness so we did lots of indoor and outdoor sessions making sure everyone kept warm.“Well at least it isn’t frozen over”
We started the day discussing L2 and at one point I nearly gave up and cried because it all feels so unachievable. However, after a bit of encouragement from Mags and some time out on the water, I felt a bit better and am hopeful that one day I will actually pass assessment!Mackayak paddles along
Mags worked with us on our canoe skills and we discussed lots of ways to break things down so that we could coach them effectively. Markers and flags!!! Block, random and varied practice. Coach centred, recipricol, self check, guided discovery…….
Now if I can just get in 10 hours of canoe coaching, I can sit assessment. Then it’ll be on to 4*, moderate water endorsement, L3, L5…….. Or maybe it’s all just a pipedream?