Friday, April 18, 2008

The Pathway to Level 5

When I achieved Level 4 status in 1998, having acquired all the necessary pre-requisites, I would say in all honesty that things didn’t alter tremendously in terms of my coaching practices. For some time after I was really just operating as a Level 3 coach with the occasional advanced trip as a leader. However, circumstances changed in 2003 that lead me to exploring new dimensions within my role as a coach and the opportunity to extend my own sea kayaking skills. In part this was due to returning to North Wales and in part due to a season of work as a coach in the USA. With my passion for coaching, not just guiding, re-ignited I set about looking at how I could do better job all round.

Considering that all the pieces were in place to attend Level 5 training, I still waited a further year before putting myself forward as my goal was to ensure that I would be working at a good Level 4 standard in practice rather than just having all the ‘right bits’ to turn up.

Once I had attended the training in October 2004 at Plas y Brenin, I set about working towards achieving the next and possibly the most challenging step in my paddlesports career – obtaining the Level 5 award. I did this by following a number of routes in order to fulfil the agreed action plan with the guidance and support of my good friend and mentor, Nick Cunliffe.

I am grateful to a number of coaches who have advised me over the duration of my own development. I’ve been privilege enough to watch and be observed by a number of active Level 5’s who have given me the opportunity to work alongside them. I also appreciate the time that Paul and Richard have given to this process as well as previous long term students who for numerous reasons didn’t get this far with me.

The pathway has by no means been easy. I’ve juggled work and family life to squeeze out every opportunity to enhance my knowledge and practices as a coach. I’ve pursued a number of other disciplines to make certain that there is breadth in what I know about paddlesport as well as remained in tune with sea kayaking developments to ensure a depth of understanding. It’s a costly process both financially and emotionally but I really do feel its been worth the investment. Whatever the outcome I can say with certainty that I know far more now than when I started which has given me the confidence to operate at a much higher level than ever before. This developmental journey has generated a clear philosophy for me which should be evident in my coaching practices and student’s learning process.

.......... I'll let you know how I get on after the assessment has been completed

1 comment:

Wenley said...

Good luck, Mark! I wait for the flying colours.