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Flip Your Coaching

 By Andy Grant, sports coach UK Coach Education Advisor

Following Twitter now takes over a large part of my evenings. I can now read the main stories of most newspapers, follow sports results as they unfold live, interact with live TV shows, engage in discussions with politicians, receive information on new products, direct link to blogs that are of interest and much more. And all from the comfort of my own home.  Of all the benefits I get from Twitter, my favourite is the exchanging of ideas and knowledge I have with other coaches and educators from around the world.

This was where I found the concept of Flipped Coaching. It has derived from a new teaching method that has grown in popularity amongst educators. Termed theFlipped Classroom, it was pioneered by Aaron Sams and Jon Bergmann, two educationalists with experience teaching in secondary schools in the USA.

Further information is in my accompanying blog Flipping Coach Education which covers how the teaching method applies to sports coach education

The original Flipped Classroom method involved having students watch videos (often on YouTube) of lectures at home and then spend the time in the classroom working on learning activities. Bergmann, in his role as Lead Technology Facilitator, encouraged the Flipped Class concept to be used throughout his school. Jason Hahnstadt jumped on the method and started to use it in his PE lessons and as well as his football and athletics coaching.

 The Flipped Coaching philosophy follows in much the same manner. Rather than spending valuable coaching practice or PE class time on lecturing about a new skill, tactical concept, drill or activity, you can make a short, simple video that conveys what is needed.Flipped coaching gives students and athletes more time to master the skill during practice or class.

(Quoted from www.flippedcoach.com)

 Sir Clive Woodward does the Flip

This concept resonated with me. I recall reading an article (circa 1998) on England Rugby Union National head Coach Clive Woodward where he used to edit videos and email highlighted clips to the players that identified the areas and outcomes to focus on in upcoming sessions. Sir Clive may have been one of the first exponents of Flipped Coaching and back then technology in sport was mainly the domain of the elite-level, but now technology such as lap tops, smart phones and tablets are readily available and can be used to support coaching sessions at all levels.


Do you want to flip your coaching? Here are some top tips:

 8 Top Tips to flip your coaching

  • Would your session benefit if the participants had some knowledge of what you were going to be coaching? If yes, you should consider flipping.
  • Video technology is the original method of providing knowledge to participants pre-session but it doesn’t need to be the only way. Sams and Bergman state the Flipped Class is a concept and that other methods such as written resources and reading can be used to provide knowledge.
  • Ever been frustrated that your players or athletes just don’t get it! It might be time to flip. They will all have different preferences for learning and some of them may benefit from seeing it visually beforehand and having time to watch it over and over.
  • All sports participants would rather be active right? Flipping your coaching gives them more time to play and practice, increasing both their enjoyment and performance.
  • You want some ideas for smart phone and tablet apps that can be used? Check out Jason Hahnstadt’s website www.FlippedCoach.com for some advice from a coach who’s doing the flip.
  • Difficult technique to demonstrate and coach? Provide a demo with key points on a video (posted on YouTube perhaps) that lets the participants watch it over and over and pause and use in slow-motion. No matter how good your live demo is – it can’t offer all of these benefits.
  • Make your coaching more inclusive to newcomers by signposting them to your on-line session outcomes before they attend their first session. Not only will they feel more included as they know what to expect, you will look like a coach that is well-organised, well-prepared and considerate to the needs of the athletes.
  • One coaching session a week? Maybe only one hour a week? Flipped coaching can make your impact last all week as players can review the videos on their smart phones and tablets whenever and wherever they want. Ideal for pre-match and session preparation and for post-session reinforcement of key points.

 Further Information

Twitter searches #flipclass #pegeeks
How the Flipped Classroom is Radically Transforming Learning by Jon Bergmann

 Sharing the knowledge

 If you would like to share information please post your comments below, email Andy Grant or tweet the following Twitter addresses @sportscoachuk or  @andygrantfc


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