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#UKCoachingSummit 2016 Live Blog

1530 - Some final thoughts

The UK Coaching Summit 2016 has come to an end here in Manchester and again there have once been some key themes running across all of today's sessions.

Working in partnership and collaborating with others will lead to success but this needs to be underpinned by the right workforce. The coaching workforce is going through a phase of transformation and we have to embrace this change. We have to be prepared to innovate, to demonstrate leadership and to embrace technology to encourage more people to become physically active.

We'll see you all again for the UK Coaching Summit in Northern Ireland on 6 & 7 June 2017.

1515 - Five Steps

Finishing with a keynote from Damian Hughes, he looked at the five common traits that all great coaches adopt. "Great coaches simplify things" Damian said, talking about the first step in his five step process. Great coaches are skilled at breaking the pattern of being on auto-pilot because they are able to create ways to engage and think "we get caught in patterns of behaviour" Damian told the delegates. "How do you convey the emotion, passion and feelings in this room" he challenged the delegation of the summit. Great coaches think about the point of their words and how they can engage their participants. "When we're not clear, people will make up their own versions instead" said Damian. Finishing by talking about how great coaches are also great story tellers, a key message is about how stories can also contain so much information. How can you tell a story about what the UK Coaching Summit has been about?

1420 - Moving on

Next year's UK Coaching Summit will be held at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in Newcastle, Co. Down, Northern Ireland and the 'ownership' of the summit has just been handed from Sport England to Sport Northern Ireland. Using the Ballon d'Or as the symbol of handing from one nation to the next, Stuart Armstrong from Sport England said "in order to react to change we need to be prepared to innovate". Looking forward to next year's event, Alan Curran from Sport Northern Ireland commented "we want next year to be an experience for you".

1320 - Inspiring Change

We’ve just been listening to Tracey Lines from Inspiring Change. Research has played an ever increasing role in her work in finding out about young people’s behaviours in activity. Much of the work that was implemented was as a result of learning from the health sector, and looking at behaviour change techniques and the ways in which these could be used to effect the project delivery. It was this reliance on understanding behaviour “let's understand them as individuals” Tracey said was the key factor in instigating change.

A shift to changing the behaviour of the workforce was key in changing the practitioners thinking and behaviour, developing new skills, creating new partnerships and building their capacity. Understanding the market underpined the work with activities that were participant led, delivered by a workforce trained differently and recruitment based on values not skills. All programmes have been successful and this can largely be attributed to the different approach to recruiting the workforce. “Be prepared to change yourself” was the closing message.

1205 - How to Change Absolutely Anything

This was the focus of the first workshop today, as Professor Damian Hughes from Liquid Thinker. Damian is a change activist and open by giving a background to his various roles and experiences. The focus of the session wasn’t academic, but rather gave the delegates really practical ideas that they could take away and use.

 “Change is about the bleeding obvious” Damian started with, when it comes to embracing change it can sometimes feel a challenge, largely because when we are under pressure, most of us resort to ‘left brain thinking’ in the way we respond to things. Change is hard, it isn’t anything new but it is about using the resources that you have to make things easier. Selecting the right starting point is important and understanding which side of your brain is directing responses.

Simple sets of behaviours are most effective and we shouldn’t need to over complicate things. Using emotions and feeling will help people to change, rather than using statistics and facts. Emotions are 55% more effective in engaging with people “when an emotion is evoked they will take action, give them logic and they will debate” Damian says.

Finishing a powerful, thoughtful and high energy session, Damian told the delegates “when we talk about getting people to embrace change you don't need anything new, you just need to find a different way of doing it”

1005 - A New Horizon for the Healthcare Workforce

The second day of the summit has been opened with an engaging keynote from Professor Nicki Latham from Health Education England. She shared by reflecting on how both the sport and health landscapes have changed over the last 30 years. The recent Sport England strategy has challenge the health sector to do things better across England. Considering the future, creating a flexible workforce of people is key to the work that the NHS is doing. Professor Latham drew parallels between the work that the health and physical activity sectors are being encouraged to do moving forward. "We have to start breaking down traditional barriers" she said and embraced the opportunity to be presenting to coaching professionals. "To get our workforce right is a significant challenge" she went on to say, and talked about understanding the motivations of their workforce, "the workforce is about the people". A key consideration is what understanding what the future workforce looks like and what their motivations are. "You can't redesign the workforce until you've designed the work" Professor Latham said and encouraged the delegates to think about this in their own delivery. Transformation in health is happening though leaning interventions, looking specifically at new skills and knowledge, new ways of working and new roles. However, what does workforce transformation look like in sports coaching?

0805 - Wednesday 8 June

Impassioned discussions about coaching continued last night and even the storms haven't stopped the eager delegates getting up and ready for the second day of the summit. Another busy day ahead with more keynotes, workshops and seminars to look forward to. Next update on the live blog will be approx. 0945 

1720 - End of the day

As day one draws to a close and delegates have drifted through the digital displays and away from the summit, ahead of the social event this evening, let's reflect on some of the key messages from today.

Coaching is business critical - we heard this from a number of today's speakers. Just as important is the role that mentoring can play, thought leadership and the ability to embrace technology. The strongest message though was around collaboration and partnership. If we are to ensure that coaching remains business critical, we need to work together to ensure that this happens. Food for thought ahead of tomorrow maybe?

1615 - Sports Outreach: Critical University Business

The closing keynote from day one of the summit has just been delivered by Professor Deirdre Brennan from Ulster University and she started by offering a personal slant on the Sports Outreach Project, starting with her own journey through sport and through the troubled times in Northern Ireland. Upon taking up a position at Ulster University in the Sports Outreach unit, Professor Brennan recruited and trained a workforce of basketball coaches to deliver activity in the local community. From the perspective of the university we were able to reach out into the community, enable students to gain personal and professional skills and about sharing knowledge and expertise. "We use the richest resource of the University - the staff and students" Professor Brennan says, this enables the University to reach out and deliver over 730,000 participation opportunities in the past three years.

Sport for Life is a physical activity and lifestyle programme funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation and the success of the project has led to it becoming the first all-Ireland programme working with over 3000 children at social disadvantage. Another project that the University is involved in is Sport Changes Life which focuses on raising the aspirations of young people and to offer an alternative to anti-social behaviour.

Sports Outreach has now been integrated into the values, mission and goals of the University, this allows the University to increase awareness of the role that they play within the local community. Professor Brennan shared a number of lessons with the delegates, "be creative, know your internal and external environment" she says "listen to others, knowledge is everywhere". Getting to know your target group is valuable, as it having the confidence to be vulnerable "be prepared to fail" Professor Brennan says and goes onto to talk about the importance of working in partnership "it's amazing what can be achieved when working with others".

1530 - Aligning Disability Pathways

British Cycling have been focusing on aligning their pathways for disabled athletes and were very honest in terms of looking at what is and isn’t working. “We’ve had to start the process from scratch” said Rob Mace “it’s been a learning curve all of the way”. Researching what was and wasn’t currently available and looking at where the support and coaching existed within the pathway led to the creation of six disability hub centres. These centres each have a coaching ethos around developing cycling techniques, fitness and competence.

Coaching is business critical within the process and British Cycling needed volunteers to deliver for them, so they established a structure to ensure that the volunteers were supported. Establishing a mentoring intervention including that included site visits, reflective conversations, and annual training opportunities they have been able to utilise the skills of the mentor to gather the right information from the coaches. The reports from the mentor visits have informed the national training programme which has led to the riders needs being met.

Jon Pett spoke about the importance of aligning this work to the talent pathways that currently exist in the sport and acknowledged that although there is currently a limited pathway in place, the hub sites are still disconnected from the talent pathway.

Creating the right environment is important and making sure that the coaches have the right tools to be able to coach the riders. They are creating a sustainable pathway for disability riders and the network or partners is the most crucial part of this to ensure the provision is available. Jon finished by saying that they need to ensure they have the “right people to create the right environment to give the riders what they need”.

1330 - Effective Mentoring Relationships

Liz and Monica from Women Ahead have delivered a lively and thought-provoking session around mentoring and its uses in sport. Women Ahead was established two years ago with a view to use mentoring at a catalyst for change after finding that mentoring has been hugely effective in enabling both participants in the relationship to learning.

Now supporting more than 120 organisations and 2400 mentors and mentees within sport, they are currently working with a range of sporting partners.

Encouraging the room to look at their own experiences of mentoring, one of the delegates mentioned that they use mentoring as a way of solving problems, “one was really good at asking me questions that made me think”.

Mentoring has to be built on trust and this can only be built over a period of time but sometimes, in sport the premise can be very different, and mentoring can be structured very differently than in the business world. Mentoring across sports can have the benefits of breaking down some of the barriers and creating relationships that are more business-like.

Women Ahead focus on developmental mentoring where both people are learning from each other, building on trust and maximising the potential. Great mentoring is when both people are really learning from each other “when I talk to people who are doing great things, they all cite someone who has helped them along the way” says Liz.

For more information on Women Ahead, check there website here and follow them on Twitter.

1120 - Man v Machine

Barry introduces his session with a focus on three key areas - technology, disruption and datafication. "This is how we should be thinking about running our lives" Barry tells the audience and goes on to talk about the resistence he faced when first trying to introduce technology into the coaching room. Spending time building the relationships with the coaching staff was key to helping those staff embrace the technology that was available. "We haven't got a choice in the digital transformation" Barry says, "we need to be able to embrace the power of the new connectivity that technology give us". Catapult has a huge amount of energy around innovation, the company has had to remain thought leaders and approach each innovation as a worlds' first. It's not just about the tech though, you need to understand where the gaps are. Part of the man v machine debate includes the culture, people and leadership within an organisation. Catapult are a commercial organisation and Barry comments that "we believe success comes through educating customers, not exploiting them" it enables the company to deliver a service that is appropriate to their customers. People are the common denominator of progress "what do you do in your job to make it fun" Barry challenges the delegates to consider this. Barry talks to the summit about stacking and meshing as different ways that we are now consuming social objectives, important considerations for coaches who are working with the 'i-generation'. "Build a story that is appealing to the user" says Barry "a lot of it starts with thought leadership" he goes on to say, before challenging the delegates to leave the summit as better leaders. Find out more about Catapult Sports here.

1040 - Welcome

Gillian Wilmot welcomes delegates to the "UK's greatest sporting city" and talks about her passion for sport, coaching and mentoring. "Coaching has the power to transform lives" she says as it can enhance so many prospects for the communities that they coach. Gillian talks about "thought leadership" as a way to deliver a coaching nation. Introducing sports coach UK's new CEO, Mark Gannon, Mark talks about the coaches that have inspired him throughout his career. "Coaching is at the heart of an active nation" Mark tells the delegates but emphasies that we need to be ahead of the game in the way that we embrace technology in the delivery of coaching "the challenge is for us to capture technology and to apply it in a meaningful way for the participants". Mark introduces Barry McNeill from Catapult Sports to the stage to talk to the summit about embracing technology.

0710 - Tuesday 7 June

Good morning from sunny Manchester. As the city and hotel is slowly starting the day, there is a buzz of excitement in the air as we get ever closer to the start of the summit. If you’re travelling to the summit this morning, we hope you have a safe journey and we look forward to you sharing your expectations and thoughts with us on Twitter using #UKCoachingSummit.

The summit will be underway at 1030 and will open with a welcome from sports coach UK chair, Gillian Wilmot and CEO, Mark Gannon.

1630 - Monday 6 June

Coaching is business critical. That's the theme of this year's UK Coaching Summit which starts tomorrow at the Hilton Deansgate in Manchester. Around 270 delegates from all over the UK are heading to Manchester to experience what promises to be the best UK Coaching Summit to date.

Preparations are well underway here and we're currently transforming the main room into the stage from which the keynotes will be delivered by Barry McNeill from Catapult Sports, Professor Deirdre Brennan from Ulster University, Profesor Nicki Latham from Health Education England and Professor Damian Hughes of Liquid Thinker.

You can follow the action on Twitter using #UKCoachingSummit and here on this live blog throughout the event.


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