Indra Strijbos: I'm a pretty strong person already
Today I've spent exactly two weeks on coach education on the beautiful island Oro. That means I have just one week left here.
That actually makes me a bit sad, because in the last two weeks I learned so much, that I really don't want to leave. Especially the last week we had a pretty big group of players, but also a lot of coaches to guide them in their learning process. That made it possible for us to give the players a lot of personal attention.
What I like most about this camp is the personal approach of the players. We don't train them just to become better players, but also to be able to develop themselves after they leave the island. By that I mean that the players learn to put their own focus points in a training, so that they can give direction to their trainings. We also prepare them for situations like when a coach calls in sick. If they still want to be able to keep on developing in that case, it's important that they can think of exercises themselves to make sure they can still improve on their focus points. I really like this approach from a coach perspective, because you create critical players who make it possible for me to keep on developing myself. I really like to get feedback from my players to improve myself as a coach.
Enough about the players. I was asked to write about my opinion on the coach education program. Before I came here I already had some kind of preparation, so I knew a little what I could expect. I knew the coaches that are active in this camp really like the power of surprise. Without the time to really prepare for a training, you have to be more creative. In my opinion it's a good way to learn to develop your creativity. I know this is not my strongest point in training. When you have the time to prepare, like in a normal club training, it's still important to be able to be creative in your training, so that you're able to change an exercise or even the whole training when you notice something is not working like you wanted or expected.
Another advantage I had because I had a little preparation is that I knew some of the coaches and their coaching style. This is a learning point for the coaches. With my background as a teacher in PE, I learned how to give feedback. The coaches here act like they don't care if they hurt you during feedback (I know they do). It's hard for them to point out the positive aspects of a training. I know they don't mean to hurt us and they just want to make us better coaches and stronger people. Now, I'm a pretty strong person already, so I don't mind their way of giving feedback. I can understand their way of thinking and it's just not their strongest point to be subtle. I don't always agree on their approach, since I also heard the stories of crying coaches leaving camps. Sometimes it's good to be firm and it can work. Nevertheless I think this approach is not the best for all of the coaches in education.
One thing I really liked during this camp was bedtime for the players. After that we had some really interesting discussions with the coaches. Having such a diverse group of coaches causes very interesting conversations. Just by listening to the others, I really learned a lot of new stuff. Later in the evening there was also room for little less interesting discussions, but it was very good for the teambuilding and the atmosphere. I really like the group of coaches and I'm looking forward to another week of coach education. It's not just in the evenings, the cooperation and atmosphere between coaches is really great during the whole day. Everybody can use his own strength to contribute to the programme of the camp, which makes this camp so successful in my eyes. The guidance of the coaches in education is guaranteed by evaluations and individual conversations to make sure everybody is satisfied about the way things go around here. I really feel I've become a better coach already, but I'm never done learning, so I just keep going on! At least I have one more week of camp left to develop myself at a really high speed. During the camp I made some new connections in my network that will help me to keep developing myself.
I'll end this writing with a part of a song. I listened to this song when I was driving in my car during camp and this part really tells for me how I feel about this camp so far. It describes the atmosphere perfectly for me. This is how all the coaches interact with each other.
I don't want to be someone who walks away so easily, I'm here to stay and make the difference that I can make. Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use the tools and gifts we got. Yeah, we got a lot at stake. And in the end you're still my friend at least we did intend for us to work we didn't break we didn't burn. We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in. I had to learn what I've got and what I'm not and who I am.
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