Derek and Alex

One of the most effective ways to influence the direction of an athletes is through the coach and the IAS are committed to providing the best opportunities to the coaches to enable their development. Through the support of QUBE Ports, we have been able to engage Derek Panchuk to assist in the ongoing development of the coaches within our programs.

Earlier in 2020, the QUBE Ports Coach Development program enabled the delivery of a unique 6-week ‘Mindful Coach’ course offered by one of Australia’s most respected Skills Acquisitionists, Derek Panchuk. That course, presented uniquely to IAS coaches, was the first time Derek conducted such a course in Australia and allowed coaches to reflect on their own coaching to develop a learning mindset using concepts grounded in the science of skill learning. Coaches completed a series of tasks in the lead up to each week’s discussion and challenged each other with new perspectives and ways to do things.

“The coaches are the expert in their sport, the course aims to help them upskill and develop athletes better by creating an environment where they can learn skills in the best way possible,” Panchuk said. “We try to be really reflective and think about why we are doing things in the first place by being relevant and keeping the athletes engaged to ensure they don’t switch off and be mindless.”

On 15 and 16 December, Panchuk visited the IAS as a hands-on follow up for the coaches and observed the coaches at a variety of sessions. The coaches were provided with immediate feedback and followed up with a debrief and survey. The coaches also had the opportunity to have individual catch ups with Derek to discuss their approach to coaching and how they could enhance the skills development of their athletes and look at specific issues that each individual coach could work on into the future.

“It was great to follow up on the course in person and see the Academy coaches putting into practice a lot of the innovative ideas we discussed in during the sessions in COVID,” Panchuk said.