Athletics Ireland Level 3 coach education programme
The Athletics Ireland Level 3 coach education programme resumed in October with the coaches participating in their first practical weekend. The topic of the weekend was Strength & Conditioning, with the two days of content delivered excellently by Rob Thickpenny, formerly of England Athletics, and S&C provider for numerous European, World, & Olympic level athletes across all athletics event groups. The coaches previously attended a Zoom webinar with Rob, which covered some of the theory elements and principles that this workshop was based upon, allowing for a largely interactive and practical weekend of learning. Hosted in the Sports Med department of the Sports Surgery Clinic in Santry, the facilities allowed for demonstrations of Olympic lifting, Plyometrics, Medicine Ball Throws, and Global Strength exercises, with athletes providing demonstrations, and the coaches gaining hands-on experience in both coaching and attempting the different exercises and techniques.
With the Level 3 programme having initially been due to start in early 2020, it was altered over the past 18 months to allow for online delivery of modules to replace in-person sessions. Seven of these interactive theory modules were completed in that time, on topics including Competition Planning & Goalsetting, Skill Acquisition, and Talent Pathways & Development – and facilitated on Zoom by experts on those subject matters. With pre & post reading, and tasks required of the coaches, as well an ongoing reflective journal, they have had a significant workload to contend with alongside their coaching of high performance athletes.
As the programme progresses the coaches will attend two further event specific weekends facilitated by international experts in their event groups, and one sports science focused weekend, before submitting a completed body of their own work, and a presentation of their on their findings.
Athletics Ireland coaching & development would once again like to thank all the coaches involved for their enthusiastic participation over the practical weekend, as well as Rob Thickpenny for an engaging and insightful two days of coach education.