CPD clinic 2 and 3

Queensferry High School – 25th Oct 09 & 22nd Nov 09

It was a dreich Sunday morning as I set out to Edinburgh for the first of my CPD sessions.  I had received my brief from Thomas for the day’s program and it was with some apprehension but excitement that I headed off.

The point of the day was to help improve our coaching practice, build confidence and receive guidance on suitable drills for developing ball control as well as gaining valuable experience of planning prior to a practice session. Fortunately I wasn’t the only Novice coach; I was also joined by Sandra Bain, Ross McLennan & Heather Darling. Our mentor for the day was John Scrimouger, it was reassuring that I wasn’t the only nervous person there.

We met with john for a brief chat about the day and our individual session we had prepared, John was happy with them and allowed us to prepare for the group we were to work with. Our guinea pigs for the day were the City of Edinburgh Cadet group and they arrived with bags of energy and excitement for the day’s sessions.

We had 4 sessions to deliver during our day:
•    Warm up and the development of fundamentals.
•    Developing ball control in simple and combined practices
•    Developing Decision Making skills using complex practices
•    Developing Game Play

I was 1st up and got things moving, the boys were great and were eager to participate in all drills. As we worked through the morning all our nerves slipped away as we became more relaxed and all really started to help with each other’s sessions. John was brilliant through the day and advised us on areas we were uncertain and really made coaching look easy. As we progressed we all relaxed and started to interact more with each other’s drills and with the Edinburgh Cadets.
All in all it was a fabulous experience with a brilliant bunch of young boys from City of Edinburgh and the expert eye of John to guide and mentor us through the day, bring on the next CPD clinic.

CPD Clinic 3 took us back to Queensferry and working with the same group City of Edinburgh Cadets. It was the same group as CPD 2, with the exception of Iain Parker who joined us. This session was to be conducted by Thomas Dowens, Director of coaching for the SVA.

Another early drive to Queensferry and this time not so much of the nerves but really looking forward to being mentored by Tom. This clinic was focusing on developing the offence, with a particular focus on setting. Looking in more detail at drill construction and development – how do you know when to progress – how to you adapt the drill to fit the developing needs of the athletes.

Once again the day was broken into 4 sessions:

•    Warm up and the development of movement fundamentals and ball control
•    The development of the key principles of setting
•    Developing Decision Making skills and linkage in the offence
•    Developing Game Play while focusing on the offence

Our initial meeting was brilliant, Tom discussed our drills and helped us develop them prior to the boys arriving  each section was presented by the candidates to a very hard working team of 13 players from Edinburgh Volleyball Club.

With each of the components being demonstrated by the players each coach had the opportunity to see how successful the practice proved to be and establish what was required to improve the player performance in delivering the objective.

All of the coaches did a splendid job in presenting the aims to the players and the players all did magnificently in what was being asked of them with each showing improvements and an obvious understanding of what they were doing and why.

A great deal of learning was had by all in attendance and coaches left with clearer understanding of the principles of the day.  Another fabulous day with a great group of coaches and kids alike, the enthusiasm and energy of the Edinburgh boys was a tribute to their club. Once again I am excited about progressing my coaching career and looking forward to the next clinic.

Article and photographs by Mike Heaney