High Peaks Camp

The Glenalmond college Development Camp was aimed at selected athletes of various ages and levels and featured both male and female players. This residential camp took place at Glenalmond College Centre from Wednesday 15th – Saturday 18th July 2014. The facilities were very good in relation to our requirements and helped us achieve our objectives and beyond.

While all 14 junior players embraced this development opportunity to focus on specific areas of their performance the success was not only limited to the players. This residential camp provided an opportunity for presenting the level III coaching award to 4 motivated coaches.

The level III award is designed to investigate and develop the coaching practice of the participants. The 14 junior players provided a challenging platform to put the theoretical part of the course into practice as candidate coaches had to differentiate their practice.  The improvement in the level of the juniors’ volleyball over the 4 days was clear and encouraging to see and it was enriched by the micro-coaching received by the level III candidates. Coaches, like the players, got better by actively participating, applying learning principles to a demanding coaching environment. Coaches, like players, learn by doing and reflecting and being allowed to make mistakes and get back on their feet.

The candidate coaches were extremely fortunate to have the excellent mentoring of Bill Stobie who patiently and unselfishly provided appropriate and specific feedback on each and every of their practices. One of the keys to the success of the course was that the coaches collaborated and learned from each other as much as they learned from the formal content of the course. By the end of the third day it felt that candidates understood better the importance of rhythm in training, how to provide short, punctuated and precise feedback without disrupting the flow of the training and most importantly how to plan.

The objective of the camp was to provide a wide range of skill and tactical training for a group of players with a large skill and age range while allowing a high level coaches course to take place at the same time.

The camp was a great success based on the feedback we received from the players who felt they benefited greatly from the sessions run by and the advice received from the coaches attending the course and from the motivational talk given by Lynne Beattie, Scotland’s very own GB captain. The course was equally well received by the level III candidates.

From my observation the younger players showed a massive improvement in skill level and awareness and the more senior players were able to hone their skills ready for the challenge of the Sainsbury school games at the start of September.

The attitude over the four days shown by these young athletes was inspirational, so my thanks go to them for the application they showed and my further thanks go to those who attended the coaches course and provided such good information to the players during the practical sections of the coaches course.

Finally, I would like to thank Ioannis Panayiotakis the SVA’s Coaching Manager who was a guiding light during the whole four days and Bill Stobie who provided coaching assistance to myself and also input to those on the coaching course. Gratitute is also due to Ian Brownlee for all of his help to making this camp take place.

Overall it was an invaluable experience for all concerned.

Vince Krawczyk
High Peaks Head Coach