Duncan Holland writes:
I am rushing this out the morning after the night before. Yesterday was a big day at the NZRowing Coaches' Conference with a full programme of speakers and then the social highlight, a banquet in the Beehive. The after dinner speaker was Richard Tonks, head coach for NZRowing.
The major individual speaker yesterday was Mike Spracklen and he gave us the first of the three presentations we will have from him this weekend. Yesterday Mike spoke about the role of the coach and how to lead. He made repeated mention of ethics and standards and hammered the point that a good leader must base her / his behaviour on a sound ethical and philosophical basis.
I am too slow a note-taker to write much of what he said but the following are points that resonated particularly for me:
- Disharmony is inevitable amongst athletes and authority's reaction is often to make rules. This leads to evaporating trust and the coach gets caught in the middle.
- Squabbles between leaders are behind most trouble in sport.
- "If you tell the truth you don't need a good memory."
- Base your behaviour on values not feelings.
- The two key attributes of a coach are the ability to inspire trust and confidence and the ability to communicate a vision.
It was clear that Mike sees himself very much as a leader of men, as the guru in the group and that Canadian Rowing has given him the space to fulfil this role. The results are there for us all to see.
Today Mike talks about technique and about Fairbairn.