Gen32 aims to develop contemporary ways of delivering coaching to future generations of athletes through enhanced use of innovation and technology, advanced interpersonal and leadership skills, and an increased understanding of athlete development. As part of this learning journey the cohort of 31 coaches come together for 6 learning labs over the two years of the program.
The first of the Learning Labs was held on the 15th to the 17th of August with 12 coaches attending. The Lab is designed around social and experiential learning. The coaches were introduced to several elements which they will utilise over their two-year journey – Individual Coach Development Plan, Goalscape and Emotional Intelligence Profiles.
The coaches used Lego Serious Play to help them articulate their understanding of self and describe what they see as ‘the Coach of the Future’. Lego Serious Play is a facilitation method used in several major corporations. including Australia Post and KPMG, and recently profiled in the Wall Street Journal.
The lab aims to take the coaches out of their sporting context to learn from other HP environments and coaching experiences. The group spent the morning at The Australian Ballet. The coaches had a tour of the facility, discussion with the Rehabilitation Manager and Staff of the Principal Dancers, and a ballet class observation.
The visit concluded with a ballet class for the coaches with a former professional ballet dancer and VIS Performance Lifestyle Advisor, Sarah Thompson, which certainly took the coaches outside of their comfort zone.
We had two guest speakers as part of Success Leaves Clues over the three days. Daniel Giansiracusa, Assistant Coach at Essendon FC shared his experience of transitioning from athlete to coach and the work he has done to continuously develop and understand the type of coach he wants to be. Chris O’Brien, 4-time Olympic medal winning rowing coach, shared the journey of his long career and how he seized the opportunities as they presented themselves to progress.
The Lab rounded off with a yarning circle with Beki Smith and Kyle Vander-Kuyp. Beki and Kyle shared their experience as Aboriginal athletes who competed for Australia at the top level of their sport. They shared the challenges they faced in sport, but also the great opportunities sport gave them to transcend racism and support them with their struggle of identity. They shared some great insight with the coaches on how they can best connect with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and traditions and support athletes to feel included and valued within their teams. Australian Identity is a topic that we endeavor to include in future Labs and maintain the conversation on how this influences what and how we do things as coaches of current and future Australian representatives.
The coaches will continue to meet monthly online before coming together again for the next Lab in Melbourne, on the 5th – 7th of December.
Four VIS Coaches are part of the Gen32 program.
- Rowie Webster, Waterpolo Coach
- Rebecca Stafford, Diving Coach
- Elissa Kent, Netball Coach
- Collis Birmingham, Athletics Coach.