Coaching Plan

Kesgrave Kruisers coaching team have developed the Coaching Plan to establish a clear direction for coaching within the club.

Vision
  • To be a club that supports runners at all levels and is fully inclusive to all members, regardless of background and ability
  • To offer good quality and varied coaching through the year that the runners enjoy and feel are genuinely beneficial for their running and social, physical and mental health needs
  • The club coaching team should all feel involved, that they have a voice and can be creative, while delivering sessions through a consistent approach with simple and effective communication and continuity and in an environment where everyone can develop to achieve their own coaching goals or ambitions
  • Coaching should be fun!
  • We want to be accountable so we know we’re doing a good job, but allowance made as everyone doing this is a volunteer; so feedback must be constructive, helpful and sincere, no one; runner or coaching team member, is to ever be made to feel unappreciated or under pressure
Skills
  • Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) qualified coaches; as many as possible to help coach and develop the coaching team as a whole
  • Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF) qualified run leaders; to support the coaches and help lead and support club sessions
  • Experienced runners; to support the CiRFs and LiRFs with sessions and to lead sessions where appropriate
  • Members who wish to undertake stand alone UKA courses, whether already a LiRF or CiRF should be encouraged to develop a wider skill set
  • Range of experiences would be ideal, including knowledge and understanding of coaching strategies followed at other clubs
  • Support from appropriately qualified individuals with more specialist areas, e.g. strength and conditioning
Strategy
  • Encourage formal UKA qualifications to be undertaken by as many members as possible, subject to approval by the Head Coach, Senior Coaches and funding from the Committee
  • Openness to qualifications through other bodies if requested
  • Head Coach and Senior Coaches to develop deeper relationships with other clubs and visits to be arranged both ways, and coaches encouraged to join as and when appropriate
  • Deliver formal sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, ad-hoc track sessions at Northgate and hill training in locations such as Christchurch Park
  • Coordinate focused groups, e.g. C25K, 5-10K, Half Marathon, Marathon/Ultra, with careful management so that the coaching team isn’t stretched too thin
  • Prepare an overall plan (the Macro Plan) helping to determine the type of session for Tuesday, Thursday or other additional sessions
  • Session plans to be written up, ideally following the basic structure detailed below and with all sessions assumed at approximately 1 hour:
Warm UpIncluding Drills~ 10 mins
Unit 1Additional Drills and/or Activity 1~ 5 to 20 mins
Unit 2Main Activity or Activity 2~ 20 to 35 mins
Warm DownIncluding Stretches~ 10 mins
  • Coaches leading sessions can look at the focus planned for a given session to mix and match existing session components, or seek advice from the Head Coach or Senior Coaches to introduce variations and creative changes, testing new ideas and making sessions varied and enjoyable
  • Focused groups such as C25K and 5-10K should have a set plan for the duration of the group, with review points for the runners on the groups and a retrospective to find ways to improve those groups in the future
  • Establish coaching equipment storage and build up useful coaching support items as well as key safety equipment such as lighting
  • Support coaches leading sessions and reduce stress with aide-memoire produced for briefings to sit alongside any session plans
  • Ensure session plans have two simple focus points, physical and technical:
    • Physical focus may be utilising different energy systems, e.g. for sprinting or for endurance, or strength and conditioning, stability etc.
    • Technical focus could be around form, e.g. use of arms, running tall, pacing
  • Coaches should explain the focus and benefits to runners at the session briefing, and simply define any technical terms, for example:
    • Sprints train a different energy system that will allow you to better overtake, tackle a steep hill or sprint finish a race
    • Arms being used correctly help you run faster and more efficiently, which means you can run further and longer and also minimise your risk of injury through better run form
  • Identify runners and coaching team colleagues to request honest feedback, good and bad, with a view to always looking to improve the sessions being delivered
  • Try new ideas and be creative, but listen to any feedback and not be upset if something doesn’t work well and instead try other new things to find what does work well; no failure, just variations of an original idea if required

Evaluation
  • Continually assess how everything is working, requesting ongoing feedback and:
    • Member surveys
    • Post group/course feedback
    • Periodic reviews as part of the coaching meetings
    • Peer mentors within the club and externally
  • Formal group and individual training plans should have an initial assessment, halfway assessment and final assessment to establish how runners have progressed. The halfway assessment should also gauge whether progress is being made to review and address any issues