Quality and quantity
An interesting report from England Athletics has shown the importance not only of high quality coaching but also of having enough good coaches in place to reap the benefits of quality coaching. The Bridging the Gap report (published on the England Athletics website earlier this year) found that:
high quality coaching input was widely acknowledged as being the most important external input to an athlete's development in the sport.
But equally important was the next point raised
Athletes and coaches report a shortage of suitably trained coaches; this can result in high coach to athlete ratios in training, which in turn leads to a sub-optimal training experience.
The report was looking at junior talented athletes and was concerned mainly with: performance; progression; retention; and drop out. It is a mixture of quantitative analysis of performance statistics but also interviews with 30 athletes (made up of a mixture of successful international athletes and those who have dropped out) and coaches.
It’s an interesting read not only for athletics coaches but also for anyone interested in participant development in sport. You can read a copy by clicking here.