Post camp self appraisal
The person who writes their own appraisal has a fool for a client and a fool as a supervisor!
On Saturday and Sunday I was "the" coach for the whole NTID group. I have to admit that I loved the situation and while I didn't do everything perfectly, I'm confident that most of the work I did do was good. Some important things got missed though as I was spread very thin and I can, and will, improve my performance in future. I think that the general idea of the camp was best served by my work in the infield, and I think that's what Josh (NTID project coordinator) wanted of me, and on the day he was the boss.
Things I need to get better at on trips include, but aren't limited to, include :
Data gathering - I was too occupied in the middle with tactical briefing and debriefing to keep track of what everyone was geared on and their times. In future if I'm in the same situation (30 riders, one coach) I'd get better organised with co-opting parents into doing the data recording. I also need to have my stopwatch with me all the time and my notebook.
I did have help from one parent who got almost all of the F200 times (100m splits) for pretty-much everyone who was there (thank you, you know who you are), but I didn't get splits from the team sprints, which I should have done. I needed to have a better handle on my helpers. I made the mistake of assuming without checking that we'd be able to get times and splits from the timing team, as I generally can in Melbourne. This was a flawed assumption and not one I will make again.
We did get some notes on the races, but my hand-written race notes are sketchy at best, video is the best tool for this and in future I'd have a cheapy video camera with a load of storage to record all the races, if possible. My VX2100 is too big to cart around to camps when traveling light and it's overkill for tactical analysis work.
I need to get a lot better at recognising people I need to keep an eye on, this will come with more experience and it's something I'm very conscious of.
I may have over-coached some of the kids, but that's hard to judge. I left the older and more experienced riders alone mostly, except to ask them if they wanted or needed any guidance and to help them debrief after their races. With the more experienced guys I basically listened to them and gave them a sounding board pre and post-race without any judgement. I'm confident that that's what they wanted and needed. The younger ones and less experienced ones I was more active in talking to, mainly encouraging them to be more assertive and to take risks (to roll the dice) during races rather than being passive. I may have relied too much on intuition with this, but it's hard to tell. As they days wore on I spoke less to them pre-race and listened and debriefed more after their races, as they got better at making their own plans.
It's a judgement call on how much is too much and I'll get better at reading the guys and giving them what they need without over-doing it.
The only feedback I received afterwards was positive, but I guess that's pretty normal, the people I didn't hear from are the ones I'd be worried about if I'd over or under-done them. Not many kids are good at giving constructive criticism to adults, so I don't expect much immediate negative feedback, even if I totally cocked it up! I didn't get any negative feedback from some of the more confident and senior guys, and they're the ones who're most likely to do so, but again, lack of negative feedback from that group is not an indicator of good coaching. With the NTID kids not from our (Vic) squad I didn't know them well enough to be a lot of help.
Things we need to make sure that, as a team, we take next time includes a good, working track pump that everyone knows how to use! They all packed as light as they could, which meant we didn't have a pump and had to scrounge one. Some team rollers would also have been of benefit, we had to borrow time on other teams rollers in the pits.
When I was in the thick of it in the middle, with all the races happening and the kids wanting guidance it was intense and amazing and I loved it. I have much to learn but this is where I want to be.