The off season training camps for the winter will take place in Los Cristianos, Tenerife. Our camps are fun, friendly, social and influential and aimed at the already committed beach volleyball player who has the stamina to last five intensive days of coaching and playing. Each camp has a maximum of 24 people run over 3 courts with 8 athletes on each court and one coach per court. Read more →
Watching my almost 6 month daughter playing, it struck me how our learning journeys, and the things that affect them, don’t ever really change. And how, as players and coaches, keeping those elements in the forefront of our minds must be a priority.
E was sitting there on her mat, trying to keep her balance without holding on, while also trying to reach a clever soft play block that sings a different song each time it turns over. I sat and watched as she turned it over, grabbing each of the raised edges, learning how much force she needed to use to turn it over. Until, that is, she outdid herself and ended up pushing the block further away than she thought she could reach. There was a short pause before she started to test out how far she could reach without toppling over – one small movement at a time. Sometimes she was able to bring the block back to her but other times she ended up pushing the block even further away, resulting in a screech of frustration. After a few tries on her own, E grabbed my hand and moved it towards the block. But I, then, had to judge the right distance to move it to help her – if I moved it too close she invariably ended up pushing it further away. If I moved it too far away there was more screeching and she lost interest. And then after a while, she moved onto the next thing, threw herself onto my lap, pushed herself over the leg mountain with her feet and grabbed another toy. That toy certainly wasn’t closer or easier to get to than the block but she got it.
So why am I telling you this? Well, think of the last time you learnt anything – where did you sit on the scales of determination, motivation, belief and achievement? Were you trained or coached? Did that support help you to progress? What we believe to be possible – usually based on what we’ve already experienced – how determined and motivated we are to achieve and the quality and appropriateness of the support we receive in working towards our goal all play a part in allowing us to improve ourselves in whichever way we choose. It’s a really, really fine balance.
E knew getting the block was possible as she’d already done it – she had achieved in a number of small ways and wanted to carry on doing so. She was motivated by the recency of her success in making the block turn over and sing (and by my effervescent praise) and, consequently, she was determined enough to ask for help in achieving her goal. All that was left was for me to give her the right amount and type of guidance. I didn’t get that quite right quickly enough for a 6 month old’s attention span and so she moved onto the next item – she had forgotten the why of what she was doing.