With Scottish athletes performing on the world stage throughout 2018, including the Winter Olympics and Paralympics and Commonwealth Games, the work of their coaches is taking centre stage.
Just as athletes train for years to prepare themselves to compete at a high level, their coaches work on the same basis: to be at the best of their ability when the time comes to perform. Now there is a new updated Coaching Scotland Framework aims to assist coaches across the country with their training and development.
Coaching Scotland has created a well-established structure for providing guidance and promoting a consistent approach to the education and development of coaches across the country. This month an updated Coaching Scotland Framework was introduced, to the delight of Ruari Davidson, lead manager at sportscotland.
“People are a key enabler within our world class sporting system and I see coaches as an integral component in ensuring we achieve our outcomes of participation and progression," said Ruari.
"The new Framework will lead to a more diverse, accessible and versatile workforce who are equipped to meet the varying demands of their participants.”
Coaching Scotland was initially launched to assist coach developers take a more formal and planned approach to the development of the coaches and organisations they work with.
However, the Framework’s objectives have expanded into increasing the number and quality of coaches working across the sport and physical activity environments in Scotland, ensuring that all coaches feel supported and encouraged to develop their own skills.
Rebecca Hope, education and development manager at Netball Scotland, emphasised the importance of the Framework for planning their own coaching education.
“The new Coaching Framework gives me structure and focus when planning and delivering coach education for netball," said Rebecca. "It’s exciting to see the focus on soft skills that sportscotland has identified and I look forward to seeing this area grow, with more information and resources to support the development of coaches.”
One of the key focuses for the creation of an updated coaching structure was the technological developments that have been introduced into the system. There have been significant improvements in opportunities for coaches to learn and develop their skills digitally and the Framework aims to recognise this and continue to support it and develop it further.
Neil Graham, head of training and education at Scottish Rugby, said he fully embraced the opportunity to discuss new methods of training and development delivery.
“The Coaching Framework will allow us to review our coach development programmes in a systematic fashion, helping us reflect on what we currently deliver against our strategic priorities," said Neil.
"The Framework will also challenge our thinking around the delivery models and interventions within coaching, and help us understand more about the role coaching plays in building a world class sporting system for Scotland.”
Equality & inclusion
However, with the aim of the recently relaunched Coaching Scotland Framework to be more flexible and adaptable to the changing landscape and environments in which sport exists today, there is also a great emphasis on equality and inclusion within the latest iteration.
Heather Lowden, coaching and education manager at Scottish Disability Sport, said: “Scottish Disability Sport is delighted that equality and inclusion has been explicitly referenced throughout Coaching Scotland. The Framework has helped shape SDS’s coaching, education and learning strategy and operational plans."
Find out more
You can download the new Coaching Scotland Framework as well as other coaching resources here.