Hannis Whittam describes two sunny, wet, windy, warm and cold weekends in North Wales where he attended a Level 1 Coaching Course with Ty Nant Outdoors.
The Course was led by Andy Turton and he was assisted by Trys Burke. The course covered a variety of things, some of which were new to me, some of which were not. What I found particularly helpful was the time spent discussing different coaching and learning styles.
Ian White and I did the sessions at Snowdonia Watersports Centre just outside Llanberis. It was a good venue with a warm classroom just next to the lake. We had loads of different paddle craft to try out, including the duo that there’s a video of me messing about in with one of the other students here. (That’s pretty much the sum total of all the paddling we actually did in it!)
I enjoyed the course, although I was surprised to discover I was absolutely exhausted at the end of the final day! Generally I thought the course was pretty well run, Trys and Andy contributed different things and it was great to have a balance.
For anyone thinking of doing their Level 1: there’s a reasonable amount of homework required between the days! It’s worth bearing in mind if you’ve got lots planned. There’s a workbook to complete and lessons to plan. Also, make sure you get your CR form sorted out early – it’s a real pain if you don’t!
The remit of Level 1 is relatively small, but it’s an essential stepping stone on the coaching ladder and a useful first step. I think the course helps you learn about how to teach, and how to structure sessions. Speaking of stepping stones it’s probably worth mentioning that the Level 2 coach award is due for a shake-up soon. The changes will be formally announced in July and come into play next year. I won’t attempt to outline the changes here for fear of making a mistake, but it’s certainly something to look out for!
From chatting to the coaches about this I think the logical next step for me is likely to be Paddlesports Leader before looking to do a whitewater kayak specific Level 2 (when the new system appears).