Kate Corkery [00:00:01] Good morning and welcome to the Modernised Coaching Approach Webinar. My name is Kate Corkery and I am the Deputy General Manager for Industry Capability at the Australian Sports Commission. And I will be your MC today. I would like to begin by acknowledging that traditional custodians of the land in which we live, work and play. And for me today, that's the new normal people and pay my respects to the elders’ past, present and emerging. I would also like to recognise the outstanding contribution that Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islanders play to society and to sport and celebrate the power of sport to promote reconciliation and to reduce inequality. Well, today we're putting the spotlight on community coaching. We know that our community coaches are the creators of positive environments and the front line to your participants having positive experiences and with the rise in the proliferation of non-sport recreational activities, the type, the closer disconnect from sports and the rising cost of living pressures, the role of our community coaches has never been more important and your role in supporting them to succeed has never been more critical. Over the next 60 minutes, we're going to deep dive into the reasons why we have led an update to the community coaching approach. The steps involved in making a change in your sport and the positive impact on coaches. Participant and your sport. Sustainability and growth. As I've reflected upon this with my coaching team at the Australian Sports Commission, this has been over two years in the making. This has been well researched through academia and practical research. It has been well designed co-designed with our sector all the way from our community coaches through to our national sporting organisations. As a woman who had a very negative experience in community sport and as a mother who's trying to ensure that I get to have a small role to play in ensuring my sons have a very positive role in community sport. It's been great to see so many sports jumping on board, ready to make this change. It's my absolute pleasure, though, to hand over, first of all, to our CEO at the Australian Sports Commission, Kieren Perkins, to give the official welcome.
Kieren Perkins [00:02:06] Thanks, Kate. Appreciate your you're welcome there. And good morning and hello to everybody from wherever you are joining us. Really very excited and grateful that you've taken the time and the opportunity to be involved in this conversation. The reality of life in sport in Australia is that since 1979, coach education has remained largely unchanged. As we know though, the world has absolutely innovated and evolved and our relationship with sport and the way that we access it has changed dramatically. The Australian Sports Commission, with the help of all sport, the sporting sector has taken the lead and increased our focus on the needs and motivations of participants and implemented a modern coaching approach. The new approach supports the development, education and training of coaches, empowering them to create fun, safe and inclusive, inclusive environments for all participants. The modern approach makes shifts shift the focus from delivering sport to people to coaching people in sport. We recognise and value the critical role coaches play in supporting people in sport, whether they are learning. Participating socially. Competing in or performance level. So it's important that we equip them with the skills to meet the needs of today's participants. We want sport to be to better reflect the broader Australian population by engaging, empowering and supporting a more diverse coaching workforce. And this, we know, will lead to more Australians not only wanting to get involved in sport, but to enjoy sport for life. Thank you again for being here and I'm looking forward to the conversation. Thanks, Kate.
Kate Corkery [00:03:41] Thanks, Kieran. I'd now like to invite our director of coaching and Officiating Cam Tradell, to join Kieran as we discuss the actual driver behind the modern approach, how we're going to enable and empower coaches to deliver the quality environments that that we know that we need them to deliver for us. So Cameron, as the director of coaching officiating at the Australian Sports Commission, what is the modern coaching approach and why is this so important for community sport?
Cam Tradell [00:04:13] It's a look. It's a really exciting point for a style or change where we recognise that not everything, we've done in the past has been wrong or is necessarily bad, but it a great time for us to reflect on what is societal expectations and what's a modern participant motivation, what are their motivations like. And we know that, as Kieran pointed out, is that society has shifted so much over the last since 1979 and we think about the things that we all enjoy now. We didn't used to have many computers in our pockets back then. I still remember the cards we used to punch into those massive computers back in the day in 79. Sadly, I can still remember that. But it's society's most quickly. And it moves quickly over not just 40 years, but it moves quickly over five years now. One of the damning stats or one of the stats that we really need to reflect on is one that talks about the participant and the participant capability. So the average child of 1985 is 250 meters quicker than the average child of today, over 600 meters. Now, if we let that sink in and understand that what we used to be able to do or what kids entering sport used to be able to do, can no longer achieve. So we're asking coaches to do basically more with people coming into their sport, maybe with less fundamental movement skills. So it's really important that we recognise that. So as we move forward, we're shifting away from this purely linear approach of a level, one level to a level three accreditation to a more horizontal, ongoing personal development model. The reason why this becomes important is that we can really recognise reward and support our coaches to be the best coaches they can be in the environments that they're exposed to. And an example to that is Kieran brought up the four people learning, people playing, people competing and people performing in sport. Having a coach who's entering in maybe for the first time into their coaching career and being exposed to a level one where they get the basics of coaching if they're going to continue to support people in the learning environment. A level two force may not be the most appropriate for them all, nor will a Level three be, however, provide them with ongoing personal development opportunities for them to be the brightest that they can be in their environment and make a positive difference to the participant experience through the positive environments they can create is really the catalyst and the reason why we started to change the way that we focused on supporting our coaches.
Kate Corkery [00:07:15] So it's not a one size fits all, is it? It's an approach which accepts that the fundamental movement skills of those entering sport have changed and is less than it was. That the expectations of our children and young people in approaching sport is different. They want their friends. They want fun. They want someone who understands them and can support them to achieve their own personal goals. How is this coaching approach going to support such a fundamental change in those societal expectations of our participants?
Cam Tradell [00:07:46] It's a great question, Kate. And this comes down to where we focus or where we put our energy into, how we support our coaches at the coalface. We understand that empowering them because they understand the communities that they live in, they understand the environments they're exposed to. And through this wonderful way of interacting and co-designing what their sessions may look like, we can start to really peel apart what that positive sporting environment or the desired positive sporting environment is for our participants at the coalface, at the ground, at the ground level, rather than just a one size fits all. Here's your accreditation. You'll never complain, go forth and deliver sport. So we've made a fundamental shift, Kate, that it's a nuanced one, but it's a really important one. And the shift, as Kieran said, is from delivering sport to people. To coaching people in sport. So understand your participants, their requirements, their needs first, and then create the right environment. That is, I guess has the sport focused on it, but based on the motivations and servicing the motivations of the participants and their requirements.
Kate Corkery [00:09:08] Thanks, Cam. I'm going to throw a question to Kieran. Kieran, can you tell us about your community sporting experience? Were you always interested in swimming where you are always fabulous at swimming? And what was your relationship with your coach and the environment that was created?
Kieren Perkins [00:09:22] Thanks, Kate. Look, the truth, I guess, if my sporting experience is that it's probably not dissimilar actually to most of my contemporaries who went on to be, you know, successful elite athletes, which is, as we were young, we played everything. It was just a normal part of life. We didn't actually think about being an Olympian. We weren't working on trying to, you know, develop skills that were going to take us to the top of our sport. I just enjoyed being with my friends. I wanted to play and be involved in different things, and it was just accepted. We didn't actually question why you played sport. Everybody just did. I guess what was not abnormal also about my experience is that like a lot of kids, I was actually very bad at most of them. I don't have naturally much in the way of hand-eye coordination or an ability to move with, with, with a whole lot of speed. And so for me, it was very much just about the environment I was in and engaging with people. And when I started swimming, I found a sport that I enjoyed because of that personal challenge of every time I got in the pool, I could see if I was improving. But also my parents were able to put me into a coaching environment where my, my coach and he was my coach throughout my career, Mr. Crew focused on, on technical capability and in introducing us to the art of swimming and the fitness and the work and all of the stuff that you need to ultimately become an Olympian came much later. There was never, never this streamed focus of you have to train more or you have to train regularly. It was very much about just letting us develop in our own time. And in all honesty, you know, I didn't really show any great aptitude for swimming until I sort of hit that 15, 16 age group. And if I'm honest, you know, with a lot of the very hardcore streaming programs that I see this these days where we're telling 19 kids early and putting them into pressured situations from a young age, you know, I'm actually really thankful that I didn't experience that because I wouldn't have stuck with swimming if that had been the reason why I was involved. And I certainly wouldn't have been involved in sport at all by the time I'd reached the middle of my teens, if that was the case.
Kate Corkery [00:11:38] I find that to be a really interesting segway because the drop off in disengagement in early teenage years is well documented in Australian sport, as is the connection to the individuals’ motivations for why they would be there. So we stop participating and we start competing and it's not fun and we're separated from our friends. What do you believe are the critical components to support environments that will engage, retain, grow, support participants in our organised sport environment and really drive those quality of experiences that keeps them connected to sport throughout their lives?
Kieren Perkins [00:12:15] Yeah, look, it's actually a really interesting question that I think everyone in sport needs to ask themselves, you know, why? Why do we have participants? Why do we want young people to be physically active and involved? And if it is to just find that 1% of those participants who can go on to be Olympians or professional athletes, then that's an extremely different conversation we would need to have with ourselves if the outcome is actually, we just want to create generations of advocates who love sport, who have enjoyed being involved and want to continue to be involved. And as coaches and administrators and volunteers and then the future parents of the next generation who want to actually be involved in sport. And the research shows us that, you know, if both parents are physically active, kids are about 84% likely to be involved in sport. And of course that drops off dramatically. If neither parent is active too, basically they won't be involved in sport. And so that generational change becomes a real big question for us and why do we want people to be physically active? And certainly from my perspective, I think we want them to be active so that they get all of the physical and mental health benefits, learn all of the life skills that that those of us involved in sport know, come along, but also enrich and make sure that our sporting environments are a strong and sustainable into the future. And the only way that we'll do that is by engaging people in an environment where they want to be involved. You know, we talk about this participation, Cliff, where after 12 years of age. 70 plus percent of kids involved in sport over the next five years drops off to less than 20%. Question is why we often, you know, we might blame computers and screens or we might blame school or hormones or any of these other things that are going on for kids during that period in their life. But I think sport really needs to ask itself the question what's the experience that we're providing that makes kids not want to stay? And I do believe that, you know, if we've got 70% of them captured when they're 12, if the experience that we provide is engaging, it's fun, it's inclusive, it's helping them develop and feel valued and valuable in the effort, in the work that they're doing and the commitment that they showing to their chosen activities. Then more of them will stay involved in sport and more of them will become advocates for sport and then go on to, you know, strengthen their sporting systems and environment into the future.
Kate Corkery [00:14:40] Thanks, Kieran. It is concerning, but I do think that the power of it change is in our hands and is in the strategy and the operationalisation of strategy by everyone who is investing time in this webinar and in this work. Our coaching officiating team has done a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes with so many of you who are on this webinar with us today, and we really are excited to see this come to life. But just a reminder, if you do have any questions for Kieran or any of our panel members over the course of the next 40 minutes, please put them in the chat and we will get an opportunity to come to them at the end. We know this is just the start of a conversation. We know that there's a huge amount of integration between our coaching team, our Australian Sport Learning Centre, our diversity equity and inclusion team, our participation advisors, volunteering work. So we really are looking to find these opportunities to, to really point in on these topics and then broaden them out to accept that no one of these areas operates in isolation, to support us to achieve the goal of more Australians engaged in organised sport. It's on that note that I'm really delighted to introduce you to three sports, very different stages in modernising their coaching approach. We've got an opportunity to hear from them about where they're at in the implementation phase and why this approach isn't a one size fits all and why we really are encouraging sports to engage with our advisors and not feel like you're in this on your own. Accepting that the challenges of each sport will be different, the level of maturity, the level of reliance on volunteer workforce versus paid workforces will be different. And so it's with absolute pride that I'd like to welcome our special guests to the panel. We've got our CEO of Water Polo Australia, Richard McInnes, the chief strategy officer at Hockey Australia, Michael Johnson, and the sport operations manager for Paddle Australia, Lucy will host at Warhurst. Sorry Lucy and rejoining us sport Australia's Director of Coaching Officiating, Cam Tradell. I'm Richard. I'm going to start in the pool with you. Water polo has been working very closely with Sport Australia over the past eight months and has made some huge changes in the coaching space. Could you talk us through the strategic reasoning for those changes and the steps that you've taken so far?
Richard McInnes [00:17:05] Yeah, thanks, Kate, and great to be today. Thanks for the invitation. Yeah, look, we've done a fair bit of work over the last 18 months. I'd worked across a few sports and been involved with coach accreditation across a few sports in delivering it and understanding it and being a coach myself, having come through that system and, and for many years looked at a lot of the sports battling with the accreditation system and, you know, going round in circles, trying to make it better, trying to get the assessment processes better and all of those things that come with administering an accreditation system. And the key thing for me over 20 or 30 years of observing that was I never really saw change the landscape for the kids on a Wednesday afternoon or a Thursday afternoon at training. And so all this time and effort was going into these systems to make a difference. And I didn't think it was making a difference. And so when I landed at water polo, we had this almost a perfect storm where we had a very immature accreditation system that had been implemented in about 2017. We had a that hadn't really gained traction. So there wasn't a deeply embedded connection to a system. We had a small, small squad, a small number of coaches. There was an appetite for change. And I thought, well, this is the perfect opportunity to me to make some changes. So, we have done that and we've, you know, we've moved away. Yeah. There was an assumption always in the accreditation systems that if you had a level one or a level two, a level three that made you a better coach than someone that didn't have, you know, a certain level of accreditation. Now, I've done accreditation courses in a number of different sports, and I'm not sure that I know of anyone that's actually. One of those courses. So, you know, they designed the pass. And so again and accreditation didn't actually make you a better coach and not having one didn't make your bad coach. And so, we set about trying to do a few things. One was trying to encourage more people to get involved in coaching and make that easier. So, we removed some barriers, which I'll touch on shortly. But moving away from that accreditation system and trying to create a culture of continuous learning where coaches were just encouraged to continue to learn and grow and develop, it didn't matter what level they were coaching at. And I can touch on the old days of, of the linear model which, you know, a level one or a development course is coaching young kids. And if you want to progress, there's an assumption that you actually start to coach older and better players. And that's not the way it works. We want we want really good coaches coaching 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds that can help other coaches do that. So yeah, we've made the biggest, biggest changes we've made around a few things. So, one, remove the accreditation levels, right? So, take away the ring fences around knowledge and access to knowledge. So, we then changed our membership model. So instead of putting a big tax on the small number of people that wish to volunteer their time and give back to the sport, we put a small tax, if you like, on all of our members, the ones that benefit from coaching and refereeing. And so, if someone in our sport now wants to engage in coaching or refereeing, they don't pay a cent. There's no there's no cost. There's no fee for them to access learning. And that cost is then shared by our entire membership. Who are the ones that benefit, that overcomes some of the issues we have with the business model in our previous system whereby we couldn't we didn't have revenue to fund courses and deliver courses unless people did courses? So, people didn't do courses. We didn't have any revenue to put back into it. So now we know we've got X percentage of our capitation fees goes towards delivering coach education and we know we've got that money coming in and we can deliver our programs accordingly. So, we can, we can then get more coaches and referees engaging. We remove the barriers to learning in terms of what content they want. So, all of our content is now available to anyone who's a member. So, it becomes a bit of a write your own adventure coaching journey where if you've got a particular interest in a particular area, you can explore that as far as you like and there's no restrictions. So those we still have accreditation systems for referees to have slightly different, you know, being able to assess referees on rules and regulations and how they manage games is a bit different to assessing coaches and their effectiveness. So that's really important to understand. The other things we've done is try to make sure that we can with our, with our learning system so we don't have accreditations, but we now have it's almost like an academic transcript. So, anyone that's been through university knows at the end of your degree you get a list of all the courses you've done that this doesn't we don't give you a degree at the end of your learning, but we can track and see who's engaging in learning. And that's a really important part because when we do our appointment processes, we want to be able to see which and recognise and reward the coaches who are engaging in learning, which is really important. And the final piece. Is that when coaches are appointed and most of their coaches, and particularly at the community level, most of their coaches are appointed by clubs. And, you know, one of the initial pieces of sort of feedback or pushback was, well, how do we know whether we can appoint this coach if we don't know what accreditation they've got? And the simple answer to that is for the coaches or the clubs, sorry, is to when you're looking to appoint a coach, just observe them coaching the kids, look engaged. Is the attendance rate at those coaches’ sessions high? Do those kids come back next week? Do they come back next season? And if the kids look engaged, they look like they're having fun and the coach is probably doing a good job regardless of their level of technical knowledge. Yeah, kids won't. Kids won't play. They won't turn up at that. I feel like they're learning and don't feel like they're actually getting better at the game. So regardless of the level of technical knowledge of the coach, if the kids keep coming back and they're engaged, they're going to learn eventually and they'll get exposed to other people and other team-mates who could and they learn through observation. So that's a key piece of information that it's not up to us as a national body to say whether this coach can coach this team at a national championship because they've got this level of accreditation. When I've never seen that person coach and my team haven't seen that person cut. So that's a fundamental piece and we've still got a lot of work to do, but that's some of the key changes we've made thus far.
Kate Corkery [00:23:37] There are some extraordinary observations and learnings in there, I'm sure, for those who are listening. Michael, over to you. Hockey started with a vision to meet the needs of community coaches. Talk us through how you've worked with Sport Australia to bring that really clear vision to life and what the benefit to your coaches is and will be.
Michael Johnson [00:23:58] Thanks, Kate, and thanks for having me. So, look, we had a really clear vision around improving the coaching experience, ultimately to create a better participant experience coming to the sport four years ago and also the deaf community coaching accreditation pathway and just the experience of going through that process. There were 13 exit points for someone just wanting to get the most basic entry level coaching accreditation in our sport. So, what we were saying, saying is one in four people that would start that process would actually go through a complaint and the rest were dropping out. Now we know that most of them are probably still going off and coaching to some degree. But what it meant was that they obviously weren't getting the experience that they needed and that we're getting the information that they needed to become the best coach they possibly could be. Now we're identifying the things that at the change we were seeing as system way under our quite normal structured process and almost nodding along in violent agreement with a lot of what you were saying, Richard, in the early days there, it was very hierarchical, full sort of levels. And we're saying a lot of our state bodies were also going off and filling the gaps where our system wasn't providing what our coaches actually needed. So, we wanted to provide a system that was going to provide our coaches opportunity to progress in the way that best suited their development and learning needs so that they could have the information they needed at the time that needed to be the best coaches they could possibly be. When looking at some of the international trends and what was happening in places like New Zealand and start a conversation into Sport Australia and got in contact with Cam who had just recently sort of come on board and was absolutely thinking the same things that we were and was talking the exact same language that we started, really a collaborative process. Cohen It hit for a final stage, and we started sort of aligned. We were able to get our state bodies together and start talking about how we're actually going to try and make this a reality. So, Cam was really generous with his time. It was a key part of what was our of online meetings, which enabled us to start working through what this new accreditation pathway could look like. And it's taken a long time, but it's been really critical to get that right because for us it was about trying to take this whole of sport approach. And ultimately our states are going to be the ones going off providing a lot of the more face to face components of this education through learning to be really comfortable with what it was that we're doing in the why and being able to tap into some of the experiences that came in that same round to bring in the evidence base that sat behind the why and then helping us then develop the how. And that's where we're at the moment is getting into the final stages now around, we've got the structure built in place. It's just around putting the polishing to the content and getting that up in line as we move into 2023. But as I said, at the heart of this is really around trying to provide that flexibility for coaches exactly what Richard was talking about. It's saying we don't expect that if someone's coming in and they want to learn a bit more, that they're going to go from being equipped to coach in under 12 team to suddenly being able to coach, you know, an open national championship team. If someone wants to come in and just be the best helper on a Saturday morning, that's all they want to do and they want to pick up a few extra skills along the way. That's what it's about so they can get that. But at the same time, we know there are people that are going to be the absolute thirst for knowledge and we don't want to put barriers in place to say, well, if you want to learn everything there is to learn about the sport, we're not going to stop you just because you have been appointed at a certain level to coach at national championships or staff. It's an opening up of that learning opportunity so people can get the information they need, have that better coaching experience, and ultimately deliver that better participant experience.
Kate Corkery [00:27:48] That all sounds fantastic. Michael and Cam Tradell, I'm going to throw this one to you because both Richard and Michael have picked up on the work of Sport Australia this. So, you lead a team of experienced advisors in community coaching with also the allied support within Sport Australia from the Australian Sport Learning Centre, who can support with blended learning education systems and platforms. Our diversity, equity and inclusion team who can ensure that sports feel that they are enabling their coaches to be safe and inclusive in finding all environments and with all Australians. What do sports need to do if they want access to this sport and what does the process involve when they contact you?
Cam Tradell [00:28:32] It's a great question. And we're look, we're lucky that we've gone through this process on many, many occasions now and as you say, got quite a lot of experience. So not just experienced from high level team sports or big team sports. We've got also individual sports. We've got sports that are focused on, you know, really the social aspect of this sport is the driver. So, there's lots of different sports that have different people that buy service. So, when they come to us, that's, that's part of the journey is that we, we ascertain where they're at and what are they drivers, who are they trying to serve? So, we really focus on who is it that they that they're looking to serve. And so, if it's a, you know, people are learning, playing, competing, performing. So how do those motivations fit into what their accreditation system looks like, all their coach, ongoing personal development for their coaches look like. And then we have a look at the way that that they want to operationalise and scale. So, we start to work on and understand what is it that you know your support coaches that Michael was just talking about you, your late coaches, potentially mentor developer coaches and your educators. So how are we going to create a system that really can scale and support the model for them? So, we go through this process. You bring up a great point around the fact that it's not just the coaching team, because we see that as being we just play the one part of this very, very big puzzle. So, when we don't just go in and look at a very vertical section of our support, we look crossfunctionally across our business and that capability, we're blessed that we've got so many high quality people across our business who can really support. So, the Australian Sport Learning Centre, as you say, do a great job in how they can, how people can bring their systems to life. So, when people need a hand on how, what, what is going to be great learning online, we work very closely with our participation team because realistically coaching and the and the coaching environment is two sides of the same coin with participation in the participant experience. But we're also linked in very, very tightly with the ice in the team and in the coach coaching team in the air is to ensure that we don't go in and deliver systems or structures that aren't supported in the pathways or the high performance area. So going in top to tail and making sure that we provide holistic support, identify who the participants are that we're trying to service, ensure that we put just as much focus on an entry point for entry level coaches and participants as we do in the performance area, and make sure that we really identify and hone those. And then, as I say, the scaled system of how we support the different roles, the pink provides, the vital roles that people play, not just in the lead, the coaching aspect, but then how you develop others and how you can create communities of practice that support the informal learning post the formal learning structures. So how do we create systems where people in their own environment continually to support each other and learn from each other and learn from their experiences in their own environment? And I always speak about the fact that I live in central Sydney and I know that when I'm very lucky I've coached all around this country and around the world. I know that when I coach in the middle of Sydney it's very, very different to some of the requirements that I need when I coach in the middle of, you know, central Queensland. So having access to people who have got localized knowledge to understand the people, the drivers and how things operate is key. So, I cannot say that that's the process is we go through a structure where we talk through and understand, ascertain the requirements from a participant perspective and then from a scout perspective and we roll sleeves up and depending on the different stages of the sports, we engage with them on their level to how they want to have the best support from us.
Kate Corkery [00:33:10] Excellent. And I've had the pleasure of sitting next to you on airplanes, desks any time. And if you're not on the phone or in a team's call, I'm often surprised I can grab you. So, we're loving the engagement that our sports are having with Cam and the team and encourage you to continue to do that. It's my pleasure to talk to Lucy now from Paddle Australia, who really are at a different stage in their journey to hockey and water polo. Lucy, we're going to start at the top at the board. Can you speak to us about the commitment of your board to this modern approaching a coach, modern coaching approach and how the board's commitment and that sort of governance overlay will help the sport succeed in its implementation?
Lucy Warhurst Yes, absolutely. And thanks, Kate and Sport Australia for inviting me today. As mentioned, we are in a much earlier part of the phase, the journey, I guess you could say, with re-imagining coaching. Earlier this year, the board looked at our strategic plan and they pulled out about 7 to 8 different strategies that they really wanted to focus on this year. And education is one of those. They decided that the best thing to do would be to start with a business plan. So, we know that the environment has changed, society's expectations are changed, and we really need to adapt and make sure that we're changing with it. So, re-imagining how we do things is absolutely a priority for our board. We're just about to start this journey. I'm not sure what we're going to look like in the end, but we have a lot of engagement from our stakeholders, which are US six state paddle associations, and we've begun that process of consultation and research, which is really exciting. The impact with paddle with this modernised approach I think has said a few times by the other panelists today is having easy access to that information. We're looking at these Transport's learnings into platform because we want to make sure there's no barriers to any person that's interested in paddling, being able to access ongoing learning for a lifetime and that ongoing learning, if people are coming in, they're having a great time, they're meeting new people, having a great experience, learning a few new skills. It's going to mean they want to stay engaged and we want them to do that for a lifetime. That will hopefully mean that our membership will grow and as a result, if we have more members, it'll mean there's a bit more revenue coming in and we'll be able to serve our members better, give more back to our community, which is why we're all here.
Kate Corkery So, you've spoken there about six-member association, but Paddle Australia is in a very unique position where it has overarching responsibility for nine sports with a very different or a variety of focus from participation through to high performance. How important is this modern approach in recognising the social aspect of coaching and that community role and value of coaching?
Lucy Warhurst Really good question, Kate. Yes, we've got seven, eight, nine different sport disciplines in paddling that the mass participation that we have in paddling is actually in recreation. We've got sea kayaking; we've got extreme paddlers that that paddle over waterfalls. We've got people doing the guiding all over the country. And we've got amazing waterways which have really been accessed at an increased rate by the COVID because it's something that people could just go out, grab their bike getting and have a go. So, paddle education for paddle Australia is actually not just about coach education, it's about instructors and guides as well. Pete recognises that the first experience that people have with paddle really doesn't change too much between if you're a coach, if you're an instructor or if you're a guide. We want them to have safety at the foremost of everything they're doing. We want them to learn how to hold a paddle and get into a boat and be able to propel forward. So that single entry point is something that we'd really like to work on. The feedback that we're getting over and over is people want to feel that feeling of belonging, that community. They want to come in and they want to feel that social aspect of being part of a bigger family. And we do see that we're here to service not just the people in paddle Australia now that anybody that is interested or involved in paddling anywhere in Australia. So fun, that feeling of belonging. We want them to have lifetime enjoyment which will mean this ongoing learning will be driven through this platform and we want to make sure that it's just not a linear line. It's something that no matter where you want to be and it doesn't have to stay where it is now. We want people to give back in that mentoring, as Richard spoke about. We want to make sure we don't lose that knowledge and experience that comes with people. So, if we're able to keep that improve that retention rate at a minimum, and then if we're able to grow our people when they have that feeling of inclusion and equity and diversity, I think the values that drive us this is just a great platform and the social aspect is really, really key.
Kate Corkery Excellent, really interesting aspects to the sport of paddle and accepting that recreation and sport have changed and how do we use our systems and this modern approach to support that instead of fighting against the tide, so to speak? Richard, we've had one come in for you from one of the participants, and it's around your comment with respect of removing the cost for education courses. And the question is around, has that increased the number of people engaging in your coach education?
Richard McInnes [00:39:00] Yep. Got it. Sorry. It's still early days, Kate, but, yeah, it has. We think there's certainly more people engaging in the platform than we had previously, and obviously it's going to have an impact on that. But we know people are engaging in more online learning. We weren't able to deliver as much face-to-face learning last year as we would have liked because obviously couple of states with COVID, that big estates were shut down for periods of time. But we're really looking forward to getting that out now over this summer coming up. Obviously, we're a summer sport, so and getting people out in the ground, delivering practical sessions face to face.
Kate Corkery [00:39:36] But the challenge of quality of coaches versus having enough coaches. What is the shift for water polo in terms of transactional numbers to just excellent coaches who are able to deliver that environment that we're looking for?
Richard McInnes [00:39:52] Yeah, it's a really good question. And we, you know, we've got a strategy document in place and we've got some targets in there for coaching numbers and refereeing numbers. Now, traditionally, you know, counting the number of coach accreditations was always seen as a was a bit of a box ticking activity. And how many how many coaches can you churn through accreditation courses? But it didn't actually create a better experience for participants. We've set some targets still in our plan because we've currently got a supply and demand issue. We've got more players, more teams than we've got coaches and referees. So, we've got a shortfall of maybe 10 to 15% in terms of the number of coaches we need, active coaches that we need in our system and we've set some pretty aggressive participation targets. So, our coaching and refereeing numbers need to grow faster than our participation numbers and they've got to make up the shortfall that already exists. So that's where our targets have come from. But we're not talking about the number of accredited coaches. We're talking about the number of coaches who are active and actively engaged in our learning and in the system. So that's the number we're going to be measuring, not the number of accredited coaches. We just want active coaches that are in a community. Again, going back to the quality versus quantity, yeah, the quality piece tries to assess the effectiveness of the coach is challenging. It's why academia yet to be able to do it and I've asked this question of many very smart people to make it's not something that's easy to do. And so hence we go back to what I talked about before with the guidance we are providing our corpses, particularly at the community level. Are the kids having fun? Are they coming back? Do they look like they're engaged if they're doing those things and that coach is doing a pretty good job?
Kate Corkery [00:41:36] Absolutely. And that retention question mark, I'm going to throw it to you. Hockey gains and loses as far as most sports in Australia do, around 30,000 participants every year. I know, having spoken to you that that you're determined to reduce that figure and you've put a 5% target on that. How confident are you that you're going to make that happen?
Michael Johnson [00:41:57] Yeah. Look. You hit the nail on the head there. But retention for me is the polygraph is full participation growth in this country. We're like a lot of sports. Yeah, that 30,000 figure. Let's get a third. The booze. A third of our participants age here and we gain a new third in. So, we're actually really, really good at attracting new people into our sport. And we put a lot of effort in participation, not just within hockey but across the industry into kind of new programs and new ways of trying to attract new people into our sport. But the numbers don't lie, and they're telling us that we're losing about this time every year because people ultimately are leaving. And we know from the research that we do there are variety of reasons for that. But ultimately one of the key pieces is around the quality of the experience. And this gets back to the early part around what we want our coaches to be and why we're investing time and effort into this modern approach. We see our coaches as the delivers on experience, and we know that that applies. Like, again, every other sport. People are coming in for fun, friends, fitness. So that experience is giving them ultimately a fun experience. They're hanging out with their mates, they're getting a bit of fitness and they're progressing and when it's new skills, they're going to have a much better positive experience. Our coaches, through the new framework and process, they're going to be more engaged, more confident, more equipped to deliver on those experiences and get better experienced participants. That's where we're confident that's going to lead to more people staying involved in our sport. So how confident that we'll achieve that focus and target if we nail it and if we can now feel very confident, it's not going to be an overnight story for us, but it is one that we need to set and really stay the course on. And if we do, we'll hit it.
Kate Corkery [00:43:48] Excellent. So, Cam, I guess from a Sport Australia perspective or a wider Strain Sports Commission perspective, if the goal is retention because we're doing recruitment well, what are the other tools that we've got in place? So, what are the other aspects of the approach which we need to be leaning into to ensure that we can support sports to overcome this really significant challenge?
Cam Tradell [00:44:13] Yeah. I think even having these sorts of conversations is key for us. Kate Is that where we talk about what are we measuring and why are we measuring these things? And obviously CEOs and boards set the measures for people and putting the education manager of an organisation on the hook for a for a transactional number and saying, how many did you have this year? We've got 100 this year. How many gave last year? 98. Rob, we want you to get 102 next year, really unpacking that and understanding that. Are you making the impact that you made on a couple of people and sometimes it's the same person, but your participation manager and your education manager working on the same targets is really powerful? Is that ones working so hard to get more people into the sport because they know people are going out the back door, whereas we've got the tools to impact that change through, you know, providing and investing our time into the quality coaching practices that can make the real shift in that dial. So, shifting that dialogue, creating these positive environments to help with the retention, helps the organisation with regards to how they can maintain really healthy growth numbers. Not just looking at the, the, you know, the way that we engage with people in the sport but how we keep them in sport. And to Karen's point, before not losing them through a really poor experience or not losing participants from a really poor experience in one sport is the fact that if multiple sports or other sports have great environments, that really keeps a vibrant sports system alive for us, where we have more people being engaged in multiple sports to find their place. So, I think helping with those conversations as well as part of the engagement where we were we speak about the not just the direct revenue opportunities, indirect revenue opportunities and also the reduction in the churn and how we can sort of start to support that. I think there's some of the conversations that that really underpin this sort of conversation.
Kate Corkery [00:46:30] Excellent. I know there's about 10 minutes left. So, if there are people watching us know who have burning questions they want to get at to a member of the panel, please put them in the chat for us. I just want to ask him about the community coaching essential skills course. So, we went live with the first major update in over a decade to this course in a total revamp in April. It's a course for all sports. Tell us how that works. Tell us how they can be one course that caters to all sports.
Cam Tradell [00:47:04] It's a great question. And this was something that we went to painstaking detail to sort of understand, one, the philosophical shift that we needed to make and then provide a structured process to then support people in their coaching journey. So the structured process is underpinned by seven key steps of coaching, but it also includes I as the Sport Integrity Module up front, which safeguards our participants so ensures that we don't look at the quality of our coaching without also underpinning the integrity of sport, by ensuring our participants are first and foremost feel safe, both physically and psychologically safe in their environments. So, the Essential Skills course has eight modules attached to it, and it's a very deliberate, deliberately laid out course. The reason I say deliberately laid out, we put it into a process that we want coaches to work through so that they get a really good understanding of who they're coaching, why they have. They got the right space facilities and equipment, etc. So, the course is laid out with the Sport Integrity Australia module up front. Then we move to who you coach as your first coaching module, and that's about understanding your participants and their motivations for being there as well as do they have any special requirements. Now we don't call out any special requirements. We're saying that this is some of the work that a coach needs to do at the coalface to really get to know their participants and what they need. The second module then moves to spice facilities and equipment. Now that's where you coach. Now you understand who you've got. You understand if they've got an innate special need that they've got any requirements. Now understand if you've got the right tools at your disposal, the right area, the right equipment, the right access to, then support your participant. We then move into session planning. That's what you coach. Now, now that you understand who, where you're and what you've got to get a spouse, you're now moving into the sport specific requirements. Now understand what we've got. Now we'll start to develop a plan to support these people to be coached into the sport. Then we got a communication. And that's how you connect with people, not just your participants, but other key people that are going to make the session come together. Then we work on stakeholder management. That's how you organise yourself. EU How you ensure that everything's unlocked, ready to go? Have you got the Changerooms ready to go? Do you need assistant coaches? Do you need. What do you need to make the decision come to light for you and you're to be supported as a coach? Then we move to group management and then that's how you coach. Now this is about creating the right environment. You've got all the right information now to inform you to creating this optimal environment and quality session for your participants. And then there's a piece in the last module which is key and core to what we believe is going to continue to remain or for coaches to remain modern. And that is self-reflection and assessment. And this is about reflecting on all your processes above and assessing how you've gone in creating this optimal environment. If you are told through a reflective conversation with some of your participants that potentially you could do X, Y and Z to improve the session. It's about providing the coach with what they need to then seek the education or the information they need to then inform their practice to then optimise these environments. So, these seven steps, the essential skills, this is the first course that's come live and that's your coaching considerations. And we're very excited about the next phases of support that come as we talk about this ongoing personal development journey where we have deep dive modules into those seven steps. So, you can further educate yourself to then influence your practice or you’re coaching to then create these optimal environments. So yeah, we were very, very excited about the course landing. It's been extremely well received. And so how does it support all sports? It's because its participant centered. And although I filmed a lot of the filming and so it's been done with some amazing partners, some who've been on this call, we we've kept the information so that people can see themselves in the course and how they develop the planning and so on to then service the people in their environments.
Kate Corkery [00:52:10] So I'm a mom of six- and eight-year-old sons. I know nothing about football at all, but they both love football. Could this course help me be a good coach for their teams?
Cam Tradell [00:52:26] Yeah, it's a great question. And that's where we've sort of found this nice piece. And this is where the collaboration becomes so important with the sports, where we really focus on the how to coach at Sport Australia, we focus on the how to complement the sport specific what to coach. So, understanding the skills, the, the, the requirements of the individualised sports, we work with the sports to provide the right information for you at the right level so that you can then feel empowered to then deliver a really high-quality session. Now, that's the technical and the tactical components. What we've provided you with is the how to provide that to your participants in a way that's going to be engaging, fun, inclusive, and also, and really importantly, safe, both psychological and physically safe.
Kate Corkery [00:53:24] My boys will be pleased to hear that my coaching career is yet to begin. I've got only got a couple more minutes, but I want to throw one more quick question to Richard that's come from the people watching and one through to Lucy. Lucy, I'll go to you first. The question is around this community coaching approach for individual sports seems to be this a comment here around it being really focused on team sports. How does that work in parallel and for individual or 1 to 1 coaching?
Lucy Warhurst Good question. So, I guess it comes down to understanding the sports and recreation and you don't need to follow one pathway either. So, we're just interested in more people paddling more often, whatever that type of paddling might be. The focus really is on being active and enjoying that belonging feeling and trying to think outside the traditional way that we've always done things. So. Is it some parents catching up after they drop the kids off and having a paddle and going having a coffee? Do you? To be a member need to be part of just a club. Are there other types of memberships we need to look at? So, the membership base or the people in our community of paddling, we want to make sure that it's an open door. We have we reduce as many barriers as possible for anyone wanting to get involved. Safety is a big part of that as well. So, we see we have a leadership role, as we say, not just with the people who are current members, but anyone out there that's doing the activity of paddling. The education piece here, I can say we're looking at a hockey or water play. They're just the first couple of sports that have gone through this journey, but it is absolutely open to any type of physical activity that anyone wants to do in Australia. It's an education, it's a professional development. So, in the start of the consultation phase around Australia with the clubs and state bodies with, we've spoke about what's different now to what it was before. Explain to me what are we doing differently? And I think not only changing the focus from the coach to the participant and the experience, we have all the technical information on how to paddle, how to cuddle any type of bike. And the only difference is the type of fight. What this new model and modernising the way we doing things is offering is professional development in the whole realm of the holistic approach that we are looking at here. So if we've got the technical, what can the individual look at to improve their own personal ability to be involved in educating people on being active? Are they looking at self-reflection after they go out and do an education piece as a coach or a god or an instructor? Are they looking at what did they do well? What could they do better next time? Are they looking at what can sit earlier? What's the environment like? What is the ratio for us in paddling of safety? And it changes because obviously if you're on the sea versus an enclosed lake, it's going to be different. So making sure we help people do the right assessments and have a look at do I need to get an assistant coach out there with me because the wind is going to be up today or we've looked at the conditions and I think for the safety of our people to turn up and have a positive experience, we need to add a few extras this time. So I guess it's making sure that it's not a one big box fits all and we've got this whole array of tools and they're going to continue to be evolving and developing as well. So what's on the platform now that can be offered across all of those sports in that professional development pace? It's not going to be the same tomorrow or in 12 months’ time. We can't sit this in stone and say, Right, we've got it all sorted now for the next 20 years. This is something that's evolving, as we know, with societal expectations and what we understand and know works. But we just want more people to safely come and be a part of that active lifestyle and want to stay for the long term. So that retention pace. So I think back to that, circling back to that question, I don't see any difference between if it's a team sport, if it's track and field and it's an individual sport, or if it's someone just going for a recreational cuddle with their friends and having a coffee, it's providing information to further develop them and make sure that they continue to evolve and have great times out there.
Kate Corkery You have certainly had some positive disruption here, Richard, today around sort of not being heavily based on accreditation. So instead of continuing the conversation here, I know that M.J., Richard and Lucy and of course, Cam and myself are happy to continue these discussions offline. We hope you've gained a lot from this panel today, and it's begun to allow you to think a little bit differently and I guess challenge some of our traditional reasoning around coaching and our coaching approaches. So I know that any one of the people on the panel here will pick up a call from you. Please reach out to any of us or all of us to have a chat. Thank you for joining us here today. And we look forward to continuing to support you as you embed this modern approach to coaching and bring it to life for all our participants. Have a great day and we'll look forward to seeing you see.