Information Overload: Returning to Coaching Post-Lockdown
Friday March 20th 2020, I coached my final session before we entered lockdown in the UK. Little did I know I wouldn't return to a poolside until late July. Over 4 months off deck, the longest I have ever been away from a pool since I first set foot in one at the age of 3.
During the coming months I would embark on a marathon of zoom calls with coaches from around the world, some of which I turned into podcasts that you can find here. From these zoom calls I absorbed a huge amount of knowledge and experience that other coaches had been so kind to share with the rest of the coaching community. Fast forward to now, and I feel like a sponge full of water, I don't think I can absorb any more without processing and applying it to my work. The question is... how can I make sense of it all and find out what works and what doesn't?
It would be impossible for me to implement everything I have learnt immediately upon returning to coaching, what I can do is go through notes that I made and pin down the big 'take home' messages I managed to pick up and think of ways to implement them in my coaching. Being careful not to change too much, too quickly as we all need a bit of what we are used to during this uncertain time. Then on a separate list, the smaller, finer details that can be worked into my work more gradually as we progress through next season. Basically, what is going to make the biggest impact on my coaching? Do that first. The smaller things can wait.
There will be the nuggets of information that aren't at relevant to where I am in my career right now, I need to keep a handle on these because who knows when I may need to draw upon them. I have a separate list of these accompanied by the detail I will need to recall them. For me, it has amounted to almost compiling my own 'bible' of coaching notes, reference points that I can look back on when I need to.
Then there will be things you did during lockdown as an adaptation of your coaching like zoom workshops, video analysis and regular group catch ups online. How many of these will add value to what you do once we get back into the water? It is definitely worth thinking about. There are a few things I am certainly going to carry with me into next season and beyond.
This is just my way of processing the vast amounts of information I have come across during the last 4 months, you may have you own way, I just thought some may find it useful as I know there are many not knowing where to start when it comes to processing all that has happened over the recent weeks and months.