I’ve been thinking of ways that I can take this project forwards and wanted to call a few of my mentors and friends to ask for advice. Then I realised – if I’m going to call them anyway, why not record the conversations and publish them as a podcast?
So, here it is. Participation Coaching podcast, episode 1. I’ve never done or hosted a podcast, hope that quality is usable (and let me know if not). You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes (here) or sign up for the mailing list to be notified of future episodes (very soon!).
Listen to the episode here or read on for details
What’s in the podcast?
We discuss a number of things, including:
- the story behind his decision to become a full-time junior coach
- how coaches can make more money coaching children
- difference between performance and participation coaching
- what Neil does with a complete beginner (adult / junior)
- the value of play
- why you are unlikely to see many high-fives during his coaching sessions
- why he co-founded Junior Golf Alliance and what it is
Who’s the guest?
If you don’t know who Neil is, here is his bio:
Like many PGA professionals Neil has taken numerous club roles throughout his career as well as working for county golf partnerships and England Golf in both coaching and administrative roles. He is currently based at Cuckfield Golf Centre in Sussex, where he is involved in organising and delivering a busy and successful junior and family playing and coaching programme.
Neil is a recognised expert in the area of coaching children. He has much experience in the area of training and supporting teachers and coaches. In addition to his work delivering training workshops to PGA professionals throughout the UK, he works with several universities, making contributions to their coach and teacher training courses and as a consultant with primary schools advising on the development of their KS1 and KS2 curriculum. He is a coach support officer for the county sports partnership that sees him support Sportivate/Satellite club projects and mentor the coaches involved. He is the founder and director of JOLF Ltd. JOLF is a coaching programme for children which particularly focus on supporting and up skilling the client coaches so that they can provide high quality sessions and sustainable long term coaching programmes for children. He is also founder and Director of Strategy for the newly formed Junior Golf Alliance.
His special interest is how coaches and teachers should first introduce sport to new participants, young and old. He is particularly interested in the role of play and how coaches can set up environments that absorb, engage and create a love for the game that means people return week after week, year after year. He believes strongly that we all have an innate ability to play and self-organise and that it is a coaches role to guide, supports and facilitate these opportunities.
Following his extensive research and experience coaching children it became obvious that a similar approach could and should be applied to beginner adults and families. Many of the moms, dads and grandparents of the children involved in JOLF wanted to be involved in their child’s development, as well as have fun for themselves. It started with regularly inviting adults to the coaching and playing experiences. And what followed was providing opportunities for the adults and families to participate together. Something that Neil felt the adults had not considered before, especially if they were non golfers. Like coaching children takes specific and unique skills of a coach so does coaching families. The dynamic of a family makes it a different experience to what might be offered to other groups, both on the driving range and on the course. By including the whole family in the sport it will allow for more participation outside of the organised coaching and playing sessions.
Neil is an expert junior golf coach. He is the founder of JOLF Ltd. “a coaching programme for children which particularly focus on supporting and up skilling the client coaches so that they can provide high quality sessions and sustainable long term coaching programmes for children.”. He is a coach support officer for many sport and education bodies, he works with universities on their coach training courses, and has organised a number of CPD training courses as well as talks for golf coaches.
What a guest to have for the first episode!
Neil is someone I’ve looked up to for a while now, we have met multiple times and I had the pleasure of watching Neil coach in person. He was one of the first people that came to my mind when I set on the participation learning journey.
If you want to learn more about his games-based philosophy of coaching children (and adults!), consider joining the Junior Golf Alliance. It’s a community of junior coaches and it gives you access to high quality e-learning courses (I’m doing them right now and love them so far). I’m a member and it’s truly awesome :)