Last night I ran a coaching session for a group of four working towards their two star award. Maybe it was the cold and dark, but it seemed hard to get things going or to be very enthusiastic.
We spent just over an hour working on a variety of strokes culminating in the bow rudder which we then put into practice with some rudimentary slalom drills. I think I was perhaps unrealistic in asking them to tell me when they got bored or when they wanted to move on as the prevalent group dynamic seems to be to look to the coach to steer the session. Towards the end I asked if they wanted to join a game of polo with one of the other groups and for the first time in the evening they showed some enthusiasm - I guess I asked too late.
I need to improve the balance between keeping the group engaged and giving individuals attention as I found last night that I would be working with one of them on something while the others were losing interest. Perhaps a bit more structure (and fore thought) is required to have some exercises I can give the group to get on with while I can single out an individual for some one on one technique coaching.
One other thing I realised is that, despite enjoying my lovely new feather weight paddle, no one else could see how I was using it as it is black and consequently most of them were trying to do bow rudders with the back of the blade! I may have to revert to a cheap plastic white paddle for night time coaching.
(coaching hours: 1.5)