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Coaching Adventure Sports

If you follow my social channels (Instagram, Twitter & Facebook) then you'll know that during 2020, along with my friend Paul Smith, authored 'Coaching Adventure Sports'. We set out to create a resource for all coaches, instructors, guides and leaders who work in the outdoor and adventure sector.

Below is the 'official' blurb from the press release - all I would add is that I am really very proud of what we have created!

Press Release:

This book was born out of a frustration at the lack of current resources to support practitioners. It had been a long held dream of the authors to write this, with the first lockdown giving the ideal opportunity to finally put pen to paper.

Written by two highly experienced coach educators, this book looks at the specific challenges faced by Adventure Sports Coaches who work in the ever-changing, natural or specifically constructed artificial environments with diverse groups of participants.

Coaching Adventure Sports is an accessible, user-friendly guide that teaches practitioners the components of good coaching whatever your field of practice. It examines how to put theory into practice, covering such key topics as:

  • Coaching for independence

  • Observing practice

  • How we learn

  • Questioning

  • Embracing failure

  • Dealing with fear

  • Creating great coaching relationships

  • Reflection on performance

  • Developing as a coach

Each chapter contains case studies from Adventure Sports Coaches in a range of fields from paddlesports to mountaineering - honest and powerful accounts of incidents ranging from a sober analysis of panic whilst diving in the Atlantic to a warning story about checking and monitoring our biases on an Open Canoe coaching course.

Five leading experts contribute chapters to this book:

Chris Eastabrook shares his insights on the importance of empowering participants, developing confidence, and encouraging independence; Jon ‘Spike’ Green discusses how to turn failure into a learning opportunity; Stephen Macdonald demonstrates questioning techniques; Doug Cooper discusses developing effective coaching relationships, creating a motivational environment, and the importance of sharing values and vision, and Pete Catterall discussing how to survive a long career in adventure sports.

With in-depth sections on various areas of practice, this guide is aimed at Adventure Sports Coaches at all levels of experience. It includes several tasks to help readers explore new techniques and ideas, such as reflecting on experiences of fear; identifying role models; examining personal competency and investigating fear triggers in course participants.

Whether you wish to read from start to finish or dip into specific chapters to refresh your knowledge or to reflect on your practice, this guide is densely packed with essentials for the adventure sports coach. Observational templates for performance analysis; using video as an observational tool; learning to ‘read’ participants’ body language, verbal clues and behavioural changes; using the reviewing process to embed learning and plan future action, and the importance of risk management and decision making are all covered.

With its holistic approach to coaching, the authors hope that Coaching Adventure Sports will help readers examine personal practice, supporting their continued development.

With an emphasis on experimentation, adaptability and reflection, this book will inspire any student or practitioner with an interest in adventure, lifestyle sport or sports coaching to try out new techniques and ways of delivery. Adventure Sports Coaching is a full colour guide, which balances a deep interest in pedagogy with a clear format, illustrative diagrams and accessible language. The content accords with a range of current academic research presented in a clear way, and each chapter contains suggestions for further reading.

Early reviews from leading coaches and coach educators:

‘This is a seriously comprehensive manual to all areas of the subject, presenting science and theory in an accessible, non-academic style. This is set to become the essential reference text for all guides, instructors and coaches’

John Kettle

‘Simply wow! A superb resource for any Adventure Sports Coach. Well written, colour diagrams, great photos, activities and real world examples. I’m really impressed.’

Chris Brain

Direct sales are being managed by Adventure Sports Media House, and trade distribution through Cordee.


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