Tuesday, July 13, 2010

PC collaborates with Lawrence Rowing & Row4All

In an exciting new summer venture, Project Coach is proud to announce the recent launch of a partnership with the Greater Lawrence Community Boating organization, in conjunction with Row4All!

After working predominantly with programs that utilize soccer and basketball as their focal sports, PC is now expanding its reach to work with underserved youth in Lawrence who are striving to become coaches and mentors to younger children in a number of water-based activities, with a particular emphasis on rowing. Led by Coach Ellen Minzner - a former US Olympic rower - GLCB proudly hosts 16 dynamic youth coaches-in-training, who are spending the summer perfecting their craft of rowing on indoor 'erg' machines, before carrying their skills out on to the water, where they will become youth coaches within the organization. In addition, the program will utilize the high-action, maximum-participation rowing curriculum designed and administered by Margot Zalkind and her team at Row4All, including site coordinator for this summer initiative, Laura Hutchinson.

Project Coach staff - including six new graduate fellows who are currently in the early stages of pursuing a Masters of Arts in Teaching degree at Smith College - headed out to Lawrence, MA, last Friday for the first of three coaching academy workshops that put the GLCB youth through their paces as they strive to become exemplary coaches. Our initial session focused on the core ideas behind what coaching really entails, and why building a coaching philosophy built around the notion of "athletes first, winning second" is so important, and then considered the importance of effective communication when coaching successfully.

It became apparent very quickly that the youth selected for the summer program by Coach Minzner were incredibly vibrant and engaged, and would throw themselves into anything and everything that the PC team were asking of them. Both college students and high school students alike reveled in the icebreaker and team-building games that began the session, and started to form effective relationships that will no doubt continue to develop over subsequent weeks.

Likewise, GLCB youth were equally enthusiastic to immerse themselves in the coaching curriculum that PC had prepared. One activity asked coaches to consider the merits and deficiencies of different coaching styles, in order that they try to build for themselves an effective and balanced identity as a coach. In the excerpt below, Coach Juarner does a fantastic job of role-playing a coach that is excessively rigid, and who refuses to allow athletes any role in the teaching and learning process. The audience - as can be gauged from their reaction - were suitably impressed!

As can certainly be certainly be gleaned from this article, the PC team is relishing the chance to return to Lawrence this coming Friday to work with such a great group of youth coaches!

1 comment:

  1. The best part about the day was the other sailors and paddlers down on our docks were wondering what all the cheering and laughing was going on in the upsatairs classroom. Even the window repair guy who overheard much of the workshop asked later how he could do a workshop like that, since he is volunteering to coach his son's wrestling team this fall and thought what he saw was fantastic. Basically, an immediate impression was made all over our boathouse, and we know this is the start of something big. THANKS for everything, can't wait until next Friday!

    Ellen Minzner
    GLCBP Exec. Director