Development Coach: everything you need to know

Posted by Nicola Jasieniecka on 19/02/2014

What's a development coach? Find out more about Mountain Training's Development Coach award.

Who’s it for?

The Development Coach Award is for anyone who is interested in developing the skills of their climbers over a longer period, beyond the delivery of just an initial session. It is ideal for coaches delivering the NICAS and NIBAS schemes; teachers delivering a term of sessions in a climbing wall; coaches delivering courses over a number of weeks; or anyone working regularly with climbing clubs or academies. If this sounds too much, maybe Foundation Coach is a better place for you to start.

What’s it all about?
The Development Coach Award is all about coaching a progression in indoor climbing skill over time. With the focus on coaching and mid to long term learning, the principles can be used with groups of all ages and abilities, as long as the climbers have a desire to develop.

The training course covers the coach’s ability to structure, plan and deliver a progressive programme of sessions – usually of 8-10 weeks duration. It will enable you to develop your coaching skills beyond Foundation Coach level, and develop a more sophisticated ability to deliver progressive learning programmes in order to see longer term development and increased motivation in your climbers.

How does it work?
All levels of the Coaching Award Scheme require you to have a technical understanding of climbing (the FUNdamentals workshops provide the ideal structure) combined with the ability to safely supervise sessions in a wall (a Climbing Wall Award is an ideal minimum at this level).

Register for the coaching scheme with Mountain Training*
Hold the Climbing Wall Award (or higher Mountain Training award)*
Attend the FUNdamentals of Climbing 1 and 2 workshops*
Attend a Development Coach training course*
Consolidate your learning
Go for assessment

*These four stages can take place in any order, but scheme registration must take place prior to attending the Development Coach training course.

During the single day of assessment, coaches will bring two of their own long term students to the assessment, and team up with another candidate. Once each coach has delivered a session with their own climbers, they swap teams. This allows you to demonstrate your ability to coach new and familiar climbers to a high standard.

How long it takes depends on how much coaching you do: full time coaches in a busy wall will proceed through the scheme in several months; coaches who run sessions once a week, for example, will take considerably longer to gain the required experience.

There are training and assessment providers across the country.

Where is it useful?
The Development Coach Award is useful for all long term indoor climbing scenarios, but the principles are readily transferred to the structured delivery of any climbing coaching.

Why?
All leaders, Guides and instructors who work with climbers over a longer period of time, would benefit from this stimulating and informative award.

WATCH Development Coach on BMC TV:

This article is part of a series of articles celebrating Mountain Training’s 50th anniversary year in 2014.


As the climbing walls, crags and mountains start to open, we wanted to say thanks to every BMC member who supported us through the Coronavirus crisis.

From weekly Facebook Lives and GB Climbing home training videos, to our access team working to re-open the crags and fight for your mountain access, we couldn’t have made it without you.

If you liked what we did, then tell your friends about us: www.thebmc.co.uk/join


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