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Level 4 Case Study: Sid Sinfield

Meet Sid Sinfield who shares his thoughts on his journey through the Level 4 Performance Paddlesport Coaching Programme.  

I started coaching at the age of 20…

I first tried paddling when I was 15, predominantly in the non-competitive disciplines and started coaching shortly after. My coaching has varied in setting from schools, clubs and outdoor centres and I currently work at Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre. I’m active in Coach Education and mentoring and enjoy this aspect of my role. I am always keen to further my knowledge to impact my coaching and enrolled on the Level 4 Performance Paddlesport Coaching programme to develop these aspects further. 

Being a student again was initially a very big challenge…

A lot had changed since I was a student, including the internet! The first few assignments were difficult but enjoyable, especially retrospectively. I thoroughly enjoyed going through the programme with my cohort of fellow coaches, sharing our thoughts and feelings about the material we were studying and the challenges and reflection we were bringing to our coaching. This was one of the high points for me. 

I’m very interested in the psychology of both learning and adventure and enjoyed these aspects of the programme…

I also enjoyed the challenge of looking at non-competitive coaching and understanding the mechanics of it, especially when compared and contrasted to the competitive sports world. There is very little research of the former but quite a lot of the latter. I was therefore able to bring my experience in this field and study from the programme to begin to fill some gaps in my understanding. My favourite part of the Level 4 programme was when I felt I’d opened a box of knowledge or research I’d previously been unaware of but could see its direct relevance to my coaching role.  I’m considering further study into sports psychology as the aspects covered on the course really lifted the lid on some areas and I don’t yet feel I’ve explored this area as fully as possible. There is so much potential here. 

The impact of the Level 4 Performance Coaching programme is still ongoing…

Like most Coach Education and reflections on coaching, the change is much like an iceberg, often greater under the surface. I feel much better informed and I am endeavouring to bring this knowledge and understanding into practice. I’m trying to be a far better listener and observer of those that I coach. I want to better detect their motivations and how they view our coaching interactions. I’m trying to use this to more effectively empower them as learners.