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Craig Blain
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Supporting Specific Needs We Are Undefeatable

Great Coaching Experiences for Everyone

UK Coaching's Development Lead - Physical Activity Craig Blain pens his thoughts on how coaches can make their sessions more accessible for everyone

If you are going to create a coaching environment in which people can thrive, understanding how to provide a positive experience of physical activity and sport is key. This is the same for the people you engage with, as it is for yourself as the person delivering the activities.

By no means should success be driven by number. The number of people you engage with in your sessions is not indicative of success, it is very much a case of quality over quantity.  

There is obviously a balance to be struck here, after all, what if your efforts to engage with the community around you and your sessions are not ‘heard’? What if no one turns up? Or if you are designing a specific intervention, what if the target audience does not engage?

Although you may not be able to influence all the elements of your session, having an awareness of what they are can help in providing some great context for your initial coaching approach. 

For some, working with a group isn’t part of their coaching model, perhaps you are reading this as a personal trainer and work with your clients on a strictly one-to-one basis. Regardless, without raising awareness and spiking the interest of your target audience, things can be more challenging, both in getting your sessions to sustain long term, and generating the ‘buzz’ that comes from a core group of people engaged in a great coaching environment. 

Activity Alliance champion inclusive practice and aim to make physical activity and sport more accessible for everyone. They have produced a set of 10 simple principles as a result of their 'Talk to me report'. The initial focus of the report was to look at how to make activity more appealing for people living with a disability, however the principles stretch far beyond this.

This infographic summarises the 10 principles, helping you to consider how to make your activity sessions more appealing for everyone. 

Once engaged in activity, the importance of a warm and welcoming first experience is critical. After all, first impressions can be formed quickly and take a long time to change, particularly if expectations are not met. 

Moving beyond Activity Alliance's principles, UK Coaching has looked in more detail at what it is people want from a coaching experience. This insight has been used to identify a set of coaching behaviours that are the fundamental building blocks to providing an ongoing Great Coaching experience. Added to this, we took the time to listen to what people said and created our 'Voice of the Participant' animations to highlight further the language and phrases different people used to describe coaching behaviours.

Inclusive Activity Programme

The Inclusive Activity Programme takes a wholeheartedly positive approach to inclusive coaching

Book a place on to the workshop to develop the skills and confidence that you need to support participants with disabilities

Find a workshop near you

Related Resources

  • Great Coaching Principles

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  • Coaching Behaviours

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  • We Are Undefeatable

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Craig Blain