Coaches develop their knowledge, skills and practice throughout their lives. The Optimal Coach Development Framework (OCDF) seeks to encourage all practitioners to become high performing in the domain they most want to operate in and develop their effectiveness and expertise accordingly.
Coaching plays a pivotal role, developing people and athletes across aquatics. Effective quality coaching is central to developing, sustaining and increasing participation, which in turn leads to driving better performances and ongoing success on the international stage as well as supporting key social and economic objectives.
At all levels of participation, quality coaches guide improvements in technical, tactical, physical, psychological and lifestyle skills, contributing to personal and social development. The new Optimal Coach Development Framework (OCDF) - launching through our Off The Blocks platform - has been developed in this context, in partnership with the Home Nations, in order to achieve our ambitions of creating a lasting legacy of coach development across the spectrum of full-time, part-time and voluntary roles.
The development setting, in aquatics and across sport, is often complex with limited strategic guidance offered to individuals. The OCDF has been constructed to deliver on the need for a more structured, systematic and comprehensive programme of support for coaches across Britain.
The framework is about ‘developing people’ and it is acknowledged that many coaches work ‘across domains’ in clubs and performance programmes, consequently, the OCDF provides a flexible approach to supporting the specific needs of individual coaches.
Research confirms that the quality of coaching is one of the most significant factors influencing involvement and achievement at all levels of sport. The OCDF also supports the implementation of the Optimal Athlete Development Framework (OADF) which was first launched in 2018.
The defined aquatics coaching ‘domains’ within the OCDF are each described within the concepts of the 'person', the 'coach in the training environment' and the 'performer in the arena', and the framework seeks to encourage all practitioners to become high performing in the domain they most want to operate in and develop their effectiveness and expertise accordingly.
Commenting on the launch of this impactful resource, British Swimming Head of Performance Development Alan Lynn said: "Coaching plays a pivotal role, developing people and athletes across aquatics, and in order to achieve our sustained ambitions, we need to create a lasting legacy of coach development in full-time, part-time and voluntary roles.
"As another successful collaboration between the Home Nations and British Swimming, the OCDF provides coaches and the coach development process with strategic guidance. Designed to scaffold learning and development rather than be a prescriptive document, it is an important companion to the established Optimal Athlete Development Framework [OADF].
"We hope that all coaches and coach developers across aquatics will use the OCDF in their efforts to become high performing within the context in which they work."