October 2021,

Core Knowledge Coach Education – action learning at its best

A pilot designed to upskill New Zealand’s high performance coaches is underway and already 70 coaches from around the country, across multiple sports, are benefitting.

Targeted specifically for those already coaching athletes on a high performance pathway, Core Knowledge is a coach education programme that gives participants the right knowledge to do their best work as a coach.

Lyn Gunson, High Performance Coaching Consultant at HPSNZ, says the Core Knowledge pilot programme was co-designed with partner organisations including 10 NSOs that have been involved in the development and roll out together with the HPSNZ coaching team.

“Core Knowledge has come from sport – for sport. Together, we identified inconsistent offerings and a fragmented approach that left some coaches struggling to find the latest information and resources. So we designed something that lifts the core knowledge and critical skills of our coaches as an expansion of the High Performance Pathway programme, which also builds sustainability.”

This month, more than 70 coaches (including 40% female) will have completed Core Knowledge’s four domains which cover Body in Motion, Coaching Impact, Professional Practice and Energy Systems, providing highly practical learning face-to-face and online.

The aim is to ensure our coaches and athletes get the benefit of a holistic and integrated approach.

Lyn explains that the pilot was put in place to build a foundation initially across three sites including Cambridge, Auckland and Christchurch and that Core Knowledge will be opened up as a national programme in 2022, delivered in the regions to suit specific needs.

One of the greatest benefits being seen is when participants come together for group sessions that provide an environment for cross-sport learning – something the HPSNZ Coaching team know is highly valuable.

“Core Knowledge also gives our up and coming coaches access to really high calibre facilitators. These are highly regarded practicing coaches working at an elite level themselves, and they’re standing alongside our course participants in the field – it’s action learning at its best,” says Lyn.

Mark Borgers, Performance Network Coach with Hockey NZ is a Core Knowledge pilot participant grateful for the opportunity. “So far the course has allowed me to listen to some diverse and inspiring perspectives, see new theories or approaches and think, or rethink, the way I go about my coaching,” he says.

“Talking with other coaches about how to build relationships, lead change and establish a thriving environment are just some of the great conversations I’ve had and a real benefit of the group learning. I am grateful to be part of this positive pilot and am really looking forward to what is to come next.”