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COACHING. State Coach WA James Cooper. Reviewed: 21/10/2005. GFA Requirement for Coach Level 1. 300 hours 3 x 300k or 1 x 500k flight. Maintaining currency. In last two years 40 hours solo or coaching This is not instructing At least 2 coaching events or flights. Role of State Coach.

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State Coach WA

James Cooper

Reviewed: 21/10/2005

Gfa requirement for coach level 1
GFA Requirement for Coach Level 1

  • 300 hours

  • 3 x 300k or 1 x 500k flight

Maintaining currency
Maintaining currency

  • In last two years 40 hours solo or coaching

    • This is not instructing

  • At least 2 coaching events or flights

Role of state coach
Role of State Coach

  • Training of coaches

  • Conduct of coaches

  • Maintaining register

  • With coaches identify and develop talent in the competition field

  • Provide periodic reports

  • Attend national coaching panel meeting

  • Assist coaches

  • Supply reference info

Training units
Training Units

  • The role of a coach nutrition/hydration /drugs

  • Weather analysis

  • Preflight preparation

  • Flying with other gliders

  • Lead and follow

  • Physical conditioning

  • Sports psychology

  • Planning a training program

Reference material
Reference material

  • Beginning Coaching - Australian Coaching Council

  • The Gliding Coach Manual - GFA

  • Flying further and faster - GFA

  • MOSP part 4 (Sporting) - GFA

  • X-Country Soaring - Reichmann

  • Meteorology for Glider Pilots - Wallington

  • Soaring Australia Articles - Eckey

This course
This Course

  • Attend lectures rather than read Beginning Coaching

  • Assess with questions 1,2,8

  • Assess with flight units

  • Give a Lecture

What is a coach
What is a Coach?

  • A teacher passing on information and ideas

  • Trainer improving athletes fitness

  • Motivator instilling a positive attitude

  • Advisor and Councilor

  • Friend

  • Scientist

  • Student

  • Sets an Example

Additional coach s roles
Additional Coach’s roles

  • Disciplinarian

  • Organiser

  • Public relations

  • Planner

Personal characteristics
Personal Characteristics

Are you?

Always Frequently Sometimes Rarely Never

Confidence Building          




Good Communicator          









Potential Developer          


Sense of Humour          

Sensitive to needs          

Showing interest          


Personal characteristics1
Personal Characteristics

  • Fill in the attributes that are valuable to be a coach

  • It is highly unlikely that you will score well for all so

  • Consider where:

    • you can be best used

    • you are best to step back

    • you should improve

Style of coach
Style of coach

  • Authoritarian

  • Business-like coach

  • Nice guy

  • Intense coach

  • Easy-going coach

  • What are you?

    • How can you use your style to help and

    • Where should you step back and pass to another coach?

Who are you coaching
Who are you coaching?

  • I just like flying and staying up

  • I want to fly cross country

  • I want to go round the clubs and get badges

  • I want to win championships and set records

    (The information given is assuming pilot wants to achieve.)

The coach needs to be able to coach all these groups
The coach needs to be able to coach all these groups

  • Or pass the athlete on to a coach who can

  • Remember that the pilot who just wants to fly a little more than local will enjoy their flying more with coaching

    • as they will be more reliably staying up

All coaches must be
All coaches must be

  • Positive and

  • Encouraging

Two skills required to function effectively
Two skills required to function effectively

  • The knowledge of the sport

  • Understanding of coaching technique


  • Perhaps the most important ability to help the athlete improve performance is for the coach is to communicate to the athlete.


  • Verbally

  • Diagrams (overheads, slide shows or charts)

  • Cheat sheets

  • Demonstrate

  • Logger traces

  • Videos



  • Praise “your speed control was good”

  • Criticise “your lookout needs working on”

  • Praise “your radio calls were excellent”


  • The coach must continually observe the athlete

  • This will allow the coach to change the program

  • And attend to individual athletes needs

  • When flying write down issues otherwise you will forget

    • Use a notebook


The coach needs to analyse student so as to

  • Look for repetitive problems

  • Work out reason for error

  • If multiple errors exist

    • determine if they are linked

  • Look for new techniques

  • Observation and Analysis will dramatically help improve performance


  • Measurable

  • Observable

  • Challenging

  • Achievable and Believable

  • Short term and Long term

Goals purpose
Goals Purpose

  • To plan and monitor your progress

  • Be a motivator

  • Help in the 7 P’s

  • Prior preparation, practice and planning prevent poor performance

Goals measurable
Goals Measurable

  • Athletes will achieve a Speed or Distance

  • The team will score in inter-club and fly round the task

  • Good angle of bank is constantly achieved

  • Saw tooth graphs are created on logger

Goals observable
Goals Observable

  • Athletes are enjoying their flying

  • Athletes flying more regularly

Goals challenging
Goals Challenging

  • Goals push athletes more, so perhaps more outlandings

    • this shows the athlete that they are trying,

    • an outlanding is NOT a failure but signs that the athlete is trying.

  • Goals are to inspire the athlete

  • Have a goal to land out more than 4 times a year?

Goals achievable and believable
Goals Achievable and Believable

  • Goals should be within the bounds of the athlete’s ability

    • if not they become a failure in their own eyes.

    • A 750k the year after a 500k is not generally reasonable.

  • The goals may be set for the athlete both by the athlete and the coach,

    • these may be different

Goals short term
Goals Short term

  • Act as stepping stones to achieve long term goals

    • 50k 100k 300k 500k

  • Performance segments like

    • Constant angle of bank 45°

    • Concentration

    • Social goals

    • Competition strategy

Goals long term
Goals Long term

  • Generally come with a string of short term goals

Coaching females
Coaching Females

  • Females are lighter

    • Ballast

  • Shorter

    • Specific aircraft issues (dive brake operation)

    • Firm cushions

    • Seat adjustment

  • Strength

    • Assistance with rigging and derigging

    • Technique for ground-handling glider

  • Toilet issues

    • Equipment available for women

  • Social attitude

    • In the minority, easily don’t feel like they belong

    • Avoid using gender specific language written and spoken

Coaching veterans
Coaching Veterans

  • Reduced cardiovascular performance

  • Reduced flexibility of the muscles ligaments and tendons

  • Bones more brittle

  • Reduced muscular power and strength

  • Slower nervous system

  • Reduced vision

    • Lookout

  • Basal metabolism

    • Weight increase


  • The heart is less efficient and weaker

  • Blood vessels may become narrower

  • Lung function declines less flexibility

    • thus less efficient delivery of oxygen to the tissues including the brain

Slower nervous system
Slower nervous system

  • Allow athletes more time to react

    • this may need reacting to preliminary weather inputs

  • Allow time for athlete to comprehend what is happening

  • Extra training of lookout be aware of evenings

  • Be patient

  • Shorter flights

Coaching veterans1
Coaching Veterans

  • Exercise

  • Should perhaps replace runs with long walks or jogs

  • Less high impact


  • Will have many of the effects of aging particularly cardio vascular and vision


  • Advise your athletes on Nutrition priorities

  • Prevent heat injuries

  • Counsel on common drugs

Basic food guidelines
Basic Food Guidelines

  • Dairy

  • Meat

  • Cereals

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

Eat more or less
Eat More or Less

  • Complex carbohydratesPasta, Bread brown, Potatoes, Fruit, Veg

  • Eat Less sugarSoft Drinks, Chocolates, Sweets

  • Eat Less FatFatty Meat, Butter and Margarine, Deep fried foods

  • Use less salt

  • Use less alcohol

Eat normally
Eat normally

  • Eat in principle what you would eat on weekdays

Glider pilots need
Glider pilots need

  • Slow release energy - Complex Carbohydrates

    • Wholemeal, Pasta

  • Not sugars that give a sugar low

  • Protein is necessary but not too much

    • 1g of protein per Kg of body weight is a good guide.

  • Plenty of water and a means to get rid of it

  • Not too much food in one go makes you tired

High energy foods
High Energy Foods

  • High energy foods may be good for sprinters

    • but they have the pitfall of having a short term effect followed by fatigue

  • The only time to consider these foods may be on final glide

Heat injury
Heat injury

  • Be aware of using energy in hot conditions

    • Prepare early

  • Loose fitting clothing, light in colour

  • Permeable clothing

  • Be aware of heavier athletes

Liquid intake
Liquid intake

  • Hydrate well before an event

  • Keep hydrated during the event

  • Hydrate after the event

    • guidelines urine is clear and does not smell

  • If drinking fluid replacement drinks dilute more than recommended


  • Performance enhancing

  • Tobacco

  • Alcohol

  • Pain killers


  • We are obliged not to use performance enhancing drugs, stimulants etc in line with the Olympic codes

  • This is not only drugs but also masking agents


  • Tobacco decreases the athletes ability to intake oxygen

  • Oxygen should be used earlier than a non smoker, performance will start reducing at 8000ft as a guide

  • Do not expect you student to perform as well at altitude

  • Do not expect to teach as well at altitude


  • Effects hand eye coordination

  • Accuracy and balance

    • Thermalling

  • Complex coordination

  • Body temperature regulation

  • Cardio-vascular

  • Brain function

  • Are you prepared to be coached by or coach someone who is slightly alcohol affected?


  • Depression of respiration

  • Euphoria

  • Sedation

  • Nausea


  • Caffeine is a diuretic

  • Caffeine is a stimulant so may help overcome short term tiredness

Physical fitness
Physical fitness

  • A physically fit pilot has better cardiovascular system

  • When physically fit athlete will be mentally fitter

  • When physically fit will be able to last longer tasks and longer competition


  • Back on time

  • Still lots to get through

  • Psychology Next


  • The key to mental preparation is to think about things under your control

Psychology arousal increased
Psychology Arousal Increased

  • Worry

  • Pressure from coach, self and team

  • Last minute changes

  • Psyching

  • Landing out

  • Home

  • Mood fluctuations

  • Self talk

  • Visualisation

Psychology arousal decreased
Psychology Arousal Decreased

  • Preparation

  • Home

  • Team mates

  • I’ve done it before

  • Self talk

  • Visualisation

  • Over motivation

Psychology arousal1
Psychology Arousal

  • An athlete with practice can manage their own level of arousal

Psychology control
Psychology Control

  • Coping with School work or home

  • Friends at the club

  • Attitude to training

  • Mood particularly at comps

  • Routines at Comps and training

  • Pre-event distractions & Nerves

  • Visualisation

  • Planned approach to each segment

  • Self talk

  • Strategy

  • Post event emotions

Psychology coaches job
Psychology Coaches Job

  • Learn the self control skills just like thermalling

  • Help the athlete become more skilled at the thinking side

  • There is no quick fix

  • Athlete needs to learn to be positive about themselves

  • You can only think about the things you can control

Dealing with winning and losing
Dealing with winning and losing

  • Sport involves winning and losing

  • Losing is not failure

  • Success is trying to do your best

  • A pilot who outlands regularly is not a failure

    • perhaps one who is learning the limits

  • On losing

    • analyse how your athlete lost

On winning
On winning

  • On winning

    • analyse how your athlete won

  • Opponents’ efforts

  • Team mates’ support

  • Coaches’ skill

On losing
On losing

  • On losing analyse how your athlete lost

  • Look forward via goals to the next opportunity to compete

Competition coaches job
Competition coaches job

  • See that athlete does not concentrate on things that they can not control

  • See that the athlete looks at the individual items that make up the whole performance

  • Don’t look at the aspect of winning

    • this comes from piecing items together

  • Winning is not the be all and end all


  • Check lists are the greatest inhibitors of stress

  • They could be used for a full array of situations in gliding for example

    • Prior to leaving home,

    • Going to comps

    • Glider preparation

    • Outlanding

    • In the car for crew

    • Task setting


Lead and follow goals
Lead and Follow Goals

  • For the student to fly a task by themselves

    • a twin following is possible

  • For the student to see how it is done

  • For the coach to observe how the student flies

Flying with other gliders
Flying with other gliders

  • Mid-air collisions are one of the most dangerous situations for gliders

  • Flying with other gliders of equal competence will assist dramatically in increasing cross country speed and reliability

  • Fly predictably

Lead and follow briefing
Lead and Follow Briefing

  • Lookout

  • Keep good radio communication

  • Radio frequency at start appears to be one of the biggest initial failures

  • Joining up, the best is for the coach to launch first then join the students

  • Where required the students job is to follow and see what is being done, not try to show the coach how to fly

  • Pair thermalling

  • No cutting inside

  • Having their own cut off height and sticking to it

  • If you can not see waggle wings

Lead and follow height
Lead and Follow height

  • Always keep to the same height as the student

  • This stops them being demoralised

  • Makes lookout easier particularly when more than one are following

  • Allows the coach to see the flying skills

  • Final glide it is good to fly side by side

Lead and follow glider performance
Lead and Follow glider performance

  • Fly with undercarriage down

  • Fly with negative flap

  • Don’t fly too fast

    • say keep to 80 knots

Lead and follow
Lead and Follow


Pair thermalling
Pair Thermalling

  • Flying in pairs helps increase rate of climb

Following in thermals no cutting inside
Following in thermals- no cutting inside

  • Follower must open out when leader does

Lead and follow length
Lead and Follow Length

  • Keep the task not too long - 3 hour max.

  • This allows perhaps 2-3 flights in the day


  • A coach needs to be able to obtain the weather forecast

  • From the forecast

    • set a task

    • knowing thermal strengths and reliability

  • Be able to predict unsafe conditions

  • Pass this information to students


Coaching exercises
Coaching Exercises

  • Getting into the real stuff

  • Arranging a training schedule

Stage 1 pilots
Stage 1 Pilots

  • The first priority for any cross country pilot is the ability to:

    • hold constant 45° bank,

    • constant speed and

    • correct yaw string position.

  • This can be checked in a two seater.

  • If the pilot is having difficulty due to thermal activity

    • do an early morning flight to 3,000 ft plus and

    • just turn tight.

Stage 1 pilots1
Stage 1 Pilots

  • To assist put straws on the canopy.

  • Always have straws and blue tack in your gear to give to athletes.

  • Pilots can practice solo

  • Try to turn accurately at 60°

Stage 1 pilots2
Stage 1 Pilots

  • Once the pilot can fly tight

    • they can be informed how to find the core of the thermal on the first turn by feel

  • Practice for this can be done by seeing how many 1000ft climbs can be done in a given period of time.

  • 2 hours is plenty enough

  • This can be run as a competition

Bank and speed
Bank and speed

  • Before taking an athlete x-county they need to be able to

    • Fly at 45°

    • Accurate speed

    • Yaw string correctly positioned

  • Until this is done there is little point in lead and follow

Stage 2 pilots
Stage 2 Pilots

  • Time to go cross country

Stage 2 pilot check lists
Stage 2 Pilot Check Lists

  • Pilot needs to be able to create and use a check list

Stage 2 pilot thermalling
Stage 2 Pilot Thermalling

  • Describe the thermal structure

  • Having indication of thermal sources

  • Enter thermals

  • Maintain the core

  • Leave the thermal at correct speed

Stage 2 pilot cruising
Stage 2 Pilot Cruising

  • Describe McCready theory

  • List the pitfalls of McCready

  • Height bands

  • Wing Loading

  • Final Glide

Stage 2 training
Stage 2 Training

  • Confidence in gaggle thermalling

  • Practice can be done with one other student of similar ability locally

Stage 2 training1
Stage 2 Training

  • This level of training can be done either lead and follow or in twin.

  • Also consider two students in a twin, this may bring some camaraderie with pilots of similar ability

Stage 3 pilot
Stage 3 Pilot

  • Getting faster and more reliable

Stage 3
Stage 3

  • Obtaining Weather and prediction

  • Map reading

  • Turning points

  • Psychology

  • Thermal streets

  • Daily thermal cycle

Stage 3 weather
Stage 3 Weather

  • Get the athlete to obtain the weather

    • Charts

    • F160

    • Use Soarcast or similar packages

    • Predict thermal strength

    • Assess wind problems

Stage 3 weather1
Stage 3 Weather

  • The athlete should then be able to:

    • Suggest a flight distance for the day both for a safe or a maximum distance

    • Suggest any dangers that may occur

    • Predict sea breeze

Stage 3 map reading
Stage 3 Map reading

  • Be able to mark on the map the course

  • Indicate major landmarks as guides

  • Indicate wind drift

  • Predict final glide steps

Stage 3 turning points
Stage 3 Turning Points

  • Be able to fly both a beer can TP and an FAI TP

  • Practice at the club

  • Ensure that the athlete has good lookout during the turn

Stage 3 psychology
Stage 3 Psychology

  • Understand the need to consider the need for psychology

  • Self talk

  • Visualisation

  • Reducing stress

Stage 3 streeting
Stage 3 Streeting

  • Describe the principle of streets

  • Be able to assess thermal drift

  • Be able to feel the street

  • Move across the sink to the next thermal

  • Be aware of wave induced streets

Stage 4
Stage 4

  • Becoming competitive

Stage 41
Stage 4

  • Personal preparation

  • Recovery

  • Sports Psychology

  • Competition planning

  • Establish practice regimes

  • Learn the rules

Stage 4 continued
Stage 4 Continued

  • Instrument and glider preparation

  • Using Gaggles

  • Competition tactics

  • Routine

  • Self regulated training


  • Direct debriefing is where the coach tells the athlete what they have done

    • No guarantee that the athlete takes ownership

  • Indirect debriefing is where the coach encourages the athlete to discuss what they have done by using open questions, what, why, when.

    • Athletes have more ownership as it comes “out of their mouths”


  • Indirect debriefing helps the pilot analyse themselves

    • this is vital for them to be able to improve themselves

Have at all times
Have at all times

  • Equipment to lecture

    • white board markers

  • Spare maps

  • Straws and bluetack

Note book
Note Book

  • Each athlete should have a note book to note all flights comments for their own review.

State coach support
State Coach Support

Safe flying
Safe Flying

  • Lookout

  • Set an example

  • Learn from the job

  • Enjoy the coaching