Innovative speed coaching sessions at leading Aviva Premiership club - Saracens RFC - have created powerful benefits for the Academy coaching and performance staff.
Coaching and performance teams are always heavily involved with players and match preparation with Saracens again competing strongly for trophies this season. So their time is at a premium – meaning any support for them has to be fitted in as efficiently as possible.
Saracens has been working successfully with coaching skills specialists Management Futures on programmes designed to boost the communication and feedback skills of the coaching and performance teams. But during an elite sporting season, time for conventional support interventions such as whole-day workshops is squeezed.
In response, Management Futures developed an alternative approach – speed coaching – which delivered maximum impact even against pressured time constraints.
The speed coaching programme gave 11 members of the team access to an executive coach for 45 minutes. The sessions were tailored exactly to the needs of each individual – tackling specific issues and the key challenges they faced in their roles.
Saracens RFC’s Psychology and Personal Development Officer, David Jones said:
“The speed coaching day provided a great opportunity for 11 of our coaches and performance team to benefit from executive coaching. The day comprised short, focused sessions for individuals and pairs and provided real benefits. Participants were very pleased with the sessions, and took fresh thinking, energy and practical solutions into their work.”
As an elite sporting organisation, Saracens places great emphasis on the professional development of its players and staff. The club’s programme has already welcomed the likes of Michael Johnson and Katherine Grainger along with experts and leaders from a variety of fields. Saracens has worked with Management Futures for some time to introduce non-directive coaching skills and maximise their effective use at the club and further projects are expected. Those to benefit thus far include the Head of Medical, Strength and Conditioning Coaches, Elite Player Development Coaches and the Player Management Team.
Speed coaching is a flexible, affordable way of bringing the benefits of executive coaching to a wider management group who might not normally gain access to a personal executive coach. Short sessions provide a brief but intense coaching session which by their nature, are extremely focused - usually prioritising a single issue. Feedback shows significant benefits in morale, engagement, confidence and effectiveness.