Developing World Class Potential – the discussion continues…

Mark Upton
Mar 16, 2016

In a post last year Developing World Class Potential, I described an enjoyable encounter and key messages from María Ruiz de Oña, the coach developer and psychologist at Athletic Bilbao.

María has been in touch this last week to bring to my attention a congress she and colleagues are holding in Bilbao at the end of May. In correspondence with her, it is clear the discussion and intent around developing world class potential will continue at this event. In fact, her comment that “the main topic of the Congress is the development of coaches, and the learning method is self-conscious dialogue” reflects a very similar approach to our #relearn events.

I have linked to a document with more information below, and here are a few relevant snippets…

Many leaders of football academies, in their projects, speak about the need for long-term vision, speak about a personal and professional development of players, everybody speaks about creative players or “thinking players”. But neither the structures nor the contexts change to deploy that process.

The approach of this Congress starts from two main keys: one of them refers to reflection on the coach and the coach-player relationship from the learning point of view; the other key has to do with the method: reflection on actions, which takes place in a context of dialogue. This method is characterized by sharing with others the personal experience….steeped in knowledge, beliefs, prejudices, theories and values. It is in this exchange where we contrast and question our world beliefs and others. In this interaction people can gain new insights that allow us to understand our world and to project actions from these new understanding, and therefore a different way of doing things emerges.

Today, high performance sport is becoming more demanding, not only in terms of physical and tactical concepts, but in relation to other aspects that are sometimes less clear, such as creating relationships, transformation, management, personal growth, building projects.

This requires looking at learning as a value for those who work in the environment of the player: coaches, trainers, doctors, physiotherapists, managers, psychologists … Why do we need to learn today? What do we mean by learning? What are the axes of professional improvement? What are the axes that help to make us better?

When we have a need to improve something, we wonder what is going on? We feel lost and we do not know what to do. At first we cling to the mantra of “greater effort” but when more does not lead to a better result, we are facing a nonlinear reality and therefore it is time to make qualitative changes, from how much (do more) to how (do differently).

The Third Congress CIPAF is about what we do and how we do on issues such as:

* The personal and sport growth as two indivisible aspects of the same process of development

* The connection between player and coach, how to approach helps to understand each others circumstance, leadership being the most decisive variable for the value and health of the team

* If I as a coach can not connect with others, it will be very difficult to understand what is happening to another. Looking inward is an opportunity to be seized and enjoy

* To compete involves working the mental aspect, technical-tactical and physical and that all these factors are connected and interacting with others most of the time

View the PDF (including full program)