Jim Wright has become the first Basketball coach in Scotland to achieve a UKCC Level 4 qualification.
Jim (far left) came to the course as an experienced coach/tutor with many years coaching at both National and International Level.
He felt his coaching skills had been somewhat self-taught and that he, and his players, would benefit from the course both from a purely academic perspective and from the networking opportunities on offer.
The course had coaches from a number of diverse sports including hockey, rugby league and motor sport, with everyone delivering at National/GB level. Jim was also encouraged to develop his practice through observing other sports and high performance environments.
He said: "Little did I know that I would make excellent links both professionally and personally and have my practice positively impacted in such a fundamental way. I think despite the disparate experiences we all brought, the over-riding emotions during the first weekend were described by all of us as 'my head hurts', 'brain melt' and 'head on fire'.
"This was quickly replaced by an enthusiasm to get into the course largely as a result of the attitude of Bryan (Jones) and John (Trower), who led the academic input and coach mentoring respectively and who were always engaging encouraging and challenging.
"One of the most enjoyable aspects of the course was the fact there were very few 'definites' - it was always about possibilities and opinions. This was refreshing and made for a stimulating learning environment. The range, depth and experience of the guest speakers made for added value.
"Adi Stan, John Kiely and others allowed the teaching to avoid staleness and offered students an opportunity to discuss pedagogy with true leaders in their field. Many of my colleagues took the opportunity to visit Adi and others and found them to be both supportive and welcoming.
"John (Trower) was the Coach Mentor/Yoda figure to a few of us. He was available to discuss Practice Issues, L4 Portfolio and for general discussion regarding the course. I found him particularly supportive on a number of occasions, helping to deliver to various coaches within Scottish basketball.
"Particular highlights were the often tangential discussions that developed from the initial topic. These were always allowed to develop and create stimulating discussions. I believe this was strength of the course, in that it allowed the students to truly be responsible for their learning, and to lead their own learning.
"This was crucial for me, as I viewed the course as both academic and a coaching journey. I could develop or not dependent on my efforts and inclinations. All of the input generated reflection, so it was up to me how to implement it in my practice. I was also exposed to academic challenge and reinforcement of my practice, Graves, Dweck et al were all a delight to re-discover and immerse in.
"The course was a boon to my coaching as I was involved with Scottish National Squads and I was able to relate my new experience to my coaching almost in 'real time', developing both my practice and my players' performance at the same time, examples such as performance anxiety, functional variability spring immediately to mind.
"I would recommend the course to anyone hoping to develop their coaching practice within a hugely supportive academic environment. I'd especially like to thank Arvinder Kaur, Bryan, John and the rest of Cohort 4 for their support during an energizing two years."