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Coaches embrace creativity in green and gold decade

15 September 2023

Aussie coaches are being encouraged to embrace creativity in their daily training environments to boost their performance and that of their athletes.

Creativity in coaching is key for Australia’s sporting success over the next decade and beyond believes AIS National Generation 2032 Coach program (Gen32) Lead Lúcás Ó’Ceallacháin.

Ó’Ceallacháin introduced Australia’s future Olympic and Paralympic coaches to the concept of creative coaching at the recent Gen32 coach development workshops held in Sydney and Melbourne.

He says creative coaching is all about embracing new ways of thinking and different approaches to the often-repetitive cycle of high-performance (HP) coaching.

“We often get stuck continuing to do things exactly how they have always been done in sport, but taking a risk and trying something new can push you to another level of performance and wellbeing,” Ó’Ceallacháin said.

“If Australia truly wants to Win Well and achieve sustainable, repeatable performances our coaches need to create new ways of doing things.”

The Gen32 coaches attended creative coaching sessions at the Sydney Swans Headquarters and Cirque De Soleil in Melbourne, a decision AIS Coach Development Lead Claire Lamb said was made strategically.

“Creativity for coaches is about doing the same stuff but in a different way, so we deliberately took the coaches out of their daily training environments and removed all distractions to really encourage a different way of thinking,” Lamb said.

National Sailing coach Ben Walkemeyer attended the Sydney Swans session and said he is looking forward to implementing creative decision-making practices for his athletes.

“In the workshop we spoke about giving athletes the freedom to move with emotion and in the way they want to move.”

“This means in sailing it might be a light wind, so the athletes might move with serenity or in strong wind they might move with rage,” Walkemeyer said.

Likewise, former World Tour Surfer and Gen32 surfing coach Jay Thompson said he has a newfound understanding of how embracing creativity can benefit his athletes following the workshop.

“If I can empower my athletes to find their own creativity and give them the autonomy to be creative in the right time and place, they will have stronger sense of confidence, control and fulfillment.”

Learn more about the future of Australia’s coaching and the Gen32 Coach program.

Coaches stand in group dressed in fencing uniform.
Gen32 coaches at development workshop in Melbourne.
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