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Millfield Sport and the Art of Remote Coaching

by Director of Sport, Dr Scott Drawer

Millfield Sport has seen an incredible response from students undertaking their sport provision from home. The remote practice is an opportunity to try new things, new sports and practice in a way that students would have never done before, based on the tasks created by the coaches and students’ home environments.

The adaptive programme has seen a wide spectrum of provision, including peer-to-peer coaching, student-created video content, cross-sport coaching sessions and presentations from insightful expert speakers.

Millfield Sport have found that classroom-based time has been invaluable in developing students of their sport and are already seeing this translate back to practice. The team are also finding that the smaller practices with smaller numbers are more engaging for students. Online challenges such as quizzes, student feedback formats with tools like Kahoot and Mentimeter are also helping the team to adapt and flex content and ideas for learning.

Millfield Sport’s networks and connections across the sporting landscape have been invaluable; students have heard insights from key sporting moments such as England Rugby’s success in 2003, England Football in 2018, Manchester United and the class of 1992, some of GBs most successful Summer and Winter Olympic sports and many former Millfield pupils who have been on the journey of discovery through sport. All of these stories reaffirm that success does not have to be about winning – our connection to a bigger purpose and bigger impact is something we are strong believers in.

Below are a few other highlights from Remote Sport at Millfield:

Athletic Development & Movement

  • One of our most followed and anticipated programmes of physical development, movement development and nutritional support which we share across all sports and all years.
  • More and more pupil-led sessions now used to vary delivery style and approach. Students are emerging as potential future coaches.

Athletics

  • Professional development sessions have been set up for staff with Matt Wood from Cardiff Met University, who is doing his PhD on skill acquisition. He presented on constraints-led approach to coaching, theory and application.
  • The Millfield Athletics coaching team have led speed development sessions across all sports.

Cricket

  • Millfield Cricket’s Three Top Tips interviews have proven to be very popular with the students. So far, we have had top tips from former England Wicket Keeper, Paul Nixon, Ashes Winning Captain Michael Vaughan, South African spin bowler Claude Henderson, England Cricket S&C lead, Nigel Stockill with Peter Trego (Somerset CCC), Adam Hose (Warwickshire CCC), Simon Jones (2005 Ashes Winning fast bowler), Kevin Pietersen, and double winning Ashes captain, Andrew Strauss all coming up in future weeks. 

Football

  • Insight into the famous class of 92 came from former Manchester United coach Tony Strudwick, who explored what made up this unique team and set of circumstances under one of the world’s foremost leaders in Sir Alex Ferguson in professional sport.

 

Golf

  • The re-opening of golf courses for students has allowed for students to put into practice their efforts from remote golf lessons.
  • Millfield Golf hold a weekly golf chat to catch up and share stories, which is vital for moral and pastoral support.

 

Hockey

  • Millfield Hockey are holding live weekly sessions, where students have explored what they look for in a teammate
  • The team have also led a social media project based on the ‘Gratitude Series’ where the students shared openly what they grateful for.
  • Millfield hockey students have benefited from Q&A sessions with OM and Great Britain hockey’s Stuart Rushmere, who explored his journey through the England Hockey pathway and GB Head Coach Jody Paul, who spoke about what coaches look for in players.

 

Netball

  • Highlights from Millfield Netball have included athlete-led sessions on a Friday night, which now include two age groups. The younger girls are now doing paired live workouts which is brilliant and are taken self-responsibility for such sessions. 
  • Lots of individual sessions are varied and tailored to the needs of the players. This currently involves live sessions, World Cup Match analysis and feedback on the attacking, defensive and shooting videos pupils send across. 

Rugby

  • Millfield Rugby have been reviewing and analysing fixtures across the world to understand different styles of playing the game.
  • The team have also been leading virtual ‘power’ training sessions and have seen strong commitment and dedication from students challenging their physical development.

 

Swimming

  • Millfield Swimming have been supporting students who are gradually re-entering the water, whether that is in pools, open water or tethered. Further individual training sets are now being prescribed to help push students on.
  • The team have found that athletic development and general cardio sessions continue to attract interest.
  • Millfield Swimming are hosting a set of five OM talks that will promote British Swimming’s Optimal Athlete Development Framework. The focus of these talks will be on the Person-Athlete-Performer.

We have many others like fencing, modern pentathlon, triathlon, and squash all seeing students step up and take ownership for their training, development and programmes in many different ways. We are learning as much from the students as they are from us, and the concept of virtual coaching has led to Millfield Sport coaches developing into better, adaptable coaches who are able to support students even further in the future.

Learn more about Millfield's Remote Sport Provision here.