What is a coach as opposed to an instructor? Many people say they have had coaching or indeed do coaching but is that really the case? Instructing certainly has its place, as a function in itself, but also has a place within coaching. 'Tuition', as a word to describe the whole industry, is largely unregulated in the UK. Whether this is good or not is perhaps another topic.
Organisations such as ARDS (Association of Racing Drivers Schools) have done a great job in setting up a licensing scheme for all who want to be involved. Their continued work enables customers to know that these tutors have been through a system of inspection to attain the level of instructor’s licence they hold. Inevitably this has limits. ARDS is not and does not claim to be an organisation with responsibility for individual's 'Continued Professional Development'
This role has been taken up by the MSA (Motor Sports Association), the governing body of British motor sport. The MSA has developed a Level 2 Coaching Qualification which is certificated and recognised throughout the world. So what is it all about and is it worthwhile?
Along with nine other well known 'teachers' in the UK, I was invited to be part of the first running of the course. I approached in two minds. First, do I really need to do this? And second, I really need to do this to find out what they are saying and how it compares to what I do now.
The course consisted of two intensive days filled with lectures, a hectic information gathering and intense listening exercise. Then there was a two week break with around 20 hours of course work, followed by two more days of lectures, practice and assessment.
The result? A Level 2 Coaching Certificate. And was it worth it? A resounding YES. I learned a lot and not just new stuff but also that I was already using many of the techniques put forward. But it gave more depth and more detail which will be very useful and I feel will benefit my clients.
In conclusion, everyone who wants to be involved with helping others to improve their game in motorsport should attend this course. We should all consider our continued professional development and here is an excellent route.