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Coaching

British Cycling publishes results of coach survey

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Published: 18 July 2014

A coach coaching a group of young riders

British Cycling would like to thank the 384 coaches who completed our survey at the end of last year, which was developed in partnership with sports coach UK.

The aim of the study was to enable us to improve our understanding of cycling coaching in the UK and to help shape the future development of Coaching and Education programmes over the next three years.

The results highlighted that cycling coaches feel better supported by their governing body than the national average in other sports. We are thrilled by this response, however it doesn’t mean we stop there. There is always room for improvement and we are working hard to keep cycling coaches well informed and supported.

It also showed that volunteers drive the sport forward more than most other sports, with 85% of survey respondents being volunteers, compared to the national average of 67%. This means cycling is more dependent on volunteer coaches than the national average in other sports. We cannot thank you enough for being such a dedicated workforce.

Not only that, but over 60% of coaches intend to do more coaching in the next 12 months compared to the national average of 40% in other sports. Fantastic news!

We aim to support volunteers as much as we possibly can, with development opportunities, training and resources, as well as helping coaches to find and apply for funding. British Cycling is bringing more young people into volunteering through the Cycling Award for Young Volunteers. This award has been successful in encouraging young people into coaching, building leadership and communication skills in a practical environment. We’re also currently reviewing our provision for adult volunteers and aim to communicate some developments at next year’s Go-Ride conferences.

Over two-thirds of respondents are coaching in Go-Ride clubs. 54% of these coaches stated that there are not enough coaches to cover demand from riders, with an average number of five coaches in a club. This reflects the increasing levels of participation, which bring an increased need for coaches.

British Cycling’s director of coaching and development, John Mills, said: “We are very proud of the volunteer workforce, which is fundamental to the future of cycling. The study further highlights the strength of the volunteers in our sport and we want to thank everyone for their continued efforts.

“It is reassuring to see that the majority of coaches feel supported and well informed by British Cycling, demonstrating that our coaching and development programmes are having the desired effect. It’s essential that we continue to listen and respond to our coaches, as it will help to maintain our position as a world leader in cycling and coaching.”

In relation to developing as coaches, 8 out of 10 respondents expect to do more continuous personal development (CPD) within the next year. We’re responding to this through the development of an extensive CPD programme, which includes online webinars and also workshops such as the Chimp Management series to better understand self and others. Coaches now receive a regular coaching newsletter, Coaching News, which recognises the work coaches do, offers coaching advice and publicises CPD opportunities.

Finally, the study highlighted that cycling coaches are primarily males over the age of 40. British Cycling has an ambition to get one million more women into the sport by 2020. To do so requires more women coaches and we’ve  made great progress recently in this regard by delivering the first ever Level 1 coaching course for women-only at Cyclopark in the south east. Additionally, in partnership with TrainingPeaks, we delivered the Coaching Women and Girls webinar, which is available to view online here.

Thank you once again to every coach that completed the survey; you are shaping the future of the sport.

If you would like to receive the Coaching News e-newsletter, please let us know by emailing coaching@britishcycling.org.uk.

If you would like to get involved with your local Go-Ride Club, please visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/go-ride.