Sports studies e.g. physiology / coaching

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by giannip, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. giannip

    giannip New Member

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    Hi

    I'm looking at doing some sort of Certification / Diploma in sport training / coaching.

    The main reason being that I would like to get a better understanding of things re: training, preparation etc. so that I may apply it to my training in conjunction with my current coach.

    I suppose the long term view would be to be qulified as a coach in a few years time, specificallhy dealing with power training.

    BUT the intial idea would be to start from the basics and go from there.

    Would anyone have any suggestions for an International organization that I could approach re: distance learning (I work full time ) ?
     
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  2. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    What if I got myself together and called myself an institute? :D (To paraphrase Paul Simon.)
     
  3. frost

    frost New Member

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    Err, what would that mean in practise? Funny idea, that it might raise wider interest besides just OP?
     
  4. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    That's a very good question! What I have vaguely considered is offering an online course in what might best be termed "applied exercise physiology". The idea would be to try to take what is normally covered in typical undergraduate/beginning graduate exercise physiology courses, and distill it down to the basics that cycling coaches need, or at least want, to know.

    What I don't know is how much demand there would be for such a course (although I am certain that there would be some), precisely what the scope/magnitude would be, how much to charge (so that it is not only worth my time, but a reasonable investment for a coach), how to deal with logistical issues (such as attendees being in different time zones), and what value there might be to coaches beyond the knowledge that they gain (e.g., could USA Cycling be convinced to give enough CEUs for completion of such a course to meet the requirement, could such a course be substituted for a unversity-based equivalent when seeking accreditation as a coach, etc.).

    Anyway, I'm wide open to suggestions and input here...anybody who knows me knows that I'm not just out to make a fast buck, but merely want to share any knowledge that I can with "end-users" in an effective way...

    EDIT: BTW, in case the above comes off as sounding too egotistical: I recognize that there are numerous individuals equally if not more (usually more!) capable of teaching such a course, and that coaching certifications/diplomas/whathaveyou in various countries are often quite a bit more rigorous. Nonetheless, there are clearly people out there who would be interested in something along the lines of what I have described, but as of yet I don't know of anyone offering such a thing.
     
  5. giannip

    giannip New Member

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    :D :D

    I would certainly sign up.



    My thoughts are along the lines that I would like to get to grips with the fundamentals at a higher level that what I may have picked over the years and then go from there.

    I certainly would like to know more about the "proper" information, rather than pretend I know things just because I read 2 paragraphs in a cycling mag like some people I have met.

    There are people out there saying "I've read lots of books, I could coach you" and it scares the ..... out of me that these people come into contact with new and young cyclist on a daily basis and offer their "expertees".

    My primary desire would be to learn this for myself, then hopefully be at a level that I can work toghether with my current / future coach in formulating plans for myself and get a "hands on" feel for things and thereafter pass on any help to people who are willing to listen.

    simple..............:D

    I beieve that there would be quite a bit of interest but as you said, how does one present the information so that dummies like me (I know you DIDN'T say THAT) can understand things and also how would an International audience avail of these courses.

    In today's World, online courses are not the hardest thing to set up but of course one needs the demand and also the carrot (yourself / Hunter(?) + a recognised Certificate / Diploma I would suggest)

    While everyone ponders on this.....would you suggest I look at Fitness Instruction courses, to get started, or are these a bit lame ?
     
  6. fergie

    fergie Member

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    Put me down. I would travel from NZ to do it!
     
  7. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    If you are talking about the same certifications as those of gym fitness instructors be careful. I do believe one can achieve from those as much as one wants to put into to it, but I have not been real impressed by what I have seen in most gyms.

    My impression of many of those type of certifications is really a business of selling a title. You pay to take a course, take a simple test and a nice title is received in the mail, but it seems like some of these are more interested in making the course easy so one can pass the test, get the title and pay yearly to keep the certification active. It is a business of selling titles.

    I may be totally off base in making such a statement, but only because most gym instructors that hold one or more certifications are very unimpressive in their training and nutrition knowledge. I see and hear some weird training methods going on at gyms, but at least it provides me with humor while I work out.

    Then again I have seen some that are impressive and I imagine those have put more into at a personal level than just taking the simple test and getting the mandatory certification. These days almost all gyms require personal trainers to hold one or more certifications because it looks impressive and it adds to the marketing of selling gym memberships and personal training services to have a bunch of letters following the trainer's name.

    Then again having those letters behind the name does add a lot of self marketing credit because the average person is really impressed even if they have no idea what the letters mean or what it required to achieve it. So I guess there is a bonus to the certifications. :)

    Disclaimer: I have been involved heavily with gyms for over 25 years, I was a personal trainer/consultant to local, national and pro level bodybuilders. I never even attempted to go for a certification, but that was back in the 80's and early 90's. My reputation at the time was enough of a selling apparatus, but if I were training folk today I suppose I would jump in and get some certifications like everyone else.
     
  8. bigwillie013

    bigwillie013 New Member

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    Sounds great to me. Maybe a poll would do the trick? I'd definitely look into this (no having spoken about pricing yet, though. But I understand you'd want to make it reasonable for both ends!
    Look forward to seeing ore of this idea, Willi
     
  9. marcaw

    marcaw New Member

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    Andy,

    That sounds very interesting. An actual course set up to study cycling physiology and the principles would be something I'd be interested in. A structure of intro studies to advanced studies would be great.

    I might be able to help with the course set up online. My girlfriend, and bike racer extrordinaire, works in instructional design for the Univ. of Nebraska Lincoln. She sets up and helps professors with their online teaching ( blackboard, online video conferencing and all around guru when it comes to web gadgets).She does website design. If you want to contact me for further info it's [email protected] or [email protected].

    OP,

    Read, read, read. I've got a degree in Biology with a chemsitry minor. I had classes in anatomy and physiology and nutrition. Not any in Exercise Phys. I purchased a few exercise physiology texts and they correlate. Become a student of the sport.



     
  10. otb4evr

    otb4evr New Member

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    I would jump on a course like this in a heartbeat...

    Jim
     
  11. richvoss

    richvoss New Member

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    Andy,
    I believe the demand would be very high. I wish you would do this. I've always wanted a better understanding of applied exercise physiology and if you taught it I would sign up in a heart beat!

    Rich
     
  12. liversedge

    liversedge New Member

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    me too. cycling specific is the key for me, along with the credentials of the tutor of course!
     
  13. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    Just let me know when ;)
     
  14. giannip

    giannip New Member

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    Of course.

    In the end though, as with everything one needs some "piece of paper", so to speak. I think I would be taken more serioulsy if I had some sort of certification, rather than tell people that I read, read, read.:)
     
  15. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Boy, a bit more enthusiasm here for this idea than I expected! :) Thanks for the positive feedback, everyone.

    Since I have y'alls attention, perhaps I can get you to serve as an unpaid "focus group" for me. ;) In no particular order, here's what I've been considering/questions that I have:

    1) How much time are people willing to commit? To make such an online course a true value, I figure that it would need to move beyond just the half-day of lectures on exercise physiology that is part of USA Cycling's level 2 coaching certification. OTOH, I don't think it would be possible to go into tremendous detail, as A) not everyone signing up for such a course necessarily has the background that would be expected of an undergraduate exercise science student, and B) only so much detail is really useful to a coach (versus interesting). Just off the top of my head, then, I was considering 1.5 h/wk for 10 wk, or perhaps 2 h/wk for 6 wk. As potential student/clients, does that make sense/appeal to you?

    2) What time of year would be best? Assuming that most of those signing up would be from the US (which may not be a valid assumption), I'm thinking that summer in the northern hemisphere would be too busy a time for most people. OTOH, I can also see people have problem committing so much time to such a course over the winter, what with holidays and all. So, I'm leaning towards the fall (obviously not this year) and/or spring - what say you?

    3) What about tests and grading? Although I joked about calling myself an institute, I don't envision this ever growing to the level of any kind of certification or diploma program (although if somebody wants to take that business model and run with it to form a university for cycling coaches, I could see being a part of that). IOW, those signing up for the course would be doing so almost entirely for the knowledge they would gain, and not in hopes that it would open other doors re. their coaching career. If that assumption is correct, then I don't see a lot of need for tests to make sure that people are truly grasping the material...basically you'd be on your own there. OTOH, I do think that knowing you're going to have to pass an exam at some point is often motivational. My initial thought is therefore to just have an exit exam that is graded pass/fail, but with a standard for passing that is sufficiently high that I'd be comfortable with someone presenting themselves as having passed my course. Thoughts?

    4) How much to charge? This is the toughie, and I'm still mulling over what is a reasonable fee. Obviously, though, the more people who sign up the less it would have to be per person to make it worthwhile. I would therefore likely establish some minimum number of individuals who would have to sign up by a particular date for the course to "make", and refund any and all up-front fees to those who pay in advance if it didn't. I'd also likely offer a discount to coaching groups, as that would A) help them, and B) remove some of the incentive to have only one person sign up but then have a bunch of other people also gather around their computer screen.

    5) Let's see, what else? I'd make the syllabus available for free a priori, and would probably recommend (but not require) a particular textbook. I don't know whether lectures would be downloadable...on the one hand, it would be great as a student to be able to review material, but on the other, there is no way of preventing the file being shared with those who did not pay for the course. You could argue that what you get for your money is the ability to interact directly with the instructor, but that is diminished in an online course vs. in person, so I'm not sure whether that adds sufficent additional value to discourage piracy. Maybe make the .ppt slides freely available, but not the audio? I don't know...
     
  16. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I wish I had time to join in on this, but I will pass a link about this discussion to a friend that is starting to coach.
     
  17. Krazyderek

    Krazyderek New Member

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    Depending on how dense the material and the possibility of exersizes / assignments / test i would be more in favor of the longer class for a shorter number of weeks. Most one off class's are run this way, weather from web course's to summer course's at university's.

    Being in eastern canada, i would agree. Fall, its when most people are doing the least amount of trainning in north america. Maybe a bit of 'cross, and commuting, but not to many people are putting in 10-15hour weeks in the saddle during the fall.

    Even the most interested person will waver over several weeks. By removing any certification the course might offer graduates i think you'll hit the right market of eager minds, but that doesn't mean that a walk in the park is the best way to make sure the material will sink in. Everyone will have aspects that they might really be interested in, and other points, not so much. I don't know how feasable case studies are, but they would seem like a good way to assign readings or "homework" for the following week. Nothing that would be enforced, but maybe there could be short multiple choice quiz's which are quick to correct and go over based on case studies.

    I think this is a good first step, start a poll and put up some ball park numbers for how much people would be willing to pay for such a course on this forum, or a website. There are ton's of computer skill related online course's. Everything from downloadable video's, to audio files, to documents and presentations.
    Ultimately it does come down the price. If cycling peaks were 1500$ instead of 150$ for example, it would be plastered all over pirate sites.
    All i can offer on pricing is a comparative of fee's i've paid in the past, and a hope that your course will modestly reflect what then end user takes away from his/her class.
    University (6hrs x 6 weeks) - $600 / course
    College Diploma - $2500 / year
    Road Commisair certification (weekend -10 hours in class 5 hours at a race) - $50
    3D modeling web course (6hrs x 4 wks) - $300 / wk


    I have seen system's where the video is only ever broadcast live, and you have to dial into a phone number to hear the audio live. It's very pirate unfriendly but for those of us who don't have land lines, or long distance packages this system can be prohibitively expensive. It's also not skype or voip friendly last i heard, and has various other technological drawbacks.
    But i think the market although good, is small for this type of service, and you're not going to see a torrent showing up with 200 people sharing your class lectures / files, and 3000 people trying to download it.
    Especially if you integrate reviewing quiz's, and case studies into the lectures / videos / presentations it would create a disconnect and make it hard
    for people that don't have all the course documents and text's to follow along.

    I would support downloadable content simply because it's more flexible for my lifestyle. I'm the type of person pushing for TV shows online simply because i'm to busy most night's to let a service i pay for dictate when i can use it. Many broadcasting stations are finaly starting to see the light and make their prime time show's available on their websites for viewing.
    Even something that's browser integrated which makes all material available to students at anytime they log into a secure website might be an option.
     
  18. otb4evr

    otb4evr New Member

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    All great points.

    One thing that I would like to see would be reading 'x amount', or 'these chapters' from the 'recommended' book or 'these handouts' between classes to be able to understand the material that will be taught at the latter class.

    This would help me quite a bit toward being pleased with the level of instruction, as I would likely understand it quite a bit more.

    Jim
     
  19. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I'd opt for 2 hours for 6 weeks or even 3 hours for 4 weeks. I've been teaching adult ed classes for the last five years and find that folks tend to run into more conflicts when the course spans too many weeks and that it takes time to get deeply into a subject and that I end up rehashing week after week to bring folks back up to speed. For me, more hours per session spanning a shorter number of weeks works better.
    Fall would be great. It's the time to start planning winter training. Time to reconsider sucesses and failures from the previous year and a time when some structure and theory can get folks fired up for the coming year. I strongly suspect one of the outcomes of your course will be an appreciation for building solid metabolic fitness ala Lydiard. If so, spring is a bit late to find out you should have layed a solid foundation, summer is full on race season and winter could work but fall makes the most sense in terms of planning your upcoming year based on solid principles of exercise physiology.
    Agreed, an exam or other exit criteria can be motivating as well as validating to make sure you really grasped the important concepts. As you say, this course likely won't carry much weight beyond personal satisfaction so any exit exam will effectively be optional. If you don't need or want the confirmation that you grasped the key concepts no one is going to force you to take the test. But I'd want to make sure I got a good handle on the key points....
    This is always tough, but I'd definitely make it worth your while so you don't start to regret your weekly time investment (including the inevitable follow up questions here, on the Google lists, etc.). I'd also make sure folks are paying enough that they actually want to see the process through and not doing it on a whim. FWIW, I teach a series of digital photography and Photoshop for photographers workshops for our local arts association. It has some community funding so it's not an apples to apples comparison but we charge $225 for a 15 hour workshop and we typically fill our classes. I'd easily pay that and perhaps a bit more for a solid exercise phys course with emphasis on real world context and application. Yeah, I know you're not setting out to teach a coaching course, but I've gotta believe you'll illustrate concepts with cycling related examples where appropriate. If so it would easily be worth the cost of a decent wheel....
    That alone would be worth quite a bit.
    How about bundling the lectures and selling them as a package when the course is all said and done. It's a potential ongoing albeit small revenue stream sorta like Charles Howe's power training guide. Yeah there's some risk of piracy but for the right price I suspect folks would pay to have the complete set. Maybe you could talk to Charles about how to deal with the piracy issue.

    BTW, sign me up if you decide to float this thing,

    -Dave
     
  20. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    hi Andy,

    Sounds very worthwhile to me. I suspect it will be hard to narrow the content down to just a single course of say 10-12 hrs, i.e., maybe multiple courses?
     
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