The inaugural SAOF Coaching Conference was held at Bryanston High School on Saturday 11 July 2015. Thirteen coaches and perspective coaches gathered to share coaching ideas and expand their knowledge in various areas. The main theme for the conference was the sprint orienteering discipline.
The morning started with an adaption of presentation given by one of the top British Sprint Orienteers at a BOF coaching conference earlier in the year. The delegates spend some time practicing route choices and doing analysis, and were left with tools of how to do this with their athletes. In the next session, the delegates were given an overview of the Long Term Coaching Development framework, and its implication for orienteering coaching in SA.
The longest session of the day (held between tea and lunch) involved trying seven different warm up/ training exercises.
These were presented by difference coaches. Delegates did the exercises themselves and then discussed the pros and cons of the exercises, making suggestions regarding improvements or variations for them.
After lunch a guest speaker and registered biokineticist discussed running gaits and common running injuries. Delegates were left with some tools on how to identify potential muscle weaknesses in their athletes. In the next session three different coaches shared ideas of how to use different computer packages to prepare maps for their training sessions. In the final session of the day the delegates were introduced to an exercise on how to re-use a small area. They ended up running a 3km course in a very small area and had to pay careful attention to their control descriptions and one way arrows!
Everyone agreed that it was a beneficial and fun day.