Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing

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Clyde Street 2012

dscf7272I wrote 260 posts on Clyde Street this year. This has been my fifth year with WordPress.

I see this blog as a way of capturing and sharing items linked to learning, teaching, coaching and performing. It is a public portfolio of my interests and one that I access wherever I am in the world.

I was surprised to learn that Clyde Street had 70,000 visitors this year with the Olympic and Paralympic months being the busiest time of the year.

The pages that attracted most interest in 2012 were:


dscf6128The topics for my posts during the year were:

January (Olympics, Connecting and Sharing, Reading, Bruce Coe, Wikis, Communicating, QR Codes, Coaching, Megatrends.)

February (Open Learning, Women’s Football, Cycle Tourism, Performance, Rugby, Decision-Making, Mobility, Sport Coaching Pedagogy, Olympics, E-portfolios, Reading, Wikiversity, Canoe Slalom.)

March (Sport Coaching Pedagogy, Analysis of Performance, Wikipedia, Coaching, Presentation, Autism, Communication.)

April (Performance, Simulation, Autism, Open Learning, Crime and Sport, Olympics, Sport Coaching Pedagogy, Coaching.)

May (Olympics, Open Learning, Sport Coaching Pedagogy, Billy Cart Derby, Writing, Enterprise Computing, Space, E-portfolios, Coaching, Performance, Critical Care Nursing, Cycling Research, Educational Technology.)

June (Olympics, Writing, Transit of Venus, Euro 2012, Augmented Reality, Robin Poke, Procurate, Tennis, Charles Reep, Sport and Technology, Penalty Shoot Outs.)

July (Olympics, Euro 2012, Learning Design, Fandom, Cross Country Skiing, Pathbrite, Greg Blood Guest Post, Blogging, Goal-Line Technology, AFL, Tennis, Performance, 9.79, SOOC, Writing, Learning, Australian Art.)

August (Coaching, Olympics, Writing, Strategic Losing, Performing, Super 15 Rugby, Open Education, Chaos, Learning, Paralympics, Place and Space.)

September (Paralympics, Open Access, Coaching, R U OK, Environments.)

October (Grand Final Weekend, SOOC, Flipping and Connecting, Challenge Conference, Vocaroo, St George’s Park, Data, Conservators, Integrity, Honours’ Presentations.)

November (Australian Sport Technology Conference, Attention, OAPS101, South Africa 1995, Coaching, Performing, Notational Analysis, Einstein’s Office, Narrative, Winning Edge.)

December (QR Codes, Game Changing, Ecological Perspectives on Sport, Aggregating and Curating, Searching, Connecting, Drupal, Coaching, Goal-Line Technology, Data Analysis, John Stevenson, SOOC, Open Learning, Cowbird, Sport and Technology.)

I am looking forward to blogging in 2013. Thank you to everyone who found my blog this year.


Photo Credits

Year of Reading in Mongarlowe

Rain in Mongarlowe


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Online Resources for Coaches

4344268766_1ae903c997_bIn the early days of public Internet access I found my way to Brent Rushall’s Coaching Science Abstracts. In the mid and late 1990s I found it a revelation to be able to access curated resources that saved me time and introduced me to a range of topics I may not have considered.

Volume 1(1), Training Principles, was my induction to online sharing. Between 1995 and 2002 I monitored Brent’s summaries with great interest. On the current welcome page to the Abstracts, Brent notes:

These abstracts interpret research articles for practicing coaches and others interested in applied sport science. They are drawn from the personal files of Professor Rushall. Some dated articles are included because their content is still current. Most articles are interpreted for coaches of elite athletes and programs. The contents are changed monthly and may or may not be thematic. Usually six issues per year will be provided.

Since Brent’s retirement from San Diego State University in 2004, abstracts included in Coaching Science Abstracts:

have increasingly come from the annual ACSM conference. The scope of other reading sources has diminished. ACSM contributions represent a wide variety of very recent works. Often they go on to become published articles in formal journals. It is my belief that what is presented now on this web site remains a good cross-section of the current thinking on the many topics covered. The standards for inclusion of referenced works remain high because each is originally supervised by at least one ACSM Fellow and this editor retains high conservative standards for evaluating the scientific rigor of each abstract’s origin.

In 2000, the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports (ISBS) launched the Coaches’ Information Service. I thought this was an outstanding initiative and was particularly impressed by Ross Sanders’s work in sharing information with coaches. The current version of the service,, shares research from sixteen sports.

Back in 2000, the Coaches’ Information Service aimed to present scientifically sound information in an appealing and coach-friendly way. The site had scope for scientific contributions based on research and ideas expressed by coaches and sports participants.

Memories of Brent and Ross’s work came back to me this week when I received an alert to the International Rugby Board’s Coaching platform. This online resource “designed to help coaches and match officials get their hands on essential and up-to-date information for improving their coaching and officiating”. The site provides opportunities to:

  • listen to and watch coaches explaining their practices
  • plan sessions on-line and share them with fellow coaches and players

The resources on the site are available in English, Spanish and Cantonese.

IndexMy memories were stirred further by the work Stephen Mellalieu, Keith Stokes and Grant Trewartha are doing as Network Editors of the IRB Rugby Science Network. The Network is “a global network of researchers who are interested in the study of the Rugby Football codes”. The Network was launched in November 2012 at the IRB Medical Conference.

The aims of the Network are to:

  • Promote the scientific study of the game and the transfer of scientific knowledge into professional practice through international collaboration.
  • Provide an international forum for the interaction between people interested in the science and practice of Rugby Football.
  • Work towards the establishment of a periodical conference and publication for academics and practitioners interested in Rugby Football.

The Network has an application process. Network editors respond within seventy-two hours to an application to join. I was very impressed by the speed of response to my request to join. I was able to acquire an IRB passport to the site within twelve hours.

There are nine Digest Sections available in the Network. I am keen to see how all of them develop and I have a particular interest in the Match Analysis Section edited by Ken Quarrie and Simon Roberts.

It is fascinating to see the seventeen-year evolution of online resources from Brent to the IRB. I think other services like the Clearinghouse for Sport in Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board’s new Hub Application for high performance coaches will continue this transformation.

Photo Credit

Coaches watching the fight (Michael Heiniger)

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Reading The Winning Edge

I have had an opportunity to read through the the High Performance Plan, The Winning Edge, announced by the Australian Sports Commission earlier today (webcast).

A number of people have tweeted about the announcement at #winningedge.

I thought I would share some of the details of the Plan as I did with the Crawford Report.

My take on The Edge is …

High Performance (page 1) is about:

  • Consistent and sustainable success for Australian athletes and teams on the world stage
  • Greater levels of accountability for performance results
  • Improved governance structures and contemporary reporting and monitoring of performance
  • Engaging, uniting, inspiring and motivating all Australians.


Winning the Next Race (page 2)

 “Our Olympic performance peaked nearly a decade ago. Since Athens in 2004 our place in the upper echelons of medal-winning nations has drifted downwards. The London Games provided clear signs that even in sports where we have had great success, there are new and re-emerging competitive challenges.”

We are:

  • Winning fewer gold medals
  • Winning fewer total medals
  • Achieving less top-eight placings
  • Below the average of the top 15 nations at the Games for conversion of top-eight placings into medals

“The other measure of sustained success — annual world champions — tells a similar story and extends beyond Olympic sports. There is a trend downwards in priority sports, with 2012 likely to be the lowest result in the last 12 years.”

2012-2022 Performance Targets (page 3)

  • A top five nation at the Olympics and Paralympics
  • A top fifteen nation at the Winter Olympics and Paralympics
  • Number one at the Commonwealth Games
  • Have more than 20 world champions annually.


The Game Plan (pages 4, 5 and 6)

  • Invest for success
  • Plan to perform
  • Support
  • Good governance and capability
  • Evidence-based decisions


Priority Actions (page 8)

  1. Introduce a sharper, more robust national funding and accountability model.
  2. Help sports reduce costs/complexity and grow their capacity
  3. Invest dividends from efficiencies into three key areas: better direct support for athletes; greater investment in coaches and high performance personnel; renewed focus on unearthing and nurturing Australia’s talent
  4. Refocus the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) to grow its role as Australia’s national high performance agency


Understanding High Performance Sport in Australia (pages 10 and 11)

 Australian Institute of Sport (“Australia’s strategic high performance sport agency with responsibility and accountability for leading the delivery of Australia’s international sporting success.”)

State Institutes and Academies of Sport (“provide high performance services and support in partnership with NSOs in their respective state and territory jurisdictions with a view to delivering high quality daily training environments for athletes and teams with podium potential.”)

Peak Bodies (“Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) and Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) support sports to access significant international competitions, including the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and Commonwealth Games. In addition, the APC manages high performance programs for several sports, provides direct funding to national federations and other high performance sector partners, and delivers programs that value add to this investment.”)

The Edge has a schematic for the High Performance System and Performance Outcomes (page 12):

There are four other documents available in The Edge announcement:


The AIS Centre for Performance Coaching and Leadership will be established to:

“improve and formalise a pathway designed for professional development for our high performance coaches and sport leaders, and drive research and innovation. The Centre will systematically integrate and build on successful approaches and programs, such as the National Coaching Scholarship Program, coach profiling and coach study tours, and provide a platform for long-term capability development, with a flexible approach to learning. The Centre will position the AIS as a global leader in high performance coaching and leadership development, acknowledging the potential for rapid growth in high performance coaching.”

The Athlete Pathway (Talent) Development Initiatives are:

  • Sports draft and second chance programs
  • Talent pool expansion
  • Full-time dedicated pathway managers
  • Talent enrichment team
  • Multi-sport centre of excellence


The Innovation Funding Pool aims to:

“encourage innovation and a greater commitment to investment in coaching and high performance personnel, a new pool of funding will be set aside for competitive bids from national sporting organisations (NSO) in high priority sports. The focus of the funding will be on new proposals, and is in addition to a sport’s existing investment in coaching and high performance staff. Funding will extend to encourage technology-related initiatives that will benefit in the areas of coaching and on-field performance. Depending on the nature of proposals, NSOs could be supported for one-off initiatives or multi-year initiatives where evidence of need is justified.”

There are eight High Performance Investment Principles:

  1. The ASC’s investment objective is podium-level results for Australians in international sporting competitions consistent with the targets set out in Australia’s Winning Edge. Investment will be directly linked to a sport’s ability to provide evidence of how it will contribute to the targets in Australia’s Winning Edge.
  2. ASC investment is dependent on sports, athletes, coaches and support personnel demonstrating the highest possible standards of integrity in sport, including anti-doping, that will enhance the reputation of Australia internationally and provide a positive example to all Australians.
  3. Sports must operate with high quality governance, administrative and financial practices that will give the ASC confidence that public funds will be spent effectively. The ASC expects sports to operate at best practice, taking account of an individual sport’s particular circumstances.
  4. The ASC will only invest in sports that have best practice high performance plans in place with clearly agreed key performance indicators across a range of areas. Once agreed, sports will be accountable for achieving progress against milestones.
  5. Sports must co-invest in high performance and will be expected to grow their share of investment over time from other revenue sources such as commercial, philanthropic and sponsorship opportunities. The ASC will work closely with NSOs to assist in achieving progress.
  6. In making investment decisions, the ASC will consider the totality of a sport’s funding position, including broadcast revenues and the efficiency with which funds are being spent.
  7. In making investment decisions for NSO high performance plans, the ASC will consider a sport’s international competitive environment, including differences in competition opportunities, medals available, the differing needs of teams and individual athletes, depth of fields, and athlete pathways.
  8. ASC investment seeks to achieve sustained success aligned to Australia’s Winning Edge targets. The ASC will invest over the long term where a sport can demonstrate a strong talent pipeline and a support structure to help athletes realise their potential.


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Supporting Coaching

I had the opportunity to spend today with a remarkable group of coach educators.

We discussed what we had in common. Three issues that struck me as particularly interesting were:

  • Developing flexible learning opportunities to support coaching pathways
  • Cross-sport mentoring
  • Sharing development opportunities across sports to support coach education within sports

During the day I received alerts to other coach education and development information. Via I learned of UK Sports’ three-year elite coaching programme that will help support up to twelve coaches in the run-up to the Rio Olympics in 2016. Via a Facebook link I learned of New Zealand’s Blueprint for developing Kiwi coaches.

Andrew Eade said of the New Zealand developments “by releasing the refreshed Coaching Strategy and Community Sport Coaching Plan we hope to re-emphasise the importance of coaching and reinvigorate the good work already taking place across the sector”.



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Looking Back: A 1992 Take on Notational Analysis

In the Autumn of 1992, I was invited to write an article for the Sports Council of Wales’ In Touch magazine for coaches. I had been at Cardiff College for just under a year and had established a Centre for Notational Analysis there with the help of Peter Treadwell, Dave Cobner, Sean Power and Jeff Young. I had started my work with the Welsh Rugby Union as a notational analyst.

The article was titled The Use of Notational Analysis in Sport Performance. I reproduce it here to coincide with the start of week four of the small open online course, Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport.

Coaches use a variety of methods to remember and recall the fleeting moments of sport performance. Video is a particularly effective way of recording events for subsequent analysis and reflection. Some coaches are also making use of what is termed ‘notational analysis’ to extend their knowledge of performance.

Notational analysts seek to:

  • Accurately observe performance
  • Collate and analyse observations
  • Facilitate recall of observed performance


The aim of such analysis is to support coaches. In pre-video and computer days, notational analysis relied on pen and paper methods to record events. Some coaches used cine film to provide a visual record of performance. More recently notational analysis has made use of video and computer technology although pen and paper are still used.

Today, all sports are amenable to notational analysis. The notating of performance can take place at the same time as the performance or after the event by making use of a video recording. Information produced in these ways can provide quantitative and qualitative feedback for coaches during, after or some considerable time after performance.

Notational analysis can be either an academic exercise or applied sports science in support of coaching. The former enables an ‘objective’ look at a sport and provides some baseline measurement of what occurs in that sport. The latter is usually undertaken in collaboration with coaches who identify what is to be analysed. It is no less objective than academic investigation but has the advantage of being focused by a coach’s perceived needs.

Notational analysis can be presented in written or visual form. Coaches can use the information to feedback to performers and to evaluate their own effectiveness. It is important to stress that such analysis is carried out in a creative and supportive manner.

Some coaches are blessed with excellent recall but the evidence from research into eyewitness testimony suggests that most of us experience memory decay after an event. Notational analysis can help fill in some of the forgotten elements. Like video, it is a tool for the coach to use.

The exciting challenge for notational analysis is to describe an activity or sport accurately. The next step is to model performance using the quantitative and qualitative information available. With sufficient data and experience it then becomes possible to start to predict performance. The ultimate goal is perhaps to transform performance.

Notational analysis can effectively map the terrain of all sports but it is essential that the guides remain the coaches. Without the insight and intuition of good coaches, any map is less than helpful.

Photo Credit

The National Stadium, Cardiff

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Composition and Coaching

On my drive home last night, I had an opportunity to listen to a Radio National Big Ideas program Composition, Modernism and Philosophy.

In it Martin Bresnick talked about his work with Nikolas Kompridis. Martin is a Professor in the Practice of Composition at the Yale School of Music. His teachers have included György Ligeti, John Chowning, and Gottfried von Einem.

I thought it was a fascinating conversation. Martin talked about his development as a composer and a teacher of composition. The podcast of the program can be found here.

I think anyone interested in teaching, learning and coaching can draw important insights from composers, conductors and musicians.  I like Martin’s discussion of how he taught.

He said:

I take my students from where they are to where they want to go, constantly trying to discover from them if where they want to go is only where they want to go or whether there are more places they might want to consider and then … are they going in the best way possible.

Driving down Lark Hill into Bungendore thinking about inviting students to consider alternatives was a perfect end to an exciting, hectic day.

Photo Credit

Seminar 18 Flyer


#OAPS101: A Day in the Life of a Performance Analyst

The Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport course has encouraged me to think about networks and communities of practice. These issues came into focus today with news of the Digital Futures conference held in Citigate in Sydney earlier this week (shared with me by Alan Arnold).

Merilyn Childs was one of the speakers at the conference. Her talk was titled Not business as usual: MOOCs, Badges, OERs & global personal learning activism. Merilyn has a copy of her presentation on SlideShare.

My conversation with Alan about the conference was one of the prompts I received during the day about performance analysis and connected communities.

  • I started the day looking at and writing about what had happened overnight in #OAPS101.
  • I followed up on a conversation about coach development with a colleague from a sports institute.
  • I had the good fortune to participate in the Performance Analysis unit at the University and was able to introduce Alexis Lebedew to the group.
  • Alexis told me about his brother’s Facebook page At Home on the Court and Huy’s  Volleyball Blog and Newsletter
  • I exchanged some ideas about observation with a coach.
  • I met with a colleague from the Australian Paralympic Committee to discuss an open source approach to sharing resources.
  • Ended the day at the University discussing Learning and Teaching in the context of  #OAPS101 and racing over to see the end of a football coaching session to talk with a coach.

The day underscored for me the diversity and delight of being involved in performance analysis.