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UK Coaching Research Team
13
Coaching Skills

Creating the Right Environment for Coach Inductions

Offers suggestions and ideas to help coaches to plan and deliver effective induction sessions

Induction sessions can set the tone for the entire coaching process. It is really important that coaches take the time to connect themselves to the participants and the activity they are doing in order to inspire and enthuse participants to want to come back and participate long term. The induction session offers a unique opportunity to do this. Induction sessions give you the chance to welcome new people, get to know them, and help them feel a valued part of the team.

Below are some top tips to consider when planning and delivering induction sessions.

General tips

  • Ensure that the dates of meetings or sessions are shared as soon as possible – consider developing an ‘Induction Programme Calendar’.
  • Ensure that everyone knows who to contact if they need to discuss the induction programme – the key person.
  • When you are planning a session make sure it is open to everyone. Consider how accessible a venue is, or make sure that everyone can access any digital learning or meeting.

Before a session

  • Contact everyone before to let them know they are expected at the session. This is an ideal opportunity to check if anyone has any requirements that you need to be aware of.
  • Provide clear information about what the session will look like. Include details about what is required of coaches (practical information such as suggested clothing and what refreshments are available will also be useful).
  • Provide information of how to get to the venue or access digital learning.
  • Provide contact details for the key person responsible for the session – someone to contact if there is a problem.

At the start of a session

  • Be organised and have room/facility or digital forum set up ready to go before people arrive/log in.
  • Say hello to everyone and introduce yourself.
  • Smile and have open body language.
  • Find out names and use them – name badges will help everyone remember and use names.
  • Look out for anyone looking nervous and help with introductions if needed.
  • Allow time at the beginning of the session for people to informally meet each other. For example, a short time for refreshments and a chat when people arrive.

During a session

  • Use names.
  • Talk to people in breaks – take time to get to know them.
  • Listen to what people say and be genuinely interested in them as people.
  • Have a place for questions that people would like to know answers to.
  • Keep track of any things you are committing to do after the induction.
  • Look for opportunities to create a special moment that is fun, memorable or meaningful.

At the end of a session

  • Build in some time for some initial reflection of the session – give people the opportunity to consider what they got from the session and what topics they might want more information on.
  • Thank people for their time.
  • Be clear on what will happen next and how you will stay in touch with everyone.
  • Encourage and help the coaches to stay connected with each other after the session – get agreement on the best method for that group.
  • Encourage people to commit to what they will do next.

After a session

  • Encourage ongoing connection of the group.
  • Follow up with any information to the group and individuals.
  • Don’t forget to get some feedback on the session from everyone – this will help with the planning of further sessions and identify individual ongoing training needs.
  • Send round a reminder of the next event or session.

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UK Coaching Research Team