Thursday, 5 December 2013

Navigation coaching sessions

I couple of weeks ago I set up a couple of navigation coaching sessions to get the momentum going for next year.

Two weeks ago we had the first session and I was ably assisted by Garry, Sarah and Stephanie. We had 11 keen and eager participants. The evening turned into a beautiful one - straight after a good 'ol highveld downpour.

The first session focuses on basics like map orientation, pacing, thumbing and map familiarity (paying attention to the colours and symbols that tell you about the terrain and surroundings).

For our second evening - last night - we ran two sessions with Garry taking the newcomers for Session #1 and me taking our returning participants for Session #2. You can't do Session #2 without having done Session #1.

This morning one of our new participants wrote to say of her experience of Session #1 - "Learnt a lot and it's amazing what a difference the simpler things that you can do can make (things I didn't know before)". Jess is quite right. Sometimes it takes just a bit of experienced guidance to get you on the right track.

Session #2 works a bit more on map orientation and I was delighted to see the participants moving much more smoothly, changing direction and keeping their maps orientated. A couple of them commented how they felt all fingers at the first session but were way more coordinated this time around. And then we began with an activity that begins with finding your way from A to B.

My top pleasure from the evening was seeing one of my participants glowing on her return from her first activity loop. This was the first time that she's been out navigating on her own and she found everything perfectly. Yes, THIS is exactly why I totally get a kick out of navigation coaching.

In the next two weeks Garry and I will be planning dates for sessions in Jan-Feb-March. I'll let you know details when we've got 'em planned. We've also got a few other treats planned to celebrate AR Club's 10th year as an orienteering club affiliated to the SA Orienteering Federation.

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