PPI-SA Coaches Get Hands-On Training

PPI-SA coaching applicants got a chance to show of their coaching skills last week.

PPI-SA coaching applicants got a chance to show of their coaching skills last week.

It’s been a long holiday break for PPI-SA, but now that schools are back in session it’s time to get the ball rolling on the 2013 PPI program.  Over the break we came to the realization that, no matter how big our plans, hopes, and desires are for our organization, everything starts with the quality of our coaches. After all, they are the ones working directly with the kids and delivering the program we have developed. Quality coaching is the product of two key ingredients: quality people and quality training. It is our job to ensure not only that we hire the right people, but that we give those people the tools they need to bring out the change we hope to see in our participants.

This year, PPI-SA went through its most extensive process to date to ensure we have hired the right people to coach our participants. Applicants were required to submit a C.V. (resumé) and come in for a formal interview. Then, we took the entire field of applicants to the courts where they took part in basketball drills and games to show off their knowledge and command of the sport, as well as other traits such as work ethic and coachability. The following day, everyone was invited back to courts where they were each given 10 minutes to facilitate a basketball drill to the rest of the applicants. This gave us an idea of who has the teaching, facilitation, and speaking skills necessary to effectively deliver our program content.

PPI-SA's Ntobeko Ngcamu leads a team building exercise during training.

PPI-SA’s Ntobeko Ngcamu leads a team building exercise during training.

After the weekend, those coaches who we felt had the skills and traits we were looking for were invited back to go through hands-on training of our brand new 2013 program manual. Over two days, the coaches played the role of program participants as PPI-SA office staff put them through all of the life skills activities and basketball drills that they will need to know for the upcoming term. Through this process, coaches learned the correct way to administer the drills and activities, find and address teachable moments, and facilitate discussion to extract key points and messages.

There were many old faces at the training who we know and trust to be good coaches, and they did not disappoint. But even more exciting were the several new faces who showed great potential as coaches and leaders and will hopefully form the foundation for the next generation of PPI-SA coaches.

Going forward, PPI-SA is committed to quality over quantity, even if that means temporarily shrinking the number of schools we work with while we strive to find the RIGHT people to coach at those schools. It also means giving our better coaches the opportunity to work at multiple schools, where their value can reach a greater number of kids. 2013 is the year for PPI-SA to put its best foot forward and set the standard for how we want to present ourselves to the communities in which we work. The results of this year’s hiring, interview, and training process has everyone excited that our 2013 vision is off to a promising start.

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