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Cross Sport Talent Development Coaching Network - Emergenetics

emergeneticsAs part of  the Coaching Delivery Plan – Service Area 1 we decided to facilitate a targeted cross-sport talent development coaching network for NGBs and other key partners. 

Jordi Rose, Sports Consultant for Wiltshire and Swindon Sport (WASP) was the lead on this programme and in conjunction with the local NGB officers they chose Coaches that were working with talented athletes (from the first level after club level) to be involved. The lucky few were chosen to be part of this new Coaches Network.

  • Jordi Rose – WASP/Cricket
  • Steve Neale – WASP/Football
  • Geoff Mascall – Badminton/Boccia
  • Emergentics1Neil Bromley – Fencing
  • Nigel Morgan – Lawn Bowls
  • Tracy Watt – Netball
  • Keith Humphries – Rugby Union
  • Anthony Clark – Swimming
  • Mark Roshier – Rugby Union
  • Catherine Hall – Gymnastics
  • Joe Revelle – Tennis

Wiltshire and Swindon Sports aims were to find out how they could better support coaches working in first selective environments?

  • What is the coaches starting position – what is it like for them? What are their needs?
  • Can we support the personal growth & maturation of our coaches?
  • Can we help coaches adopt a reflective mind set and understand more about their personal profiles?
  • Could we bring together a cohort of coaches working in different sports to share in a unique learning experience?
  • Emergentics4Can we support ‘Talent coaches’ improvement and a more inclusive, accessible talent pipeline?

Emergenetics was the perfect fit for this. One of their key messages is “Value your gifts”; this suited WASPs approach.

Focus of approach and thinking:

  1. To use Emergenetics to improve the soft skills and understanding of people for coaches who are coaching in the first selective environment. It is believed that coaches may have the technical knowledge required from their qualifications but this does not consider individual differences and preferences and how these impact on those coached. Emergenetics profiling and support could give coaches the ability to understand differing personality traits and be able to adapt coaching methods accordingly.
  2. Coaches in Wiltshire are very much attached to their sports, there are very few opportunities for coaches to move outside of their sport and meet similar level coaches from differing sports. All coaches on the programme were coaching approximately at the same level of talented athletes. The approach would also foster shared learning and networking across respective sports.

Emergentics2Why Emergenetics?

WASP looked at several different providers and training courses to be able to deliver the correct level and information for the coaches operating at this level. The appeal of Emergenetics compared to most profiling companies is that they ensure that coaches know their results are their preferences; weaknesses figure less in the learning vocabulary! The profile feedback is clear and logical and alongside the Emergenetics mobile phone application is easy for day to day use in life as well as with coaching. Emergenetics also offered the coaches on the programme lifelong support.

Emergenetics Method

Participants completed a profiling questionnaire prior to the start of the programme. On the first day Emergenetics presented each coach with the results of their profiling and explained the theory behind the results. Emergenetics is broken down into 2 key elements: Thinking and Behavioural Preferences as referenced in the illustrations below:

Microsoft Word Document 12062017 150029 Microsoft Word Document 12062017 150159

Each participant received data regarding their preferences which clearly showed where they were positioned on the two scales. This also gave examples of their preferred styles in everyday situations. Action Learning Groups were then established with coaches from differing sports and differing communication and leadership styles put together to work on a task.

The Action Learning Set tasks set were as follows:

  1. “Knowing me, Knowing you” this was decided on as it is essential for coaches to understand their players/participants and what situations they respond to etc. It was also for the players/participants to understand the coaches and know more about them as people to encourage a trusting and professional relationship. The full presentation for this Action Learning Set, the approach, learning, task work and recommendations is attached. 
  2. “Nurturing Talent” this was decided on as it gave the coaches chance to discover what working in the FSE requires outside of technical knowledge. The group looked at the infrastructure of sport throughout Wiltshire and Swindon and how that this is vital in providing nurturing opportunities. The presentation from this group with its hand outs are also added with the email. 

Intent to Impact:

Following the conclusion of the first year of the cross talented coaching network the impacts have far outweighed what we expected at the start. 

By delivering this course it has:

  • Fostered an improvement culture – coaches who previously may not have had the access to training such as this now have been given the opportunity to develop. These coaches can now work with athletes of different personalities and learning styles. This will lead to better delivery across the FSE in Wiltshire. Coaches are also feeding back to their clubs on the process which will lead to an increased performance from clubs.
  • Transfer learning into practice – Coaches once interviewed have stated how they are now using the Emergenetics principles in their coaching. They are now able to understand and identify different personality styles and are competent in being able to deal with this.
  • Measuring the change and communicating the impact – Coaches have filled out questionnaires at the beginning of the programme and will did so again at the end. Coaches have also been interviewed during the programme and their interviews have been published on to WASP TV to ensure people can the impact that WASP are making with these coaches. Generally, consensus is that confidence is increased with all athletes and understanding of differing personalities.
  • Enhance the delivery structure – Coaches are now able to liaise with other coaches from different sports. For these 12 coaches their coaching infrastructure has been expanded to those from different sports, with different experiences and knowledge. They have worked together successfully. Their delivery has expanded and WASP have also now the knowledge that better coaching is taking place in these clubs and FSE environments.

Listen to the coaches comments: 



WASP have from speaking to the coaches established that we were correct in believing that there was a need for this intervention and programme. Coaches are using the content in both life and coaching. 

Summary of learning/things we might do differently:

  • Bringing together coaches from different NGBs has derived so much learning and cross benefits; they themselves see the worth of further roll out
  • The use of Action Learning Sets has provided real practical application of the work to them and in their Club settings; it is a good learning method
  • Use of Emergenetics has been costly and cost considerations for a second tranche of coaches will need to be considered
  • To address costs, we might decide to request contributions from our NGB sponsors
  • Having engaged these coaches, we need to keep them engaged and use them as peers to others
  • The whole process has meant much time investment on our part which is certainly needed working essentially with volunteers in their time/out of hours

What Next?

The first element of the future of this programme is for the coaches to continue to work towards their projects in the Action Learning Set groups and to report the results back to WASP. The “Knowing me, Knowing you” group are keen to finalise and report on their questionnaires that have been distributed amongst Rugby players transferring from youth to colts’ squads. Following the conclusion of this assessment it will be decided if this suitable to be offered to other NGBs.

The “Nurturing Talent” group have a long scale plan due to the scale of research required and will be looking to develop their idea of a centrally located talent hub for sport; this will include a database, coaches, equipment library and more importantly cross sport connection. Their aim is draw up a plan and begin to move this forward. A timeline and action group is expected to be formed by September with a view clearly of how to move forward on this project.

The coaches involved in the programme so far have all provided feedback that this was of immense value, was of the correct level and would be useful to continue and expand to other coaches both within their own and other sports. 

Working with the coaches from this year we are minded to set up a Coaching/Workforce Forum and a network of ambassadors drawn from this cohort of coaches who have been through the Emergenetics programme. These ambassadors will join with workforce who have been involved in other service areas and they will be integral to driving coaching forward in the future. This group will be also be used as a consultative forum to support the growth and diversity of the coaching family within Wiltshire. It is further anticipated that a new group of coaches will be selected to complete Emergenetics training starting from September 2017. These coaches will also be invited into the Forum.  Further we aim to utilise this base of coaches to drive a bottom up approach to shaping a Coaching Campaign for Wiltshire shaped by the coaches themselves - this will form the basis of our service area 4 work.


Wiltshire and Swindon Sport (WASP) aim to promote and support sport and physical activity. We can support your club, school and workplace with a range of services including:

If you think we can help you please get in touch… Kirsty@wiltssport.org.uk or call 01225 781500.

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