Phasel’s Wood Activity Centre, near Hemel Hempstead, was the venue for this year’s autumn half-term training for club juniors.
Because of some curious scheduling of half-term dates numbers were a bit down but we were lucky that being half term and, incidentally, the beginning of the winter season for camping we had the activity centre pretty much to ourselves. The weather was also kind to us and therefore the use of the Jubilee Hut was limited – although it did get used for refreshment breaks and a number of very interesting indoor training discussions.
A total of 9 juniors had been able to make it and so we split them into two groups, the older group being coached by Kevin and the younger ones by Susan and Gillian with support from Claire.
For the seniors, much of the day was focussed on identifying good attack points and clearly understanding the use of CARS (Control, Attack point, Route and Start)
After a brief discussion the athletes completed two short loops in the wooded area and were then back to the hut for a discussion on the various choice of attack points. This led on to a lively discussion about the choice of attack points on upcoming selection races, in the autumn, and into 2019 using maps. Kevin had provided maps of all the selection races, including JK2019 and the British Championships and the juniors were asked to identify suitable attack points for the controls on those maps.
Meanwhile the younger members of the group had been doing a recap, firstly on map symbols by the use of flash cards and then by doing a map walk around the centre and relating features to the map.
The pace moved up a bit by using the map symbol relay, which soon became a bit competitive.
After a short break we spent some time creating our own maps using a variety of line and point features before moving on to relating map features to pictorial Control Descriptions.
After more exercises outside ensuring that athletes were able to keep their map orientated, we retired for lunch and various games of Hide and seek.
After lunch the coaches had planned a number of courses to bring together the things that had been covered in the morning. The older ones being asked to do a longer course through the woods with younger ones staying mainly in the open areas in front of the hut. All the courses featured use of ‘butterfly’ planning in order to make sure that good map orientation was maintained. With a little time to spare two of the younger ones were able to successfully complete the more complicated course.
It was soon time to depart, so many thanks to all the athletes who took part and to the coaches who worked with them.
The sun was still shining as we departed after what had been a very enjoyable and successful day’s training.
We hope to see everyone again at the next HH training on 28th December in Northaw Great Wood.