Si Nainby’s Deep Dive with Dave Collins


Dave Collins is a Professorial Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and director at Grey Matters Performance Ltd. As an academic, Dave has over 350 peer review publications and 70 books/chapters. As a practitioner, he has worked with over 80 World or Olympic medallists plus professional teams and performers. He has coached to national level in three sports, is a 5th Dan Karate, Director of the Rugby Coaches Association, Fellow of the Society of Martial Arts and BASES, Associate Fellow of the BPS and an ex Royal Marine.

In this Deep Dive we discuss all things mentoring:

  • What does mentoring mean to Dave?
  • The importance of Conditional Knowledge – “It Depends”
  • What happens when there is a mismatch between mentor/mentee expectations of how the relationship should work
  • Letting go as a mentor and aiming to make yourself redundant
  • The difference between Competencies and Competence – developing expertise through mixed mode mentoring
  • Dave’s research on professional judgement and decision making and its use as a framework for coaches
  • Naturalistic and Classical Decision Making – high stakes, fast decisions and slow deliberate thinking
  • Using Classical Decision Making to aid Naturalistic Decision Making under pressure
  • The big five questions coaches can use to reflect on their decision making process. What did you do? Why with what goals? What alternatives did you consider? What would have changed in the context to make you choose an alternative? How will you know and when that you’ve made the right decision?
  • The Applied Cognitive Task Analysis framework as a tool of reflective practice
  • Assessing the effectiveness of a mentor/mentee relationship – process vs outcomes
  • Two way challenge in the mentor/mentee relationship – the Zone of Uncomfortable Debate

Research mentioned:
Making Mentoring Work: The Need for Rewiring Epistemology –

The importance of an effective mentor in developing Coach expertise

Professional Judgment and Decision Making: The Role of Intention for Impact –

Muscular collision chess: A qualitative exploration of the role and development of cognition, understanding, and knowledge in elite level decision making –

Developing coaches’ professional judgement and decision making: Using the ‘Big 5’ –

Professional Judgement & Decision Making in Sport: To Jump or not to Jump –

Cognition at the Crime Scene: Identifying Cognitive Demands on Professional Judgement & Decision Making in Expertise of Crime Scene Examiners –

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