The past few months have been hectic to say the least but they have also afforded me some time to reflect on my first year in the role as Performance Pathway Coach Developer, the first full time Coach Developer England Netball have had. Coaches make the sport happen so for me it’s vital that we support coaches to continue to grow and develop which in turn will allow our athletes to flourish.
One of the main aspects of my role is to lead on the Pathway Coach Development Programme. The Pathway Coach Development Programme is a unique coach development learning programme specifically aimed at coaches who are predominately coaching ‘Age Group’ athletes (13–21 years) in the England Netball Pathway. The purpose of the programme is to explore aspects of coaching as a practice, share experiences of a camp-based program and really stretch and challenge the coaches’ ideas of how they coach netball.
For the 19/20 season we had four coaches on the programme from 4 different franchise pathways. They attended monthly Roses Academy Camps each with a different theme such as;
- Using questions to support athletes learning and reflective practice
- A constraints led approach
- Using performance analysis to support planning and player feedback
I was really fortunate to have the support of staff from UK Coaching, The FA and our Roses Academy coaches and support staff who all were able to add value and share their knowledge and expertise. It was really important to me that I was able to provide opportunities where I could expose the coaches to different people from different organisations and sports who would provide a different insight into coaching. I believe it’s about coaches finding their way not doing it my way and that was my driver when building a programme of support.
In between the camps I was able to visit the coaches at their club’s sessions so I could see how they were putting things into practice and we could reflect on the outcomes together. We would often voice record our thoughts and share them amongst the wider group. This was a really valuable tool for me and them to get real insight into our thoughts and reflections.
I’ve been really lucky to have four fantastic coaches who have embraced all the different experiences and challenges they have been faced with. You can hear their thoughts on the Pathway Coach Development Programme here in an interview with UK Coaching Coach Developer Jen Coady.
The programme is currently on hold due Covid-19 but please look out for the programme recruitment and application process in 2021.
Performance Pathway Coach Developer