This season we are introducing an exciting new feature on the blog. We have spoken with a host of coaches that have agreed to share with us a little insight each month into what they have been up to. We have a Children’s Coach, a Youth Coach, Performance Development, Adult Participation and Adult Participation Club…and hopefully very soon a High Performance Club Coach will be joining us.
We all do a similar job, but the job at hand can vary so much, and this really is reflected by WHO it is we are coaching. So the first week of each month, for each day of that week, we will bring you a look into the life of another Coach. We hope you find it interesting to see what other coaches get up to, and hopefully as they share their fab ideas or learn lessons throughout the season, you can learn along with them.
So with no further ado let’s start with the Children’s Coach…
I started coaching (when)… a couple of years ago when I got a job as a Netball Development Community Coach with England Netball coaching Back to Netball. Coaching for my full time role dropped me in at the deep end and exposed me to so many different situations and I loved it.
I started coaching because…
I wanted to do something that had a positive impact on others. I have always loved being active and creating a fun environment in which others enjoyed being active.
I currently Coach… A primary school netball club, children aged 9-11 at a North London primary school. There is no consistent competition, local coaches organise with schools and run a mini 5-8 week league in the summer. Although I try to arrange friendlies when possible as competition is so important, and the kids always want to play a match!
I love coaching Netball because…
Seeing the smiles on the kid’s faces, their cheers and the energy they have during and after a session is so rewarding. 9am on Friday morning is my favourite moment of each week. When I have said goodbye to the kids as they run off into school energised and laughing and I head to work with a grin ear to ear evaluating what went well and what I would do differently next time.
My Coaching progression Plans for this season 16/17 are…
The past 9 months I have been working on the Coaching Children offer developing videos and resources. I have spoken to so many amazing children’s coaches out there (thank you to those of you I spoke to!) I have been completely inspired and want to take my coaching to the next level and coach children in a club environment. As the club I play at does not have a juniors section, I am in the process of setting one up.
My personal coaching development goal for this season, is to go and observe at least 3 other junior club coaches in action and talk to them about successes/challenges.
After a long and relaxing summer off, I cannot wait to dive back into the Netball world. Over the summer I have booked a venue for the juniors club for 5 weeks and also booked a taster session and begun to promote to local schools. I had some great news last week when I discovered that there is a school league that play at the venue I have booked for training. Apparently lots of parents had been asking about local clubs, so fingers crossed we have some juniors ready and waiting to join.
A little breakdown of the things that I have been thinking about over the summer with regard to launching the juniors…
- Booking a venue – this was priority number one to get secured.
- Meeting with my Netball Development Officer. (To check I really know what I’m getting myself in for!)
- Coaching support – I have communicated with other members of the club and hope to recruit a couple of parents at the taster/ in the first few weeks.
- Checked all documents are up to date and done a Safeguarding and Protecting Children online refresher course.
- Costing for the juniors joining.
What I am currently working on;
- Promotion! Writing emails, creating images to share with my NDO and the Sports Coordinator for the borough and on the club’s social media pages.
- Planning content and structure for the taster afternoon.
I haven’t done a whole bunch of coaching this month, but my focus for the September sessions at the school are all about team building, playing lots of games and re-familiarisation with the basics of throwing, catching and working as a team.
A key part of our first session was also about deciding on some shared values for the netball club, coming up with a ‘Netball Code’, we played a game to allow each individual to contribute to the code, I was keen to empower them to take ownership of creating what they want their Netball club to be.
My personal coaching goal was to ensure that every child felt a sense of success and importance from the get go. We played small sided games in small groups in which different elements would lead to winning. For example; speed and sprinting, to shooting, to communication, to passing. The intention of this was to use a variety of skills so within the new group each player could feel success in one way or another.
I also introduced the use of ‘Star Points’ (An idea unashamedly stolen from another junior coach!). These can be awarded to players for anything from making sure they bring their water bottle, to helping tidy up, showing encouragement to teammates, to scoring a winning goal or great netball moments. When players do something but it is a subtle moment, such as being in a space when everyone else is crowding the ball this may go unnoticed, but this is key to good netball, it is great to highlight this to the group and reward the player. This can also support my coaching goal of ensuring that players feel a sense of success.
I have split the whole group in half with a mixture of Y5’s and Y6’s in each group and over the next term I will allocate star points – these will be added to a running total and at the end of the term there will be a winning team…the prize of which I am yet to decide.
So an exciting start and the challenge of juggling both school netball club and club juniors successfully is yet to come, I look forward to seeing what happens over the next month…