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.
Day 2 and today we bring you, the Youth Coach.
I started coaching (when)… I started coaching football in 2011 and netball in 2014.
I started coaching because… I enjoy seeing people develop and improve and I love sport.
I love coaching Netball because… It’s a great game – a real team sport.
I currently Coach… Juniors, U15/16
My Coaching progression Plans for this season 16/17 are… Umpiring qualifications and to improve tactical understanding.
I coach juniors, under 16’s, at a club in South London and this month we’ve started up for the new season. We’ve had a couple of pre-season sessions, where we’ve tried to improve the players’ strength and speed, and hopefully prevent injuries. As we’ve had a lot of new girls join our club, our main aim for pre-season was for players to get to know each other – in my opinion, team spirit is more important than fitness! The pre-season sessions we did with the girls featured a big circuit session, with exercises such as medicine ball throws, reaction squares and using a Crazy catch – we tried to keep it as fun as possible.
We had two training sessions before our first league game and with a number of new girls, our sessions were mainly match-play so we could get an idea of the player development. A real challenge for me was to remember all the names – it’s something I really need to make a conscious effort on, which is difficult whilst coaching. It was also a challenge to ensure all the players got the maximum playing time possible. It’s been fun watching the new girls in a new training environment – we try to create a relaxed environment with chaotic practices and a bit of music too.
After these training sessions, we had two league games in the A and B leagues. Our B team lost a tough game – a strong defensive performance but the team struggled to get the ball into the circle. As all players played with a great attitude, and it was a team with many new players, I was pleased with the performance. It was a learning experience for me – I like to focus on the defensive side of the game, and I realised in this game that I need to be able to analyse the attacking part of the game as well. I wasn’t able to breakdown the problems in the midcourt effectively during the game, and this is something I aim to improve on this season.
The A team won in a very complete performance. I maybe would have liked a few more interceptions, but I’m never completely happy! Overall, it was a great day, and I hope that all the players had learnt from the experience.
Now we have the first games out of the way we are focusing on a few more training sessions and firming up the squads. I’m going to try to improve my understanding of attacking principles and strategies in the meantime!