I think there is a common misconception that people often think of being a coach as being some kind
of dictator or being “the boss”. I like to think of it more as a “facilitator” role. I love coaching because
I feel there is no bigger privilege than getting to share the love you have for a sport with other
people and infecting them with the bug!
I’ve been coaching netball since my fifth form at college and recently picked up Handball coaching
last year. I have coached school girl’s right through to adults. For me, coaching is such a self-
reflective process. You really learn a lot about yourself and how the way you frame things comes
across to other people. Through the process I’ve learnt to be more clear and concise with the way I
explain things. I have also learnt that you can’t please everyone throughout the process.
Coaching has also been a fantastic way for me to meet other people in my sport clubs. I have played
in clubs before where we have 26 teams. Coaching enabled me to meet a whole other group within
the club. It also has been a fantastic way to contribute back to the clubs I’ve been with.
I have often found as well that after my coaching my own game improves. I guess it’s the whole
mentality of ‘walking the talk’ for your coaching team. I must admit, they have called me out a few
times or I will do things in a game and think hmm I always tell my team not to do this yet I am.
On the whole the most important thing coaching has taught me is to love the sport you play and to
enjoy it and have fun. This was most evident where in one year at my club I agreed to coach a “self-
entered” team. These girls went out and played hard every week, always came off the court with a
smile on their face and simply just enjoyed playing the game.
I think often when you play at a high level it’s easy to forget that the grass roots in the sport don’t
lie in the athleticism or talent someone has, but more in the sheer enjoyment they receive every
time they hit the court. For me as a coach it is all about sharing that enjoyment and hopefully being
able to help spark that love for someone else.