How did you first get involved in coaching?
I first started getting involved with coaching after being sidelined with an ACL injury back 8 years ago. I would religiously turn up to training all wrapped up and watch from the sidelines. After a while, a few of the coaches asked me to help out with their session and so I began to assist a bit more. For me coaching originally started so I could still be involved and included with my team and friends. I took on a few rep futsal teams and helped out with outdoor and my school team giving advice or tips to the younger girls. Another 2 ACL injuries and four surgeries later I completely gave up football and everything to do with it. After spending time travelling and away from home I was coerced to come back and coach club and school girls and haven’t looked back!
What is it that you enjoy about coaching?
As a player I have really enjoyed the technicalities of coaching and interpreting tactics. Otherwise, I love seeing the girls grow and develop on and off the park. It’s awesome to play that ‘role model’ for my players because I really have been there and done that. Looking back I realise the importance of the friendships made on the park and how playing a team game can enrich your life so that’s something I hope all the girls can take away with them at the end of the day.
What is it that you enjoy about coaching?
Coaching is a super active way for me to still be involved in football. I love hearing from the girls and giving advice or help on and off the pitch. It is super rewarding to see my players realise how something fits into the play and discover the success that comes with it. There is nothing like all the girls coming off the pitch smiling and celebrating how well they played, how good they knocked the ball around or their commitment right to the end of the game.
What key areas should we be trying to improve in grassroots football?
I think the NSFA and football NSW are introducing some really positive initiatives at grassroots levels. For me, grassroots should focus on breeding a positive football cultural which should epitomise Australian football and sportsmanship. Improving the substance and depth in coaching staff means not only local kids get the absolute best football experience but are challenged and get the chance to strive for their best on the pitch playing for Australia or for their top local team. I think its this revolutionised thinking that seen the massive growth and development of the NSFA over the last few years. If we continue to stress the values of respect and commitment on and off the field and let the kids play football we will continue to see improved results. Finally believe we should continue to improve the involvement of our young girls as referees, coaches and players particularly as young female leaders.
How has the FFA C Licence furthered your coaching skills and /or knowledge?
Completing my FFA C Licence has really stepped up my coaching and communication of the game to my players. I think the brilliant thing about the C Licence is not necessarily that you learn a heap more about the game but rather how to translate and communicate this knowledge and playing style to your players. Because of the licence, I think I am able to present a more specific and detailed session for a specific football problem to my team. I am able to identify areas needing to be addressed and can coherently work through these problems so that my girls can likewise identify issues individually and as a team.
What would your message be to others looking to get involved in playing, coaching and volunteering in football?
Give it a go and give it some time to reap the rewards! Particularly when I started coaching I was pretty young and felt other coaches had little respect for me. It takes time to find your style but there are so many good resources now that can act as the foundation of a session. It is important to have your players and parents realise success isn’t necessarily just winning on the weekend. Additionally, by getting involved you meet some fantastic people and make great connections regardless of what you see yourself doing in the future. I still catch up with friends I began playing with back in my junior Lindfield days! I believe it is super important for young people, particularly those starting or in high school to have some time away from that school environment with different friends to give a perspective of things outside their school sphere.