This week we’re looking forward to kicking off our NSFA Super League and Diamond League matchday mentoring throughout the season. This initiative is designed to support NSFA coaches on the ground in their club setting by receiving bespoke mentoring from NSFA Coach Developers.
“At NSFA we see Coach Development as an investment and funding from XLR8 Player Development programs ensures that the matchday mentoring initiative is possible,” commented NSFA Coach Development Manager Jake Stephenson.
“This year our team of developers will be allocated to a variety of clubs throughout the region to guide all NSFA Super League and Diamond league coaches in their own environment. The team of mentors will ensure the coaches are not only challenged, developed and guided – but also coming away feeling empowered to inspire others.”
“Finally, to you the coaches, we can assure you that NSFA Coach mentors are there to ‘work with you’ and provide you with the highest level of support during your matchday experience. We ask you to embrace the opportunity and enjoy the experience.”
Over the coming weeks NSFA will be profiling members of the Coach Developer team, read on to learn more about Jake Cohen!
Who’s your favourite football team and player – and why?
My favourite team is Arsenal. As for my favourite player, I would say two, Ellie Carpenter and Sam Kerr. Both add so much to their club teams, Lyon and Chelsea respectively, and the Matildas. I love watching them play.
Why are you involved in the delivery of coach development within NSFA?
For me, I want to see coaches have the best opportunity in helping the players they work with, whatever the age, stage or quality. For many coaches, that first experience on the formal and informal learning pathway comes in the form of a coaching course. I definitely enjoy being involved in coach development, just seeing the enjoyment and development coaches get from being involved in coaching courses.
Tell us some of your key highlights as a coach or coach developer?
I will say one of each. My key highlight as a coach has been the players I have got to work with over the last few years, both in the representative space and also a women’s all age team for UTS FC in the NSFA competition, along with looking after the development teams at Chatswood Rangers FC. They have all had such a thirst for learning and that has made me improve as a coach as I always want to do my best for them.
My highlight as a coach developer has just seeing the different ideas coaches have on the ground, which you can definitely learn from each person as everyone has unique ideas and suggestions. That could be for a practice, team concept, concept, among many other things. Don’t ever be closed off to ideas from anyone.
What have learnt when delivering courses, workshops or mentored others within the NSFA community?
I would say the main one has been what I said above. Don’t ever be closed off to ideas from anyone, whether they are a first-time coach or have been coaching for many years. Each person comes with ideas which everyone can benefit from.
The other thing I would say has been so beneficial has been working with the other coach developers. We have a fantastic team of developers within the NSFA, so whenever I am around them, I am always trying to improve myself so I can be better in whatever environment I am working in.
How have the changes to the coach development courses this year within NSFA benefitted the coaching community and you as a presenter?
They have been great and have seen an increased interest in the courses as the more bite sized chunks, or blocked approach, has seen coaches wanting to get involved at a time which is more convenient for themselves. For me as a presenter, rather than having a whole day of being involved in a course, I have loved seeing coaches being very focused for 4 hours, rather than getting tired after 5-6 hours and the quality dropping off within the course and less learning occurring. Ultimately, it has been for the benefit of everyone, so it has been a smart change.
What are your goals for coaching and coach development this year?
As a coach, continued improvement is certainly the main goal I have. Working within different programs and teams, I have a few key pillars/goals that I want to achieve, which I continually reflect upon individually and with others.
As for coach development, it’s been great being involved and I would love to be involved in mentoring on the ground to see the fantastic work different coaches within the NSFA are doing this season, plus assist coaches who may want or need it. Ultimately, it’s about trying to see coaching improve within the region as much as possible. That way, the enjoyment of players is enhanced, which means greater enjoyment, development and retention.
In one word, what does being an NSFA Coach Developer means to you?