What steps have HHFC taken that has lead to their growing participation numbers in female football?
Choice, equality and enjoyment.
We have provided all girls the choice of either playing in a mixed team on a Saturday, a girls only team on a Sunday or both. The options we have provided allows a young girl to come to our club and play mixed and/or girls football all the way through to their senior years.
We have also treated girls football on a Sunday as equal to mixed football on a Saturday. Something as simple as having the BBQ & Coffee Cart open on Sunday’s. On the field we have provided the girls equal opportunity for their football, whether that be for social reasons or development.
Enjoyment is a key factor for anyone to participate in their chosen activity. We have seen the girls enjoy their football the most when they are playing with and against other girls of equal ability.
How would you recommend HHFC approach to football coaching?
To be the student, not the teacher and to let the players play football. The best method for a coach is to put the player in the right environment, be positive and let them play. The coach should let the players make mistakes and let the players learn from their mistakes. Every player has a goal on what they would like to achieve so the coach should know this goal and assist in helping the player achieve their goal.
What type of football most excites you? Are HHFC getting close to replicating this?
The football that excites me the most is where players get the freedom to express themselves and show off their skills, whilst doing what is right for the team. I like football when the players are comfortable in receiving the ball, manipulating the ball and distributing the ball. I like football when the team controls the play in a positive way.
The kids at HHFC that are coming through our MiniRoos programs are getting more and more touches on the ball through training and the game. This can only increase their confidence with ball manipulation and the ability to control the play. This then improves the style of play at HHFC where our players are taking better options when given a chance. As these kids progress through the youth age groups and then onto the seniors, our football as a whole at HHFC will benefit.