After starting his coaching journey at local club North Turramurra, Angus has progressed in the XLR8 ranks to become a Programs Technical Director!
Introduce yourself, what’s your role this year and why did you want to get involved with XLR8?
My name is Angus Swift. I was fortunate enough to be appointed one of the XLR8 Program Technical Directors at the start of this year, a role which involved supporting our coaches on the ground with their sessions, as well as being a point of contact between the club and XLR8.
What you’ve enjoyed so far this season?
I have really enjoyed working with the coaches and helping them deliver engaging and quality sessions to their players. The coaches continue to progress and put a lot of time and energy into not only the physical delivery of the sessions on the ground, but also the preparation and session design off the ground. Seeing the overall growth in both individual players and teams. Players have not only developed in their football ability both technically and tactically – but also developed as individuals and people first. They have all really enjoyed their football and it has been a joy to see.
Gala day was a huge positive that lead to heaps of competitive games and players really enjoying the experience to both be challenged and get success. Recently the engagement of players online with Zoom in comparison to the ones we ran earlier. All the players feel really comfortable with their teammates and their coaches – socially all of the teams have begun to bond and connect.
What are the standout positives of the program you’ve been involved in?
As the TD, even early on in the season I saw a lot of consistency in the way the coaches were conducting their training and this was reflected in their performances and growth on the field. Last year, Kissing Point was recognised as having a strong ‘club identity’ in the SAP program, and this was something I wanted to build on in 2021. I think we achieved this, there was a good sense of community in the program and even the individual teams had a good bond and developed a good understanding between them.
My personal standout has to be the recent involvement of two U9SAP players in Tigers session. Both players have improved massively and have taken plenty of individual steps to get there which has been awesome to see them grow. The Collaborative Programs that were ran during Miniroos on Wednesday have been really positive. All the coaches are running Inspire and appear to be enjoying themselves every week. Players are also getting a really good experience with plenty of touches and smiles every week. The Internal friendlies have created a connection between SAP and DEV, which has resulted in a positive environment on Monday’s. Having both games running side by side every week has really added to the feel of the trainings. Players learnt plenty and having the DEV parent coaches involved also showed them plenty of principles and play and improved their football understanding. Overall, they were really good for both players and coaches.
How have you looked to create, develop and create a positive ‘Coaching Culture’ within the program?
Getting to know the coaches outside of football has allowed for ‘human’ aspect to all interactions. This has helped me create more personal relationships with coaches and deepen the connection between us.
I also always look to enjoy myself by making a conscious effort every week to enjoy myself at trainings and during coaching. Creating positive environments with all my interactions and aiming to allow that to rub off on other coaches, whilst remaining empathetic when required.
Can you provide some specific highlights or good new stories from within your role?
It has been grea to see players moving up relevant pathways, notably two players being involved in Tigers training. Additionally, the player engagement outside of training has been great. Sophia in the U10SAP and Ash P’s GSAP DEV has been juggling frequently before and after training. The highlight of every Monday is her telling both of us her new record over the weekend. She started at 3 she has recently got as high as 32. Her growth and enjoyment in football has been a huge success story between Ash and I.
Finally, what will you look to implement and progress in the second half of the season?
I aim to continue to create systems that allow for consistency within coaches, asking questions that are relevant to issues coaches have and working with them to create solutions that allow for them to maintain a professional and consistent environment. It is also important to maintain a consistent use of language in a hope to make coaches feel involved and valued at all times.
Furthering positive environments now as the season comes to close for all the players to maintain retention. It is vital to make sure all players are addressed and feel cared about so they can form relationships with the club, XLR8 and the association – this applies to both parents of players, club members, and parent coaches.