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Sian Foley
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All People

Why I Love Coaching

Sian Foley tells us how why she loves being a coach so much and offers some useful tips on how to get into coaching

As part of Liz Burkinshaw’s ‘I Love Coaching’ month, I thought I’d take this opportunity to write my first ever blog. So here goes!

Sport, and in particular coaching, has always been a major part of my life. I was brought up by my Mum to be a Leeds United fan (although some would question their ability to play a sport!). I was also involved in athletics and hockey to a decent level, and later in life discovered netball – the sport that saw me get into, and love, coaching.

It started when I was 14 with my PE teacher asking me to help out with her Under-11s practice that took place before my own session. She had over 30 kids turning up who all wanted to learn how to throw, catch and grasp that elusive footwork rule!

I realised that I got great satisfaction out of seeing individuals learn, have fun and compete.

It was the catalyst that saw me get my UKCC Level 2 in coaching netball and coach in schools and along the talent pathway – and also work at England Netball and UK Coaching to develop coaches.

Victory is sweet

I have to be honest and say that my main love for coaching is driven by the feeling of success, primarily when my team wins.

It’s also great, though, when I see players master a skill or an individual come alive in a session when ordinarily they sit back in the shadows and don’t push themselves forward to be heard.

That was me when I was younger – and for those of you that know me, it may be hard to believe that I was quiet and timid once! 

Sport gave me the confidence to express myself and I enjoyed being part of a team that united on a court or pitch, rooting for each other to do their best and produce a great performance.

I was lucky to have great PE teachers and coaches when I was younger.

I knew when I started helping out with the younger years netball sessions that I wanted those players to feel the same way I did – supported, listened to, and inspired to perform to my best.

What I realised quite quickly too is that when you coach younger athletes you’re a role model to them and they often look to you, not only for technical tips, but as a source of support for matters away from the court – and with girls that often equates to boyfriend issues!

Interested in getting into coaching?

Don’t be afraid to:

  • Volunteer. Sport relies heavily on the good will of volunteers and you will never be turned away! Get in touch with your local County Sport Partnership(s) who help support the network of clubs and coaches in your area.
  • Take the time to work out why you want to get involved. This will help you seek out the right opportunity.
  • Ask for help! 15% of coaches in the UK Coaching 2011 Coach Tracking Study stated ‘lack of support’ as a reason for leaving coaching. Make sure you speak to those around you as they are likely to have asked a similar question!

Related Content

  • Why Coach Children?

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  • How to Deliver Engaging Sessions for Young People

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  • Inject More Fun into Your Coaching

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Sian Foley