I have been really impressed with the growth of the women’s game over the last few years. The positive promotion of the sport via the inner warrior campaign and the increased profile along with more clubs opening up to women’s teams all the time.
I have, however begun to develop a real bugbear in my feeling towards clubs and teams attitudes towards coaching. My theory, for what it is worth, is that an investment in coaching in women’s teams is the most worthwhile investment that you can put into the team.
The unique skill sets required to coach teams with such a variety of experience levels is very challenging. There are very few places in the sport where you will coach players with 15-20 years of playing experience alongside players who are touching a rugby ball for the first time. It is a challenge that could do with addressing via some development training at RFU level to spread some of the experience around.
In the last few weeks I have seen quite a few adverts for coaches. They all follow the same requirements. Demanding the following responsibilities of the coach:
1. Must be available for 2 night per week training
2. Must be available for all Sunday games.
3. Must have minimum level 2 qualification
4. Must have experience coaching women’s teams
5. Must create and implement game plan
6. Must create player development plan for all players.
7. Manage game days and ensure all equipment is available.
And the list of “musts” goes on up the page and underneath it there is a payment bit which 9 times out of 10 says “this is a voluntary role but some travel expanses may be able to be paid”
I think what these teams need to realise is that if you have built up the the required skills they are looking for and invested your time learning your trade as a coach then quite simply they are not going to take on a role that is effectively team coach, manager, problem solver, analyst, therapist and water carrier 3 days a week plus work you need to do outside those days to develop the other requirements. And do it all for free.
It would be far better if these teams focused on building a strong set up. They sit down and decide what they can deliver themselves. Advertise in a way that doesn’t put people off as they feel they are committing half their life as a teams dogsbody.
Maybe try something like:
“Arfc women’s team requires a coach to assist us in achieving our goals over the coming seasons. We want to be able to create development plan and identify the areas we most need to improve, alongside a coach who can invest as much time as possible in helping us. We have a team of players that run all the non-playing aspects of the club and ensure that everything is available for match days and training sessions we just need some experienced direction and coaching”
1. level 2 coach
You may find this has a far more successful response, than the search for the mythical coach who is going to give up their life and experience to run a team. If you want to offer some paid roles as well, it may attract the right people and assist you even further.
It is never a waste if you can get the right people and don’t be afraid to ask them to deliver a session so you can get a feel for whether they will fit with your clubs set up.