Last week, New Zealand Football ran a special Senior Level 2 coaching course in Wellington, giving female aspiring coaches from across the country an opportunity to try their hand at coaching in an environment of their peers. This was an incredible opportunity, with the course costs, flights, and accommodation all funded by NZF in their efforts to encourage more females to get involved in coaching.
With only 32 spots available across NZ, we were delighted to have eight enthusiastic women attend from our region, and the feedback has been amazing! One of these was football-mad 17-year-old Jessie Bennett from Dunedin, who has already accumulated an excellent coaching CV despite her young age! We caught up with Jessie to hear about the amazing experience up in Wellington.
Jessie, could you give a brief overview of your coaching background / experience?
“I have coached a few junior club teams, currently I’m coaching an awesome 13th grade team in Green Island, SOHS 2nd XI team and many primary school teams. My experience and knowledge are always growing as I am only 17 and still playing the game myself. My coaching isn’t limited only to football as I would do other sports such as touch through the summer, so it was great that I can also apply what I learnt in the last week to the other sports.”
What was your personal highlight of the week?
“We were lucky enough to meet and hear from Wellington Phoenix’s Paul Temple, Wendi Sharpe, Annalie Longo and Sarah Gregorius. It was inspirational and it gave another perspective of the game especially from Annalie and Sarah being players in the football ferns. Paul and Wendi gave us an insight into their coaching journey, showing us that anything is possible really.”
What was something you took from the course you think will help you with your coaching & mentoring?
“It was great that some of the things I learnt, I can apply it immediately to my junior team, such as identifying a key problem on match day then breaking it down into the 5 Ws (Who, What, When, Where and Why) and making a session objective that is simple enough for the players to understand.”
Why do you think women are under-represented in coaching ranks, & what do you think can help level this playing field?
“I believe it all comes down to confidence for woman coaches to gain respect in the coaching ranks as it is really a male-dominated area, yet from here especially, with the progress we made in the last week, it’s only going to get better from here.”
“From my experiences, I have had many male and female coaching and it all came down to how they coached me and what I was able to learn from playing for them. Women coaches just need to step up and be more confident in passing their knowledge on. Even if it’s a hobby coaching junior teams, it’s a great way to give back to your club.”