I completed my Level 1 Coaching badges back in September 2019 when I was 18, just one month after starting the Girls’ Section at Willingham Wolves FC. I have been a coach for nearly 2 years, and I have loved every second of it, from watching the girls grow in confidence and helping them learn and develop their skills to now having 3 Girls teams and 1 Ladies team at the club with a team of 12 female coaches now supporting the development of the Female Pathway at the club. I was inspired to become a coach after watching the England team in the Women’s World Cup in 2019. I wanted to start coaching so I could help develop players, especially girls and women who now have even more opportunities to play. It made me want to be able to show girls that they can learn from other females in the game too, whether it be coaching or playing football.
I think that being a coach means to inspire people of all ages, to encourage them to participate in football and to watch them improve regardless of their ability. Coaching is such a rewarding role, getting to know the girls and ladies as individuals to bring the best player they can be out of them is the best part of the role. Being a role model to the girls who play in the team I coach as well as the younger coaches within the team is the most rewarding part to being a coach, helping girls set up their journeys into football whether it be playing, or coaching it is really rewarding.
In October 2020, I was nominated in the category of Coach of the Year in the Living Sports Virtual Sports Awards 2020 for the work I had done within the club and community for girls and ladies football. In December 2020 it was announced that I had won the award. I was very proud of this achievement, to be recognised for all the hard work I had put in that year for female football was the most rewarding part.
The main challenge for me being a coach was my confidence, I was the only female coach at Willingham Wolves FC when I first started and everyone else at the club supported me by giving feedback on session plans and sessions that I delivered. Now having a team of 12 coaches in the female pathway of the club I feel more confident with the sessions I produce, and I feel like I am a role model to the younger coaches in the club. The parents of the girls I coach have been a huge support since I started coaching, with some of them being coaches themselves they have always given me advice on what I could do to improve myself as a coach.
I have many plans to develop the female pathway at Willingham Wolves Football Club over the next few years, it has been challenging over the last year to put these plans into action but hopefully now we can finally start the preparations to see girls and women football grow even more within the club and community.
If you want to become a coach, then do it!
It has been the best decision that I have made and is really rewarding. Get as much experience as you can, watch other coaches and ask questions, do not be afraid of making mistakes. If you want to get into coaching then sign up to do your Playmaker course on The FA website, it will give you the basics to coaching football. If you are not associated to a football club already, find your nearest and get in contact, any grassroots club will happily take on new coaches! Through coaching you can change the next generation of sportsmen and women, you just have to believe in yourself.