Community coach Phillipa Wallace, coach for Carlton Club Team 1 and assistant coach to Auckland Netball U16 Rep team.

At the start of June, Netball Northern held the fourth session in its programme of workshops for the Netball Northern Coach Squad, aimed at sharing insights and experiences, and bridging the space between community and performance coaching.

Netball Northern Community Coach Lead, Tania Heap says the squad, which began in August 2023, is being piloted to provide development opportunities for coaches in the zone with an interest in performance.

The workshop

The most recent session, ‘What it takes to become a Performance Coach’, included observing the MG Mystics training, followed with time spent with Rob Wright, MG Mystics Assistant Coach, to discuss the attributes of high-performance coaches.

Phillipa Wallace, community coach and Coach Squad member, says the insights Rob (and Tia Winikerei in previous sessions) have offered, are really special.

“With them, you see things through a different lens, and that allows you to draw the differences between club and age group coaching, compared with performance,” says Phillipa.

This session has taught her that performance coaching is not just about your knowledge of the game, your strategic analysis, your ability to execute strategies, or how good you are at planning a skills session - it’s all those things, plus a whole lot more.

“And it may be your off-court skills and attributes that are more valuable to you as a coach at this level,” says Phillipa.

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Photo:  Eighteen coaches attended ‘What it takes to become a Performance Coach’ session in June, including rep coaches invited from across the motu, with attendees travelling as far as Mangonui in the Far North.

Key take away

One of the key take aways from the session, Phillipa explains, was how the skills and experiences you have in your professional life, can complement your coaching.

“I think we, as coaches, can undersell those skills - as we’re often too focused on netball knowledge and techniques alone.”

Pursing opportunities

Phillipa says there’s no doubt she has an aspiration to coach at a higher level, and attending the sessions has not only validated her strengths, but also helped her identify areas she can grow in – and that’s why she continues to pursue these opportunities.

She says having conversations with the performance coaches in our zone has been a real privilege.

“There’s a lot of information they’re willing to impart with us [the coaching squad] and I think that’s amazing and I’m really grateful for this.”


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