Netball Jamaica benefits from FIFA/Concacaf course
It’s said that collaboration, particularly in sports, fosters further growth and development which can lead to better programmes and ideals. That statement proved to be true as Netball Jamaica took a page out of football’s book to help one of their most critical projects.
The FIFA/Concacaf Coach Educators Course, held in Kingston, came to an end last Friday with 18 participants from Concacaf member associations participated in theoretical and practical sessions to receive the necessary information and exposure to lead the development and mentoring of student coaches in the region.
Surprisingly for some, former Netball Jamaica (NJ) technical director and Sunshine Girls Coach Maureen Hall was part of many of the sessions throughout the week.
Hall is currently overseeing NJ’s Level Two Course and told the Jamaica Observer how beneficial the FIFA/Concacaf course has been.
“I think it’s instructive because the principles of coaching and teaching are across the board but the details might be different. I think I certainly got some ideas in terms of how we can use the learning principles to develop our coaches and I’m certainly going to incorporate in the course we have now,” said Hall.
“I think couple a things stand out with me more. The coach educator and trainer interaction is important because I think I can see how that is going to help our coaches. Our coaching course is too short and we don’t spend enough time with the coaches to develop their skills so I think this has been very instructive for me. The learning frameworks here, how they go about it, the learning principles and the need to be learner centred to involve the adult learners. I think those are some of the principles that have resonated with me throughout the week.”
Hall, along with former Netball Jamaica President Paula Daley Morris, NJ’s High Performance Coach Rob Wright, Adelaide Thunderbirds championship-winning Coach Tania Obst, and noted lead performance analyst Kyle Hendricks, helped design the Level Two coaching course which she says will eventually lead to Jamaican coaches being competitive in the netball arena worldwide.
“The ultimate goal of Netball Jamaica is to upskill coaches to have a pool of coaches who can can adequately coach at the highest level, whether it’s the senior team, the Under-21 team and other regional teams. In designing the course, we looked at the course components in other jurisdictions like Australia, New Zealand, etc, to ensure that our course is equivalent and reflects the components that are being offered. So when our coaches get the highest awards, they’ll be able to coach in Jamaica, the Caribbean or anywhere in the world where somebody says, ‘Look what level of award have you got’ then they can look at the component just like an academic degree to ensure what you’re doing is in keeping with the standards of the rest of the world,” Hall said.
It’s no secret that resources has been an issue for Netball Jamaica but she wants to follow the footsteps of FIFA and Concacaf in regards to coach educators.
“I think Netball Jamaica needs to develop more course educators. You don’t have to start out with 10. If we have two or three to start out with, you can spread the resources around to work with the upcoming coaches. Yes, we don’t have a lot of money, we’ve never had but I think what Netball Jamaica has done effectively over the last 30 years is to use what we have and I think that’s what we’re going to have to do. We’re not rich, we’re never ever going to be rich but we have a lot of teachers involved in netball so, in terms of learning principles and framework, that will be easy for them so it’s about how we can use them to get the other coaches. We also need to spend more time with the one on one or group interactions like this [FIFA/Concacaf] course,” said Hall.
She also believes this will make more Jamaican players amongst the best in the world.
“It’s important to have good coaches. Good coaches will ultimately result in good players. We want to ensure that even at the junior level, before they get to Under-21 or senior level, is that these players have good foundation skills. It’s really what you need to build for senior performance. It’s applicable in all sports because, for example, when you look at Europe and all the other countries, they have academies, etc, so by the time their junior players come out of their programme, they are well-rounded and prepared to excel at the next level because they have a strong foundation,” she said.
The Level Two Netball Coaching Course is expected to be completed this weekend at the National Stadium with practical sessions. The course started in October with the participants completing the theory aspect.