Wednesday 24th November 2021

Coaching Network | From the Sideline

In the latest networking event from the SSS Coaching Network we welcomed Anne-Marie Hughes to chat through her coaching journey and share some wisdom for other coaches in student sport.

In the first edition of From the Sideline the SSS Coaching Network heard from Anne-Marie Hughes who has over 30 years of coaching experience. Anne-Marie is also Assistant Head of Sport at the University of Strathclyde and has worked with student-athletes of all abilities for many years.

The network heard about “the good, the bad and the ugly” of coaching in student sport, and the life-changing opportunities that open up to those coaching sport. Anne-Marie has been to multiple World University Championships and has coached Olympic and Commonwealth athletes. Anne-Marie talked through some of the challenges around changes in technology and communicating with different generations of students that have required her to adapt her approach to coaching over her career.

She described the role of a coach in student sport as a “lonely position” at times but praised the enjoyment of working with young people on a regular basis. The SSS Coaching Network has been implemented to challenge that feeling of loneliness among coaches and create a support network that can share best practice and offer advice between different generations of coaches.

In the ensuing group discussion some of the key take-aways were:

Add value to taster sessions

During Welcome Week it can be more beneficial to make taster sessions more similar to regular coaching sessions. This gives a more accurate impression of what week-to-week sessions might be like and allows the teaching of skills so that students might feel more comfortable returning.

Regular wellbeing check-ins

Asking teams/individuals how they are feeling [mentally and physically] at the start of each session helps to manage expectations within the group. A simple 1-10 rating can help flag any concerns but also gives coaches the opportunity to manage the training load for participants.

Adapt your communication

We all have to adapt to new platforms for communication and finding the best way for your players takes time. Knowing your players is key to effective communication and building trust.

The SSS Coaching Network is open to all those coaching within student sport, and if you would like to join the network please click HERE. We’ll keep you notified of future events and opportunities.