Even if the coach is not interested in participating in regional or national development programs, they should find out what is available so that they can make players aware of it. Making contact with the organisers of regional or national development programs can be very useful for all coaches and, in particular, might make resources available to the coach.

Keeping the perspective on the Athletes

The performance of coaches is often summarized by reference to their “win-loss” ratio as if they alone were responsible for those results. This is undesirable.

Unfortunately, some junior coaches merely attempt to maximize wins, often at the expense of long term development. Playing the “best” players may win games in a given season, however the coach’s performance is more accurately assessed by the progression each athlete, and the team, makes throughout the season.

Actively participate in the “system”

Coaches should consider participating in the development system within their region as this will be good for their own development and will enable them to better understand the requirements such programs place on athletes in their own teams.

Time is obviously limited, but even if the coach cannot regularly attend sessions, speaking with players and other coaches is also useful to gain an understanding of these development programs.

Don’t Wait to be Asked

Sometimes, coaches may be asked to participate in regional development programs and this may be based upon their performance within their club team, or a coaching colleague may have recommended them.

However, coaches that are interested in participating in regional development programs, or simply want to know more about them, should be pro-active in making contact with coaches within those programs either to find out more, observe or perhaps actively participate.

Supporting “the System”

Often a good way to connect with development programs is to make contact and ask if there are ways that you can support the program. If you have players from your team that are in the development program, ask if there is anything in particular they would like you to work on with those players?

For example, often within a local competition a player may play in one position (e.g. Centre) but at higher levels of the sport they may be required to play in a different position (e.g. Forward). All coaches should introduce every player to each playing position, and specifically they may be able to support a development program by providing opportunities to emphasise what is being done in that program.