Our Great Coach on this show is Briony Akle.
Briony is a former professional netball players and now coach.
Briony played for the New South Wales Swifts in the Australian Super Netball League and was part of their premiership team in 2001 and 2004.
After retiring she transitioned into coaching, and progressed through roles with junior and senior representative sides. In 2016 she became Head Coach of the Netball NSW Waratahs and led them to the Australian Netball League Grand Final.
This result led to her appointment as head coach of her old club the Swifts in 2018. In her 2nd season the Swifts won the championship and Briony was awarded the coach of the year.
We recorded this interview at the start of 2021 season, and now the team is about to enter the finals series, where they hope to emulate their 2019 championship.
Briony is a calm and empowering coach; the type of person who is able to both develop the confidence and resilience of individuals and at the same time, shape the type of team that thrives under pressure.
She is a caring and insightful coach, who is in tune with the issues that both propel and hamper high-performance. And the type of coach who you would hope your own children can experience one day.
There are many highlights in this interview, but the key ones that resonated with me afterwards were:
How great coaches take a holistic approach and know the athlete both on and off the court. This allows them to understand what motivates the person and also what holds them back.
Her use of role plays to prepare her team for the difficult conversations needed to build both team cohesion and to address issues with self-doubt and confidence.
And wanting to leave a legacy where female participation in sport grows by addressing body image and confidence issues in young women.
This was a terrific discussion with a coach who I have no doubt will one day be leading her country, I hope you enjoy it as much as Jim and I did.
If you would like to send us any feedback or if you know a great coach, who has a unique story to share, then we would love to hear from you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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