Peta Searle

Our Great Coach on this episode is pioneering Australian Rules Football coach, Peta Searle.

Peta played football for ten years in the Victorian State Womens league, where she was named in the all Australian team three times.

She then began her coaching career in 2005 with the Darebin Falcons and in 2006 she coached the first of her 5 successive premierships with the team.

This led to her being awarded the Victorian Female Coach of the Year in 2010.

In 2011 and 2013, she was the head coach of Victorian State Team in the AFL Women’s National Championships and was named the All Australian Coach in 2011.

In 2012 she was an Assistant coach for the Port Melbourne men’s team, and in 2013 led the Western Bulldogs in the first ever AFL women’s exhibition game

In 2014 she joined the St Kilda Football club in the AFL as a development coach, making her the first full-time female assistant coach in the league’s history.

Then In 2019, Searle was appointed the head coach of the St Kilda Football Club women’s team,

In addition, Peta received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2019.

Peta is a coach with a unique combination of resilience, and the type of steely persistence, that only true pioneers possess.

She is articulate and authentic; and focused on leaving a legacy that inspires others.

At the start of this interview, Peta was guarded, almost distrusting, but as it progresses, she talks more deeply about the facets of coaching that are important to her.

And some of the key parts that resonated with me were:

How Great coaches care for you as a human first and want to grow and develop you, and they do this through both challenging and supporting you.

How she focuses on understanding the barriers that are stopping someone from succeeding and then tries to help them remove them. And, in women’s sport this can mean removing many years of socialized biases.

There is always something that can be learned from sad or low times, if you are able to change the narrative you use to understand it.

Peta is a coach that is changing the way we think about about coaches in elite sport; it’s a terrific interview, for me someone we are going to hear a lot more from in the future and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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