Football Queensland‘s new Coach the Coach segment will feature Technical Directors, Club Coach Coordinators and coach educators from across Queensland, highlighting the initiatives being put in place by clubs to support coaches at all levels of the game.
In the first edition of Coach the Coach, FQ caught up with Broadbeach United Club Coach Coordinator Damien Lonergan to get an insight into the strategies he has implemented to support the development of his club coaches.
Known as Coach Damo to the kids he coaches, or the ‘Bearded Irish Man’ in the general football community, Lonergan discovered his passion for coaching in Australia.
“On my coaching journey to becoming a licensed coach, I was able to use my personal experience and the guidance from FQ educators to really find my ‘why?’ in coaching, which is to help progress junior development and support other coaches in their journey,” Lonergan said.
“The coaching mentors I found within Queensland have directed me towards fantastic opportunities in coaching and community coach education, which in turn has enabled me to share those experiences and knowledge with fellow coaches on their journey or pathway.”
As part of Broadbeach United’s technical team, Lonergan has worked with “development focused” club members who understand the importance of a long-term vision in technical and coach support.
“I am extremely grateful to be a part of a very progressive club at Broadbeach United where I am working alongside a very forward-thinking technical team of coaches as their Club Coach Coordinator,” he said.
“We have put coach education at the forefront of our plan to ensure not only the player’s development, but also to keep great coaches within the game with football knowledge, management insight, and support materials.
“All coaches receive the relevant FQ Coaching Certificate education for their age groups, age relevant resources are shared through an online Coach group, and we hold club coaching meetings to share knowledge and ideas on coaching support and development.
“We are also developing a Football Development Plan that implements a growth strategy of retention and recruitment through quality coaching and support for those coaches throughout the season. Through this Football Development Plan we have created and shared Coaching Booklets which help to organise teams with reflection on our club culture.”
When asked what he thinks his club coaches benefit from the most when it comes to their personal and professional development, Lonergan said that education courses and workshops always provide a “light bulb” moment for coaches.
“To have a platform to discuss your experience openly and have other perspectives on that is a huge benefit in a coach’s personal development and growth,” he said.
“I feel the support system provided in our region and game is going to move us forward as we utilise the resources from FQ to provide technical insight, along with session and management plans for our coaches to help them with their organisation and development.”
Lonergan added that Broadbeach United encourages club coaches to gain an insight into the player journey and the individual’s previous development experiences based on their age, in order for the coach to understand their place within the player’s long–term development plan.
The club is also excited to start using video content in coach and player education plans, having seen the success of content such as FQ’s Backyard Drills & Chills video segment.
“Already through our coach meetings we have come up with creative workshops we would like to experience, and these coaching workshops have been supported by Football Queensland with direction on content.
“We are about to run our goalkeeping workshops that help all ages to gain an insight into goalkeeper management and how to incorporate them into sessions effectively.
“These creative coach meetings have now been booked in regularly to firstly support our coaches in case of any problems experienced, but secondly to continue developing our club’s coaches.
“The vision at Broadbeach United is that our coaches have a development journey as well as our players. We base the success of our Football Development Plan on a person’s positive development within our club.”