Earlier this week, we sat down with Kathryn Thomas from Nottingham Sheriffs & Wales Dragons to get an insight into her position and role as a coach within the dodgeball community; from her coaching style, her achievements as a coach so far and even what made her #GetIntoCoaching in the first place. Read Kathryn’s Coach Spotlight below.
What club/team do you coach for at present?
“Nottingham Sheriffs and the Wales Dragons Ladies Team.”
What players do you coach?
“Primarily adult women (15+) but also adult men. I do some junior sessions as part of the Girls Dodge Too! Campaign.”
What made you #GetIntoCoaching?
“I was asked to get involved with coaching in schools while at Uni, and then as I became a more senior player it kind of came with the territory.”
What’s your favourite part of coaching?
“Facilitating great performances from my players, and seeing them develop.”
Describe your coaching style in 3 words!
“Collaborative, adaptive and loud.”
Are there any coaches you look up to?
“Emily Walker had a huge influence on me as a new player, and I think Frank Howarth’s work with GB has been excellent.
Outside of Dodgeball I think Gareth Southgate sets an amazing example of professionalism and has a very balanced approach.”
What is easier to improve: Mechanical or technical performance?
“I think it depends a lot on the player. People who have played a lot of other sports tend to be more clued up about working the mechanical aspects, but the main thing is making sure players can do the new skill under pressure on court. Either way it takes a lot of diligent work from the player so you have to be patient.
Technical aspects are easier to reinforce as a coach as you can engage the whole team into focussing on a particular aspect of the game (ball control or court awareness for example). Getting the communication happening in game tends to cement those points in quicker than individual mechanical changes.”
Do you think that coaching has made you a better player? And why?
“Certainly, it makes you look at a game differently and have more appreciation for the big picture of what’s going on. I’m really grateful to have other excellent coaches at Sheriffs so that these days when I’m playing I can just worry about me, but it can be hard to switch off the inner coach voice and focus on your own game.
Being loud is also always helpful!”
What has been your proudest achievement as a coach so far?
“Wales Women winning their Quarter Final against NI at Euros 2019. I may have cried a little.”
Would you rather play forever, or coach forever?
“I don’t think I know anyone who wouldn’t rather play, but I’d certainly love to use coaching as a way to stay in the community once my knees or shoulders give out.”
Have you obtained a BD Coaching Qualification?
“Yes I did my level 2 last year and had a great day. I was impressed by the approach the course took and came away with new ideas as well.”
Why should people #GetIntoCoaching?
“Coaching is incredibly rewarding and can take you to some amazing events. It’s given me so much confidence in myself that’s been great in and out of Dodgeball. It’s also a great way to give back to a community I love being a part of.”
We would like to say a massive thank you to Kathryn for taking the time to talk to us and give us such a fascinating insight into her experience as a coach. Good luck this July at Euros, we will be sure to catch up with you closer to the time!
Dodgeball is growing at such a fast pace and there are so many opportunities available beside from just playing, with one being, coaching. If you would like to start your journey, then #GetIntoCoaching today!
If you know of someone who deserves a spotlight, then email firstname.lastname@example.org