Where to find Coaches

CTK2 Coaching steps

Where to find coaches

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  • If you want more women coaching at a community level, then looking at parents, grandparents, relations, players, organisers and teachers within your clubs, universities, colleges and schools is very important. All those involved in sport, or who have a family member playing sport, are potential coaches. Many women will not put themselves forward but a “tap on the shoulder” may help them believe they can do it. Speak to these women and girls. They may not only wish to get involved themselves but also know their community and can act as influencers in getting more people active and motivated.
  • Young Leaders, Transition Year pupils and other students are excellent coaches for younger age groups and should be encouraged to get involved.

Current Athletes/Players

  • Athletes/players of any age can make great coaches. Don’t forget about the underage athletes who can coach younger age groups, e.g. U18s coaching the U10s.
  •  It is beneficial for any level of athlete/ player to do a coaching course and to get coaching experience. Most athletes find it can help their own performance or playing ability by coaching others. Athletes/players can support /assist with underage or other teams/athletes in their clubs. Some may act as player/coach for the team or training group. Many current athletes/players have more confidence in their ability to coach while still involved in the sport themselves.
  • Elite athletes/players can sometimes find it hard to make time for coaching, however, as an elite athlete, they are at their most confident in terms of their knowledge of the sport and what they are doing in training to make them better. Getting involved in coaching at this time can be hugely beneficial in preparing them to move into a coaching role when they retire from competing.
  • Injured athletes/players are worthwhile coaching options while they try to return to their sport, e.g. those who have an ACL injury or other long-term injuries.

Re-engagement of Inactive Coaches

According to the Sport Ireland Women in Coaching Research Report, of female coaches who have stopped coaching:

  • 60% stopped for time related reasons of trying to balance work, family and coaching
  • 43% stopped for personal reasons such as moving house or pregnancy
  • 30% stopped for club related reasons such as management issues

When asked if they intend to resume coaching 41% said yes and 43% said maybe. Many coaches would return if an NGB or club were to reach out and personally invite them

Encouragers to return to coaching include:

  • NGB and club support
  • Acknowledgement and appreciation of coaches
  • Flexibility with coaching qualifications and upskilling

Retired Athletes/Players

  • Not all athletes/players want to coach when they finish playing or competing but many will give it a go. Do not just expect individuals to nominate themselves. Relevant club members should approach them to get involved
  • Not all players will step into coaching immediately. Some will want a break from the sport but then would love to get back involved. Those looking for new coaches should reach out to retired players/athletes each year to encourage them back into the sport.

Personal Invitations to Coach


  • Women who are successful in sport or coaching have often talked about the ‘nudge’ received to push them to try something new. Being invited to try something provides women with a sense of belonging and support which promotes a sense of self-confidence to give it a go.

  • Encourage clubs to proactively seek out women to start coaching. Ensure clubs understand that a tap on the shoulder, a phone call, an email, are all more beneficial than a generic club message looking for coaches.

Chapter 2: Recruiting Suggested Actions

  • Put together a set of guidelines for clubs on how they can recruit more female coaches or invite back inactive coaches. Use some of the examples in this toolkit and from the Sport Ireland Women in Coaching Research Report.

  • Provide a subsidy for current players to do coaching courses at reduced costs to encourage/entice them to give coaching a go.

  • Encourage clubs to reduce membership rates for any current players who are also coaching.


  • Create a specific coaching programme for elite athletes in your sport to prepare them for transitioning into a coaching role post-retirement. (Organisations interested in this topic should contact their Sport Ireland Coaching  representative to discuss further).

  • Helping in any way counts. Have a list of things people can help with to ease them into the role of coach. For example, setting up the training area, administration, social media, gear repairs, helping during a session, planning sessions  and task creation, mentor roles, etc.

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