Shadowing/ Observing other Coaches & Co - Coaching

Shadowing/co-coaching can provide a great opportunity for new coaches to find out what coaching entails and see if it is for them without committing right from the start. Providing a positive first step into coaching is invaluable in allowing women to build up their confidence.

Likewise, shadowing, observing or co-coaching at the higher level will not only build knowledge and experience, but it will also expose women coaches to the often closed networks of high performance and elite coaching. 58% of female coaches surveyed in Ireland said they would like to observe other coaches in their sport as part of their development (Sport Ireland Women in Coaching Research Report). 

Chapter 3: Developing Coaches Suggested Actions

  • Encourage clubs to use a ‘shadowing/co-coaching’ initiative when looking to support female coaches in their club. Coaches could be paired with coaches of slightly more experience in the club.

  • Offer a ‘shadowing/co-coaching’ programme to coaches with potential to coach at higher levels. They could be paired up with the representative (National, Provincial, County) teams/athletes in your sport.

  • Put together a ‘Co-coaching Plan’ to share with clubs. This plan can be very simple and outline to clubs the concept of co-coaching, and encourage them to use it with their coaches.

  • Provide opportunities for coaches to observe one another. This might be in the same sport, or cross sport collaboration.

View your action list

Direct contact between coaches and the sport

Having direct contact in place between your sport and your coaches will help you identify more readily what development your coaches need/want. It will also help you identify which of your coaches are still actively coaching, which will help your ongoing coaching monitoring.

Keep in touch through regular emails and newsletters to update the coach on developments within your organisation and opportunities available to them. Conducting surveys can provide direct feedback, supplying you with insight into what your coaching population needs or wants to develop them and retain them within sport.

By showing you value your coaches input and feedback, you are fostering a sense of belonging and support which is vital to a coach.

Chapter 3: Developing Coaches Suggested Actions

  • Create an annual Women in Coaching survey for your sport as a way of providing a mechanism for female coaches to provide feedback

  • Host a number of focus groups each year to further explore feedback. Focus groups might target different levels of coaches, e.g. beginner/foundation, coaches of adult athletes/teams, coaches of kids, coaches of teens, etc.

  • Host a number of club coaching events, e.g. all female coaches in the club are brought together to discuss club support structures, etc.

View your action list