Life As A Volunteer Coach; advice to other women wanting to become coaches

There are thousands of us around the World that give up countless hours each week to coach our beloved sports.  Governing bodies are continually aiming to recruit more male and female coaches and rely heavily on the commitment of these coaches to volunteer and develop their sport at the grassroots levels.   In our new feature ‘Life as a Volunteer Coach’, we explore the ups and downs, the demands and the glory of being one of these unpaid sports coaches.  We asked 7 coaches from the UK and the US all kinds of questions ranging from how much time they spend coaching, what sacrifices they make in their everyday life’s and how much coaching costs them each month.  Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing their very honest answers with you all.It would be great to hear about your experiences also, so please join in by adding your own answers in the comment boxes below!
To meet the 7 coaches sharing their stories CLICK HERE

In the last part of the series, we asked our coaches what advice they would give to other women who were unsure whether or not to take the leap and become a coach…


Emma – Football, UKEmma Marlow Profile photo

I think that if someone has a passion for something whether it is a sport or a physical activity, then I think you should pass it on to other people and let other people enjoy it as much as you have.  It can be nerve-racking to start with, but if the club set up is really good, then like me, you will get mentored and receive all the help you need.  I know that if I have any issues with planning one of my sessions, I know that I can just ring someone up and they will give me advice.  No matter what the situation your in, there is always time to coach.  There will always be an hour you can find in the week to go and help others enjoy a sport as much as you have.  Whether you are an experienced top level coach or you are just a volunteer at grassroots – there are coaching roles for everyone, whether it is just as an assistant or a Head Coach.  Coaching is very very rewarding and its something that I definitely would go back on any of it.



Liane – Football, UK
Definitely become a coach! It is so valuable.  I didn’t think I would find anything that would replace the feeling of playing football, but coaching has done that.  Watching the girls improve week on week and being a part of that experience is invaluable.  I didn’t expect it to be as rewarding as it is.  To go and watch and try and be part of it, just go down and observe and get a feel for it. 

Robyn – Ultimate Frisbee, USA


I would say they should try it! There are so many different coaching opportunities available in Ultimate frisbee that there will always be a way to get involved. Even if you’re not quite ready to take a head coaching role, there is always opportunities to be an assistant or volunteer. So seek out an opportunity to try it out in an environment where you feel comfortable. Being a volunteer head coach might seem a lot of work, but in the Ultimate world, you always have the opportunity to help a team plan out their practices and so long as you’re honest with the time you can commit, any team would be happy to have additional support.


Wendy – Hockey, UK 
Wendy RussellI would say go along to a club and watch different groups and assist in different groups.There will be an age and a sport that suits you – coaching seniors is totally different to coaching youngsters, so just go along, enjoy the sport and the coaching will come.

You only need to know the basics to be an assistant coach, just enjoy it and can show you enjoy it – then you will be fine!



Michelle – Cycling, UK

MICHELLE PAGETAbsolutely do it.Despite the nervousness of the initial sessions etc, every week is brilliant. I learn and progress along the way and always feel like I am making a difference to the riders, helping them become the best that they can be. No better feeling of seeing a rider get a technique or pedal for the first time and achieve – makes me feel so proud.



Maha – Roller Derby, UK/USA
MahaOh my god, just do it.  Seriously.  Just. DO. It.If it helps, find a mentor, but start getting involved any which way you can.  Tag along.  Shadow.  Listen.  I’m really big on listening to learn.  It’s the future.





Jill Ellis – Running / Cycling, UK

Jill eccelstonI have a few friends who have either just changed career like me or are thinking of it and I let them know we are mad for have more female amongst the coaching network

A BIG thank you to all of our 7 coaches for taking part!