HRH The Princess Royal
I have just returned from a very special and memorable experience with a pre arranged meeting with HRH The Princess Royal in which she learnt about the objectives of the launch of This Girl Can and now the National project of This Girl Can Coach which is run by SportsCoachUK.
I have been the Head Coach of the EnglandU18 East Regional squad now for two years which just does not seem possible as it was a position which I never thought was within my grasp.
I was a relative newcomer to the coaching world but with 20 years of Professional worldwide playing experience I now realise that my journey from a +4 hcp (4 below scratch) through to top Amateur at the Women’s British Open has equipped me with invaluable practical learnings which I am able to pass on to players of all levels.
My squad consists of both boys and girls which is a highly organised Performance Programme containing numerous elements of delivery which I benchmark and monitor. It was through this role I was selected to attend the inaugural Women in High Performance coaching series which led to the coaches to meet with HRH The Princess Royal.
The opportunity to interact and discuss in an open environment was something I had never experienced previously with each Elite Coach providing different perspectives on certain situations which was the ideal time to bring new ideas and solutions to the table.
The art of coaching has really changed over the years with major emphasis upon “soft skills” which forms an integral element of the player’s success. It is the ability to communicate, support and possess the rapport which forms part of the Professional Coach player relationship. The technical, tactical, psychological and fitness elements are all very important but should be coached in line with these often omitted “soft” skills.
This communication developed into a major section of the course between the invited coaches from athletics, golf, cricket and hockey which was encouraged away from the venue and one which I sincerely hope can be built upon.
#This Girl Can Coach was developed to highlight the many opportunities and openings for women within sport with the vision of offering and inspiring new participants to participate within a variety of exercise and activities through the National campaign of This Girl Can.
The enthusiasm and commitment were plain to see in the room whilst HRH Princess Royal listened intently asking quite specific questions so she could build up a precise picture of every sport. HRH is certainly very knowledgeable in all sports and possesses a real sense of humour with a relaxed demeanour, a real inspiration to everyone. As I am sure you know HRH was one of the first Women to be named a honorary member of the R&A, unfortunately I did not find the right moment to mention this!