This past season, we were happy to help one of our young athletes – Marika Goosens – with a school Passion Project about her experience as a Junior Coach. She recently shared the finished school report with us and we are pleased to be able to share it with you. Her report gives a fantastic overview of the Junior Coach role and how meaningful it is for the young coach and the players. Thank you Marika for sharing your report with us and for giving your time to our young players!
► Learn more about our Junior Coach program
My Passion Project
By Marika Goosens
For my Passion Project I was a Ringette Junior Coach from the end of September to the beginning of March. In my Ringette association older players are given the opportunity to be matched with a team to help coach and mentor younger players. The team that I was put on had girls who were 7-8 years old and it was their first or second year playing.
For the pictures in this presentation, I asked my Ringette association to create a photo consent form to have the parents sign to give their permission to use their child’s photo in this presentation. All the parents signed it and gave their consent.
For this position, I had to complete an online coaching module at the beginning of the season. It is mandatory for all entry level sport coaching and offered through the National Coaching Certification Program.
I attended over 50% of their practices and games, about 40 hours during the season. I had some conflicts with my own ice times and other commitments.
At practices, I would help the coaches set up drills or games and lead some drills. I would also be a person for the girls to talk to for help with a drill or to tell a fun joke. I did lead one practice where I came up with a practice plan and lead the drills and games.
I also attended games where I was almost always on the bench and opened the gate for the girls to go out. The game is played with frequent shift changes and the need to change players on and off the ice, which is a challenge for the player’s this age. I enjoyed watching the girls progress tremendously throughout the course of the year in their skating and Ringette game skills. Games were always a highlight and were so much fun.
Why I Did It
Junior coaching was something that I had been interested in doing for a while. Some of my teammates had done it before and said it was a really fun time and great experience. In September, I was thinking about doing junior coaching and soon after realized it was something I could do for my Passion Project.
I enjoy being around young children and I wanted to share the sport that I am really passionate about and love.
What I Learned
There were numerous things that I learned in this whole experience. As I have mentioned, I have never coached before so I didn’t really know what to expect. I gained a lot of knowledge about young girls and their behaviour and how to be an example for them.
When I was a young Ringette player and I had junior coaches, I really looked up to them. Now that I could be on the other side, I see how important it is to have that connection with these girls.
I learned how much I love this sport and want these girls to savour their time with their teammates and this experience. It flies by really fast and these times are really precious.