Under the guidance of Lauren Conching, Director of Coach Education the Intercollegiate Tennis Association have prioritized women coaches and e.t.c coaching consultants (Linda Low and Sarah McQuade) have been delighted to partner with the ITA to help conceptualize and launch the initiative.
Discussions started in November 2023 to help Lauren explore her vision for women coaches across NCAA Divisions I, II and III, which is to:
Create a dedicated space for ITA women coaches to connect, collaborate and celebrate.
The ITAW was officially launched on January 10, 2024, with a virtual workshop with almost 60 women from across Divisions I, II and III. It is the first of a 3-part series of coach development sessions and will then be followed by monthly calls to collaborate on a variety of topics.
The first session facilitated by Sarah and Linda focused on Coaching Confidence. Why confidence? Because confidence is a key barrier for women entering the industry and progressing their careers in sport (Sporting Insights Report, 2023). Confidence is critical for coaches to be the best coach that they can be, on and off court.
Designed specifically for the ITAW this session helped coaches:
Explore who you are and what is important to you as a coach
Consider what helps you feel most confident in your coaching role
Establish how to present with confidence to communicate your best you
Reflect on what you have learned and how you will apply this in your coaching role
In our dynamic, engaging and thought-provoking way we were able to engage the women coaches by sharing current content, consistently using the chat box, through verbal conversation, and with the use breakout rooms. Our goal was to to help the coaches connect and collaborate to explore the concept and practice of confidence and consider how they can be even more confident in their coaching role and across their coaching network.
The feedback from coaches was positive, with one commenting that:
This is a fantastic Zoom. The most special part of giving us the opportunity to practice and be vulnerable by telling a story on the spot! It was a chance to get real and connect with others. Love it!
Thank you Lauren Conching and the ITA for trusting us to help guide your thinking and lead the kick off to your ITAW Women's Coach Development Program 2024.