In September, we were pleased to welcome Lee Ible to the Hockey Wales team as Coach Developer, an exciting new role for the organisation. The role of Coach Developer came about following a comprehensive review by Hockey Wales, which found there was a large demand amongst clubs for more input into coaching.
Lee re-joins Hockey Wales from University of Bristol, where he spent two years as Head of Hockey while simultaneously coaching the Wales Under 18 Boys. Lee had previously been a Hockey Development Officer in North East Wales, and we are delighted to welcome him back as a full-time member of staff.
We caught up with Lee to find out more about his new role at Hockey Wales and his vision for hockey coaching in Wales...
What do you hope this new role will achieve?
Broadly, we hope to see an increase in the in the number of coaches, as well as an increase in the quality of delivery across Wales. However, more importantly we want to emphasise the message that coaching is at the heart of sport and shapes participant’s future in sport and physical activity. We want to empower coaches to deliver thriving, engaging sessions on a consistent basis to enhance participant’s experiences and subsequently drive our sport forward.
What attracted you to the position?
Being Welsh myself and having previously been an international player, I feel very passionate about hockey and coaching in Wales. I think the organisation as a whole is in a really exciting position and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead on the coaching side of things.
As you begin your work as Coach Developer, what are your aims?
I want face to face contact with people, to be out and about meeting coaches and clubs, or anybody that’s interested in coaching and wants to know more or how to improve their delivery. I would also like people to reach out, get in touch with us and utilise the resources available in relation to coaching.
Who will you be predominantly working with?
The role covers Tier 1 and Tier 2, working with our clubs and 360˚ hockey centres. The clubs are the lifeblood of our game and I am keen to help spread the message of the importance of good coaching far and wide. Working with our clubs on an individual basis is really important as each one is different in its own right.
I will also be working closely with our 360˚ coaches as they play a huge part in our performance and player pathway, as it is the environment that produces out National Age Group players and ultimately feeds our senior teams. Ensuring that we have better 360 coaches will lead to more talented players coming through, which our national teams will only benefit from in the future.
What is your experience of coaching in Wales?
There is a lot of enthusiasm out there and people who are passionate about the sport. I’m looking forward to working with these people to utilise that energy and passion to drive our sport forward.
What can coaches in Wales look forward to in the next six months?
We aim to provide every coach in every region a bespoke package that’s as close to their needs as possible, nothing generic. Coach development is not just about getting people qualified, it’s about developing the individual and giving them resources they need to deliver hockey more effectively, as well as providing mentoring and support.
What improvements have you seen to the coaching pathway recently?
The launch of the Hockey Hub this summer in partnership with GB Hockey has been a big step forward in providing better support to coaches. It’s a great resource, it’s free, and I would encourage every coach or anyone interested in coaching to sign up and explore what’s on offer. It’s certainly the start of the direction we want to head in.