By Liz Hanson and Kate Roskvist
A staple of backyard gatherings, Touch Football has ingrained itself not only as an institution of social occasions but as a highly competitive code in Australia as well. Many professional players in other codes, particularly rugby league and rugby union, have a strong background playing touch football and this has been formally recognized with the recent agreement being signed between Touch Football Australian (TFA) and the National Rugby League (NRL). As the sport carves out a more elite presence, coaches and players are rising to the challenge to further develop their high performance skills.
TFA High Performance Manager, Wayne Grant, is in charge of coach and player development. His insight is consistent with the other codes as to what constitutes best practice coaching. “The best coaches are the best people managers who have the ability to bring a team together, give them a well-researched game plan and the skills and belief to be successful.” He describes quality coaching as engaging, innovative and having accountability.
“In my opinion coaches need a greater understanding of themselves and their strengths and weaknesses in order to work effectively. This, along with a better grasp of individual behavior profiles and how to identify that within individuals in their team will tie together to bring about improved team performance.”
Wayne ran the first high performance program of this kind over 2012 and 2013 and sees the stark benefits of DISC Profiles in prompting incisive self-reflection and analysis. This is meeting a need within the coaching ranks, as demonstrated by the most common question Wayne is asked by coaches is how to better understand their players and what they need.
Their program is a combination of traditional coach professional development, together with DISC Profiling of the three national elite teams. This provides the coaches with both the theoretical knowledge and the practical application of using the profiling to inform their coaching strategies, communication skills and developing the team culture.
On a personal note, Australia winning the 2011 Touch Football World Cup in Scotland is one of Wayne’s most rewarding career moments and he receives enormous satisfaction in seeing a coach improve to a level where they get the best out of themselves and their team. The best advice he has been given is to always surround yourself and your program with the best. “The best coaches, the best support staff, all the best people you can get in their field and give them ownership and responsibility.”
Wayne also shares his favorite quote of recent times being “Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered, those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid. Thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win.”
- High Performance Coach Development and Athlete Profiling Program
- 4 days
- 100% in class
- 10 coaches plus DISC Profiling of senior men’s, women’s and mixed teams
- Coaches are the national representative coaches from across the range of Australian teams
- Most important goal of the program: Educate coaches and athletes on DISC Profiling and its relevance to individual coaches, players and team performance.
“Using DISC Profiles broadened our awareness of behaviors and communication styles and how it relates to improved performance.”
“We value Athlete Assessments’ depth of experience and knowledge in working with team sports, coach development and their ability to relate to our coaches and players in a practical way.”
This article was featured in People+Sport Magazine: Education and Professional Development Edition which is available to read online here.
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