It is a common sight on most days to see a family or two down at the Trafalgar Recreation Precinct playing soccer at the soccer grounds. Players from the township of Trafalgar regularly use the grounds, as do players from as far as Traralgon. In addition to the seasonal use by Trafalgar Victory FC and Gippsland FC, the two co-tenants at the grounds, the grounds are a public resource and it is great to see so many families enjoying the sport.
Regularly you will find a dad and their kids having a kick in the goals. Many of the kids play at the club level, some at Trafalgar and others at neighbouring clubs a short distance down the road. So it would appear that many dads are keen for their kids to play the world game of football.
So the question is raised, why do so few dads actually take up coaching at the club level? Trafalgar Victory this year has 6 MiniRoos teams and 3 Junior teams, yet all coaches bar one, are female. Where are all the dads?
It wasn’t that many years ago that the reverse was true, that TVFC had a strong team of male coaches operating across the junior ages within the club. Please don’t mistake my question, TVFC is served by a dedicated and extremely talented group of female coaches who we are indebted to. Indeed our mums are leading the way! However, at a time when we as a club are struggling to find sufficient coaches to cover all teams I ask myself “Why am I the only father at the club coaching at the junior level of competition?”
Is it that many of the fathers never grew up playing the sport? Is it that the dads have never felt invited by the club to take up a role? Is it that the annual online process of applying to coach is too hard to find? Is it that the expectation of managing a group of junior aged kids three times a week is too intimidating? Or is it rather the fact that so many of us are simply time poor in our hectic lives?
I for one have considered all the above scenarios and potential “blockers”. And whilst I have my odd moment when I am standing in the pouring rain at near freezing temperatures asking the question “why?”, overall I thoroughly love the experience.
The upside is that I, like the other coaches at the club, get out and have a run around with the boys in my team. I get to enjoy the experience with my son who plays in the team I coach. I enjoy watching the development of players and their growing love of the game. It allows me to be an active part of the club when my body won’t allow me to play. I thoroughly enjoy the social aspect to coaching and am fully dedicated to my club. For me, the positives easily outweigh the odd negative.
So to the dads out there who have ever thought to themselves “I wouldn’t mind giving coaching a go”, I say to you approach the club, step up and join the team. Trafalgar Victory FC is looking for coaches right now. As a new coach you will be supported, offered training and importantly be most welcomed as a valued member of the team.
If you would like to know more about coaching at TVFC, please don’t hesitate to contact myself as the Junior Coordinator (Mark Judd) at email@example.com or 0448 032 490.