Richmond Institute and Swinburne University of Technology student (Albury-Wodonga campus) Kieran Jones says his coursework helped solidify the leap of faith he took into football coaching this year.
At just 19 and barely out of school, Kieran took the reins of the Wodonga Raiders U/14s in the strong Albury Wodonga Junior Football League this season.
He says his learnings as a student with Richmond Institute (studying a Diploma of Sport SIS50319/ Diploma of Leadership and Development BSB51918) has helped to maximise his coaching potential and what he could offer the budding young footballers.
“Once I had decided to join the course, I knew there were placement hours involved, so I thought coaching would be a good way to get them,” he said of his initial appointment.
“But I would definitely say the theory through the course was a big factor in helping me to succeed.
“A lot of the emotional intelligence work that we do as part of the Richmond Institute course really helped. Being able to see others’ emotions and having the confidence in myself to express myself in the right way is a good example of that.
“Public speaking as well, my ability to do that really progressed.”
Kieran’s assistant coach spoke of his improvement when addressing the team throughout the year, and the first-year coach also received positive reviews from parents at the end of the year.
“I was a bit shaky at first, and I probably did not always know what to say. But by the end of the year, that changed,” Kieran said.
“Once I was able to worry less about that stuff, I could really focus on coaching.”
As an Albury-Wodonga student, Kieran found a mentor in the local campuses Program Educator- Tim Madden.
Madden has previously coached the Murray Bushrangers in the NAB League Girls, helping players get drafted to the AFLW and is a strength and conditioning specialist.
“Some of the work with Tim, even if indirectly I could relate with really well. He coached at a high level, so it was nice to be able to take some of his knowledge and relate it to footy,” Kieran added.
“I got a few conditioning tips from the Richmond Institute drills we do and was able to implement them into training sessions (with the Raiders U/14s).”
Kieran said the ability to teach the young footballers proper running techniques was something he felt held them in good stead.
“It is not necessarily something you are going to get taught in a footy training session, but I was able to bring that in,” he added.
“I explained to them that you can get soft tissue injuries playing footy, but this can help prevent that by shoring up their techniques and running correctly.
“Little things like that were relevant to teach them at a young age, and I was able to link that aspect up nicely, given my Richmond Institute training.
“Even warmups and implementing that as well. I certainly had an extra layer of confidence by knowing the theory and why you do things before just going out and coaching them.
“Having an understanding of the mechanics helps, and it is nice to get the chance to implement it through a placement.”
Kieran is unsure of his coaching plans for 2022 but said he would pursue it again in the future, along with ASCA qualification, to become a certified strength and conditioning coach.
He also hopes to continue with the Richmond Institute after graduating from the dual diploma, by studying the Richmond Institute’s Cert III in Fitness.
THE LOCAL CONNECTION
Kieran said that staying local in 2021 had been a massive success for him, allowing him to pursue a career in sport without moving his life.
“I finished school last year and did not know what I wanted to do. I knew I had a big passion for sport and always wanted to be involved with it,” he said.
“I had a chat with the careers advisor at school, and she put forward the Richmond Institute and another similar program that was based purely in Melbourne.
“But staying local appealed to me. It just makes it more accessible for those young people that are not ready to go straight down to Melbourne.
“It gives us an extra option which is great, because moving to Melbourne can be a big thing, especially with the financial side of needing to relocate and find accommodation.”
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