I still remember how the first coach I ever had seemed really old, even though he was actually a young man. Most coaches are generally parents who are convinced to look after the team despite many knowing little about the game and often being reluctant to act in this role. We often take coaches for granted and regrettably, the challenge to entice people to be a team coach is not easy. Their role is a very critical one for player development as well as team strategy, and has become more professional and scientific as time goes on.
A coach is much more complex than being chief baby-sitter and a new breed of individuals are making a significant contribution to sporting endeavour. There are many components to being an effective coach, with qualifications now required and genuine pathways existing for those who may want to make a career out of their passion for sport.
Bethany Weaver is just 17 years of age and currently doing Year 11 at Southern Cross School K-12 in Ballina. She exemplifies the type of person who is a future mentor for sportspeople, being educated, committed and an excellent communicator. Despite her tender years, Bethany is the assistant coach with the Football Far North Coast Under 13 boys' squad this season after finishing her own junior representative career as a player in 2011.
This young woman is testament to the type of values that come from a wonderful family and along with her four siblings, Aleesia 19, Kaitlyn 15 and Dominic 13, displays enthusiastic application to every pursuit. An array of sporting activities supplements an impressive and demanding academic schedule including Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and advanced English. Every available minute is utilised with purpose and clear thinking that defies someone so young. The questions I posed for Bethany in sourcing this story were answered by someone who is abundantly articulate, intelligent and extraordinarily grounded. Her commitment to football alone involves more than ten hours every week and with an attitude that is classed well above being merely positive, she is an inspiration to her young male charges.
"I hope to use my knowledge for a good cause and hopefully make a difference." is the way that Bethany modestly describes her involvement. Under the stewardship of head coach Gavin Whitney, who himself is a wonderful role model, she is the perfect student. Bethany, our future is in good hands with people of your calibre and football is definitely benefiting from your contribution.