Both Nicole Thomas and Helena Novotna took their assignment very seriously and delivered three highly professional coaching clinics which managed to achieve the objectives of the project
The series of three coaching clinics, as part of the Coaching Empowers project, came to end on Saturday afternoon with Day 2 of Teaching Skills with Fun Drills. Nicole Thomas, who was selected to deliver two of the three coaching clinics, really impressed as she did not just introduce several fun and innovative ways how to teach various softball skills, but she also made the youth softball players of the Ghajnsielem Redcoats love the game even more.
The first of the two sessions was held at the Ghajnsielem Primary School and covered extensively fielding with much attention given to reaction time and quickness. During the latter part of the first day there was pitching and catching for some of the participants whereas the others continued to cover various other aspects of fielding including how to teach catching fly balls.
The final day of the clinic had to be shifted to Saturday for logistical reasons and to ensure a greater turn-out. The most difficult skill to teach and learn in softball, and one of the most important, is that of hitting. The entire session was dedicated to hitting as coach Nicole Thomas demonstrated some of the faults in the hitting mechanics of most beginners and how to help them overcome such faults with various drills.
This turned out to be a most productive and fun experience for players of the youth softball team. By learning how to teach others the most important skills of the game, the girls came to understand better some of the mistakes they make themselves, why they make them, and how to correct them.
The experience of this group of girls keeps on getting enriched with the activities the Club organises for them on a regular basis. Softball has become important in their life. The game has taught them valuable lessons which will certainly come in handy when they grow older and face the realities of life. Most importantly this experience has empowered them making them stronger and more confident and able to face new challenges.
Coaching Empowers was an unmitigated success thanks to the commitment of those involved in the project. The administration of the Club did their part to put the project together and select two softball coaches who were perfect for the subject matter. Both Nicole Thomas and Helena Novotna took their assignment very seriously and delivered three highly professional coaching clinics which managed to achieve the objectives of the project.
The Ghajnsielem Redcoats will continue to promote the achievements of their female athletes, and continue to encourage more females to volunteer as coaches. Local high profile female athletes and female coaches would in turn become role models for younger participants. There would be more girls wanting to excel at a sport and achieve the high level reached by those who are older than them. It takes much investment and considerable effort for a virtuous cycle to commence. However, when it does the issues of low rates of female participation in sports, as well as of gender imbalances in sport would gradually become a thing of the past.
This initiative has been supported by the Ministry for Gozo Sport Organisations Assistance Scheme, a funding programme for Sport Organisations on the Island of Gozo.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Ministry for Gozo cannot be held responsible for the content or any use which may be made of the information contained therein.