In the New Forest on a Monday evening, an Under-9s side are training in front of their parents.
The coach, a parent too. This is not an unusual situation for a young side, but when you take into account this coach was a complete novice, then it becomes a different matter.
In those two years, there has been a driving force behind Louisa Daniels’ improvement: Saints Foundation.
“I took the role two years ago because no-one else would,” Louisa explains. “I had no idea what I was doing but I was willing to learn and improve. I wanted to know more about session plans and really find out how I could improve my team.
“That’s when I saw Wai [Saints Foundation coach] coaching at a soccer school my son was attending, and I thought it would be worthwhile picking her brain for advice.
“So I phoned them up and we started the next week.”
With the help of Wai and other staff members at Saints Foundation, Louisa was able to pick up tips pivotal to improving her coaching, allowing her side to improve under her leadership.
Explaining the impact of Saints Foundation, she said: “I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for Saints Foundation. Definitely not. They gave me hours of their time to help me. I’d been given this team and there was no enjoyment as I didn’t know what I was doing. They have given me that enjoyment, knowledge and understanding.
“Writing practices was the hardest thing. I’ve been able to develop my understanding of that and what they need to get out of each session. It makes you feel quite proud to see how far we’ve come together.”
Now a FA Level One qualified coach, she is flourishing in an environment that she has built. And her message to other people who are in the position she once was? Give it a go.
“You have to be brave, but just do it. There are so many resources out there, but the main thing is to ask for help. Doing it on your own can be so challenging, so make use of that. Don’t try and tough it out on your own.”
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