Amanda Marino is currently a coach and Female Technical Director at Forest Rangers FC in the Football St George region.
Can you give us a an overview of your coaching journey thus far?
I live in a household of football fanatics! In fact, everything we do revolves around Football.
My husband is also a coach at an NPL club, and our two sons also play football and have played at various levels.
My football coaching career began approximately seven years ago, after a long period of wanting nothing to do with football. I played throughout primary and high school however, the opportunities to continue playing stopped when I was 17 years old as there were not enough females to form a team and my hopes of playing for a rep team were not in reach as I could not afford the fees at the time.
My love of football rekindled when my eldest son wanted to play football. I fell into coaching when my youngest son’s team had no coach, and I haven’t looked back since.
I have been coaching for approximately seven years now, ranging from U6 boys (mixed) and more recently, U16 girls at Forest Rangers Football Club. I have also been coaching U10 and U13 GSAP for Football St George for the past 2 years.
As the Female TD at Forest Rangers Football Club for three years, my focus was on increasing female player participation and providing them with opportunities and support to progress with their football, coaching or refereeing careers. I also ran the Female Football Development Program.
When not coaching, I enjoy spending time with my family, travelling and I absolutely love dancing!
When did you first start coaching and why?
I began coaching my youngest son’s U6 team as nobody else put their hand up.
Not having a clue what to do, I used the knowledge I had, simplified, jumped straight into it and really enjoyed it.
Having had a couple of successful seasons with this team, I thought I’d push myself and try something a bit more challenging and coach a female team. I’ve never looked back since.
I saw the opportunity to coach female football as my way of contributing to growing the sport and providing female players with the opportunities that were not available to me when I played.
What do you think are the 3 main characteristics of a successful coach?
- Need to have the ability to articulate/explain things in a way the players understand. Not all players understand jargon and all players learn differently i.e.: some players prefer to look at videos and others want to do the drill in order to understand it.
- Need to be vulnerable and show Empathy.
- Be approachable, supportive, relatable and fun!
How do you keep developing yourself as a coach to be the best you can be for your players?
I am always looking for ways to improve my team by discussing the football problem with other coaches, getting their opinions and advice and I like asking for feedback on my sessions to improve myself as a coach.
If you could turn back the clock, what advice would you now give to yourself when you first started coaching based on the experiences you have had?
Honestly, I wouldn’t hold myself back as much as I did. Being one of only a small number of female coaches, I was too shy to ask for help or feedback. YouTube was my best friend!
I would also get involved in more community-based coaching courses and I would take the time to watch more experienced coaches coach their teams and learn from that.