March 2021,

HPSNZ ups the ante on coaching

The role of coaching has been deliberately elevated in HPSNZ’s 2024 strategy with a new sport-led high performance coaching pathway and several key initiatives to support it.

HPSNZ Coaching Manager Daragh Sheridan says Performance Support services for coaches, an increase in pre-HP regional coaches and up to 55 new regional Talent Identification and Confirmation coaches in the system are among the many significant coaching-related initiatives in the strategy.

“HPSNZ’s new strategy recognises the importance of the partnership between athletes and coaches when it comes to Performance Pathways,” Daragh says.

NSOs will lead their own HP Performance Pathways for athletes and coaches based on a transparent framework created by HPSNZ, which will feature tailored support for individuals based on their age and stage on the pathway.

Daragh says HPSNZ will work with NSOs and coaches to ensure they understand the coaching pathway and know what they need to do to achieve their goals and aspirations.

“Coaches will also be encouraged to be well informed about what coaching practice is appropriate for the age and stage of their athletes, and we will support them accordingly.”

Daragh says the Coaching Pathway comes with more support for coaches, including Performance Support services with a wellbeing focus.

“What was previously HPSNZ’s Athlete Performance Support becomes Performance Support and will be extended to coaches as well. This will involve greater emphasis on coach health and wellbeing.”

Wellbeing and Engagement is one of three key shifts in the HSPNZ Strategy and Daragh says coaches have a critical role to play in this.

“We’ll support high performance coaches to ensure they appreciate how wellbeing contributes to performance. We’ll help them understand how to create enriching performance environments and how to identify and respond to athletes who may be struggling.”

The HP Coaching Pathway will deliver, 55 new Talent Identification and Confirmation coaches, new regionally-based HP coach advisors to provide coaches with a greater connection to the athletes and other coaches throughout the regions, a leadership network programme as well as education and development programmes.

HP coaches can also expect to benefit from access to more resources and insights through HPSNZ’s increased focus on Innovation, Research and Intelligence.

The strategy also aims to increase the number of women HP coaches in the system as the Women in High Performance Sport pilot project and its Te Hāpaitanga coaching initiative are embedded as an ongoing priority.

“We believe the emphasis on coaching in the 2024 strategy will be a significant boost for HP sport across the board, ensuring that the quality of coaches remains a competitive advantage for New Zealand,” Daragh says.