When Katie Lamond broke her wrist at the age of 15, little could she have imagined where the next six years would take her.
At that point, she was a player for Leeds Carnegie Basketball Club, now known as the City of Leeds. Initially, Katie helped out with the under 14’s girls team as she recovered from the injury setback. Soon she was helping out at every session, and then at every match day.
Her rise through the basketball coaching ranks has been a rapid one, going from apprentice coach to Head Coach of both West Yorkshire and Yorkshire girls’ teams.
The 21-year old has mixed her personal passion with a possible future profession, and having recently graduated from Leeds Beckett University in Sports Coaching, is now working towards her Masters.
“I’ve always done leadership things,” says Katie, taking on the story. “I was sporty when I was younger and led netball things at schools, when teachers asked. It wasn’t something I thought of, but when I broke my wrist I was still new to basketball, so getting involved in the coaching helped me learn both as a coach and a player.
“If this is something I’m going to keep going with, then I wanted to do more. I wanted to hear other theories, hear from other coaches in other sports and make my own judgements on things.”
Kaite’s experiences haven’t been limited to the Headingley campus of Leeds Beckett University where the club are based, but across Europe and Africa. She’s recently returned from coaching in Malta, having previously coached in Greece on their junior programme.
The past two years have included self-funded trips to South Africa to coach in schools and communities. But it is her work much closer to home that brings the most pride in Katie’s fledgling coaching career.
“Some of the girls I first started coaching have just made it to under 18’s, and are finishing their time with the club. When they started, some of them had low confidence and didn’t want to do it. Working with them and making them enthusiastic enough to stick at it, to the point where they’ll come up to me now and say ‘thank-you’. It’s sad to know they’re moving on, but knowing they want to play at either university or a local club is the most rewarding thing.
“It sounds daft, but I never thought I’d see them go through those stages, but it’s been really rewarding to see.
And Katie’s advice to anyone unsure about taking their first steps into coaching?
“With a lot of people, I think it’s just the confidence to go and do it. I don’t think there’s as many barriers as there were before. People need to have the confidence to take risks, and be prepared to fail. It’s that ‘get up and try’ mentality.
“When I was younger I would be playing out in the streets or in the garden throwing a ball with my parents or grandparents. Through sport, you learn so many new skills and make new friends, and it’s such a shame that people struggle with the fundamentals when they get older so can’t have that link to things.
“When you see people finally understand things in a session, and really loving it, you can’t not do it. Every day I want to see that in every kid that I coach.
“I think people probably know that coaching isn’t something you’re going to make a lot of money from. But when you see the enjoyment that working with children brings, there’s no better reward than a child you’re working with succeeding.
“That makes it better than any form of payment you can ever get.”
If you’ve been inspired by Katie’s story, and want to either start or get back into coaching, click HERE to find out more and complete our online expression of interest form for money towards a coaching qualification.