A passion for coaching often comes from a passion for a particular sport.
For Beckee Ball, her love of netball took her into coaching the sport after two knee injuries as a player were preventing her from taking to the court.
After taking those initial steps, she’s now made her passion her profession, working in both schools and for Places for People in Rotherham as both a netball and trampoline coach.
It is in social netball that she first began to coach, and it is the social side of coaching that the 26-year old finds the most rewarding.
Beckee takes on the story: “I wanted to get back into netball after my injury, so was looking for some social netball sessions I could get involved in There was one at my local leisure centre, and the coach was someone I used to play with.
“She saw that I had a passion for coaching, introduced me to Emily Newman at Places for People, and she gave me the opportunity to do five or six coaching sessions a week across South Yorkshire.
“I had some funding from England netball to do a level 2 qualification in return for doing 50 hours of coaching. It was a no brainer really, and it’s all progressed from there.”
“I went to a netball awards event earlier this year, and worked out that I knew about 300 people there. Not all really well, but to chat to or recognise, I knew them. That’s through social netball, coaching, umpiring or posting on social media.
“I’ve won awards, but for recognition, to say I’d had a hand in some way with over 300 people’s netball career was one of those moments where you stop and think – that’s me, that’s what I’ve done.
“You see that many people as a coach that it’s impossible to remember everybody’s name. But the fact I could have gone and sat on almost any table at that event and chat to someone, took me aback. Personally, that’s the biggest achievement for me so far.”
It’s not all been about social netball for Beckee – she spent two successful years as head coach of Sheffield University netball club.
But it’s clear the impact sport has had on Beckee’s life, and the motivation that provides for her to provide the opportunity for others. She helped grow a social netball session from just a handful of participants to over 40 regular players, who have now established teams that play in midweek social leagues.
“My injury probably took me to one of the lowest points of my life. I used to play at a decent level four or five times a week. It took me a while to get back to being able to do physical activity without being in pain. I couldn’t physically get that enjoyment out of sport, so I thought about how can I pass that onto someone else.
“Sport isn’t just something you do to be physically active. It’s mental, it’s emotional, it’s your wellbeing. The number of people I know and can call as friends through netball is immense. You don’t realise how much of a social impact coaching can have on you. That’s something that drives me to go to coach.
“I might go to a session and I know there will only be three or four people there. But I know that if I can make a difference to those people and let them have a good time as well as exercising, then I’ve done my job.”
If you’ve been inspired by Beckee’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.