Vicky and the team at the Female Coaching Network have done an amazing job. To see so many Female coaches at every level, across so many sports in one place was up lifting. Coming together in this way presented a great opportunity to establish where we are at, what we need, and how as a network of like minded individuals we can move forward, together.
I genuinely believe that this networking platform has so much potential. As a coaching community needs are varied and situations often complex. However a consistent message that we are here, we are committed, we want to learn, help us get better, put me in front of good people, and I’ll share what I know, came across loud and clear.
This, the first ever Female Coaches Conference also highlighted for me a number areas that should be embraced and explored by the broader coaching community. The experiences of Women in Sport are different to men – Fact. The challenges faced by female coaches are not exclusive to certain sports. Accessibility to experience and support to progress or for reassurance is pivotal. Where to go, who to go to and most importantly, to be given a voice, stood out.
Women have to make difficult choices and sacrifices to progress their coaching careers. Juggling coaching commitments, family and athletes can be unforgiving. As always it comes to a point where we have to decide – can I have it all? What are my priorities? Whose judgement of my ability to carry out each of these duties is most compelling? In my experience decisions like these either don’t exist or are simply not spoken about by men.
It was insightful to hear inspirational women talk about their balancing acts and personal coaching journeys. Most importantly for me, that they felt that it was ok to share that its hard and thats ‘our’ normal.
Hearing from elite performance coaches at the top of their sport brought a different dynamic and with it new possibility. Role models, advocates, trail blazers.. or perhaps to them, just doing what they love!
Great job FCN – onto the next one!
Bio: Lois Fidler is one of the very few women in the World to hold a UEFA Pro License football qualification. She is currently the Girls Technical Director at Southampton Football Club and is heavily involved in supporting organisations such as the Female Coaching Network, Project 500, Women in Football and the FA.
In the last 10 years or so, women’s football in England has seen a huge transformation and Lois has been right at the heart of it all working alongside the likes of former England Women’s Manager Hope Powell and former Everton Ladies and now England Women’s U19 team Manager Mo Marley.
With over 20 years experience at all levels of football, Lois’ career has seen her be the Head of the Women’s National Player Development Centre, Head of the England Women’s U17 squad taking them to a number of European finals and took her team to the final stages of the FIFA World Cup in New Zealand in 2008.
In 2013, she became one of the first FA Elite Coaches (male or female) and finally achieved her UEFA Pro License in 2014 alongside the likes of Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs, Paul Ince and Gary Neville. Lois is one of the highest certified female coaches in the World of football and I would like to say a huge big thank to her for the support she has shown the FCN and for presenting at our very first Female Coaching Conference.