Former Hockeyroo, Kate Jenner, is part of the National Generation 2032 Coach Program – Gen 32 – which was designed to ensure Australia was a world-leader in coach development ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games as part of a flagship national apprenticeship program for 31 developing coaches.

Jenner [photographed with promising surfer Keira Buckpitt earned a reputation as an inspiring player after representing Australia’s Hockeyroos in 138 internationals and finishing her career with two Commonwealth Games gold medals.

Now, well into her role with the NSWIS Hockey Program, Jenner took time out to participate in ‘Six of the Best’ and talk about the world coaching is opening to her.

NSWIS: Kate, as a Gen32 coach, what are you learning from Ben Senior, the New South Wales Institute of Sport’s Head Coach of its Women’s Program?

KJ: A different way of coaching, and a different way of approaching it. I’m [learning] things I can take away from [Ben’s] coaching style, and how [things he does] can improve your own style and what you deliver. I don’t think anyone needs to be exactly the same as another coach. Instead, I think it’s still a matter of remaining who you are and how you coach, but also taking things from everyone.

NSWIS: What ‘s shaped your coaching technique and approach to the job?

Kate Jenner [KJ]: My approach is more around trouble shooting what I see in a game that could help an athlete to develop. I think about solutions to things that may have happened in a game and go about breaking it down and just simplifying it if it’s something I can provide [a player or the coaching staff] help with.

NSWIS: Who was your mentor throughout your playing career?

KJ: When I came towards the end of my playing career I had an old coach, Greg Doolan, who threw me into some coaching, and it all went from there.

NSWIS: Did you take to the job of coaching quite easily?

KJ: Yes and no. It was fun being back out on the pitch, but at the same time you need to keep your eyes open – there might be a player down that needs to be in the mini game or the drill. You might also need to find a way of keeping a player involved in activities, but, after a while, that evolved [for me] into thinking more and doing less.

NSWIS: Do you think you’ve adjusted to life as a coach where you know to accept whatever happens on the pitch it’s up to your players out in the middle of the field to deal with it?

KJ: That’s something that comes with coaching. As a coach you have your quarter time talk, the talk at halftime, and then your three-quarter time talk, but after that you don’t really have much of a chance to influence them. Instead, it’s more about trying to empower the athletes as much as possible beforehand. Then you hope that when they’re out there and dealing with a situation they have the tools to be able to combat whatever it may be.

NSWIS: Kate, when you look back at yourself as a player through your now coaches’ eyes, what would you tell yourself? By that I mean how would you coach yourself? Would it be any different to what you did back then?

KJ: Probably not. I didn’t think a lot, but I thought when I had to, and I delved into the game when I needed to. Otherwise, I liked to go out there and just play whatever was in front of me. [My approach was about] less information and more freedom.

Daniel Lane, NSWIS

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