The NBL Takeover for 23/24 February will see Cardiff Met Archers take over the NBL Instagram story.
We caught up with Archers' Coach Sarah Wagstaff ahead of their takeover weekend, for our second Coach Spotlight feature
Name: Sarah Wagstaff
Team: Cardiff Met Archers II - WNBL Division 2 Women
What brought you into coaching?
I have always enjoyed helping others and been passionate about teaching from a young age. Ever since I started playing the sport I’ve been involved in coaching it too. Moving to Cardiff and having the academy here also allowed the perfect opportunity to coach and play.
What were your original thoughts when you moved into coaching?
It is hard to remember but I guess I mimicked the coaches I had before finding my own style and probably used the drills I preferred as a player. In fact I think I still do!
What did you find most interesting to learn as a coach?
I’m constantly learning. I cannot pin point one exact thing that has been most interesting to learn but I enjoy learning from players and others on a daily basis. I recently started a Taught Doctorate in Sports Coaching at Cardiff Met and am loving the detailed discussions I have on a weekly basis and being able to apply theory to practice.
What was the most rewarding part of your coaching journey so far?
Again difficult to pick one thing. I do enjoy seeing our younger U16 and U18 players develop and compete at senior level. I also love seeing previous players that have moved on from university progressing in their careers and it is always great to see past players still playing.
Which parts of coaching do you like the most?
I love helping to build an environment where players can develop, be competitive and have fun as part of the process. The relationships you build and seeing individuals achieve is special too.
Where are you now? How are you using your coaching skills?
After taking a season away from Cardiff to coach in Calgary, I’m back working with our women’s second team which is made up of students and U18 players. With this group I’m trying to encourage greater ownership and responsibility and hopefully helping them to think more for themselves and develop their understanding of the game.
What is your coaching niche and why did you choose it?
I love coaching a variety of ages for different reasons so am fortunate that we have the academy ranging from U8-U18’s where I can observe sessions and work with other coaches. The skills camps we run also allow me to go back to working with the younger ages groups which is great. Having said this, I think my niche for now is with young females, perhaps because I’ve been one and my journey helps me to relate better.
What is your favourite coaching question from athletes?
Any question really. I’m super inquisitive myself and love it when athletes challenge something or ask me why.
What advice do you have for those coaches currently in training?
Observe and collaborate with other coaches and don’t be afraid to ask questions or admit you don’t have an answer. I’d also say to be creative with your coaching, think differently and not to worry if things don’t always go to plan.
What legacy would you like to leave behind you?
I’m not sure it is a legacy, but I hope that players know that I care and that regardless of how long it has been since I have coached them that I am always a phone call away should they ever need any help or support in any aspects of their lives.
You can follow Coach Wagstaff's progress this weekend as Cardiff Met Archers takeover the NBL Instagram stories!