UK Coaching has launched the second ever Coaching Week this week by making a #GreatCoachingPledge to help coaches across the nation benefit their communities. To help celebrate, we asked some of the UK's best basketball coaches and players to answer some coaching questions and to give their #GreatCoachingPledge. In this week's first Coaching Week Spotlight Interview, we caught up with Myerscough College's Coach, Troy Culley.
COACHing week SPOTLIGHT
Name: Troy Culley
Team: Myerscough College
Tell us a little about your coaching background?
I originally started coaching junior national league basketball back in 2006 at Torbay Tigers under the mentorship of Rick Wooldridge. I left in 2013 to start my undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Kent at the same time as coaching throughout the pathway at Kent Crusaders. Recently, I have spent the last three years at Myerscough College whilst completing my Master’s degree in Elite Coaching Practice at the University of Central Lancashire. I have been fortunate to not only have the opportunity to coach across a number of regional and national teams over the years but achieve my UKCC Level 4 Coach certification this year and be selected as a Great Britain representative on the FIBA Europe Coaching Certificate.
What inspired you to get into coaching?
When I first started playing at Torbay Tigers, I benefitted from the pathway they created that encouraged older players to give back to the club. I was able to achieve my Level 1 award and start to help out with some of the U10 and U12 development sessions.
What were your original thoughts when you moved into coaching?
I started playing basketball a lot later than most but through coaching I was able to improve personally whilst researching and teaching the young players the right way to do things. I saw it as the best of both worlds.
What have you found most interesting to learn as a coach?
Throughout the postgraduate course at UClan we covered coaching practice, planning for performer development, issues in performer development and coaching analysis. Whilst the course was not basketball specific it incorporated a number of high-level coaches across basketball, rugby league and England hockey. Being exposed to different coaches with a variety of approaches, in an environment that analyses how we coach, how we plan, what may impact this process and how we analyse our coaching to inform subsequent delivering, opened my eyes to how diverse the coaching process really is outside the technical/tactical elements that are so often highlighted.
What has been the most rewarding part of your coaching journey so far?
This has to be seeing players that you have worked with everyday achieve goals that they have set themselves. We have had a number of players in the academy, over the past three years, be rewarded for their hard work with opportunities to play for their National Team or gain scholarships to play in America. I was lucky enough through the FECC to attend the FIBA U18 Division A European Championships in Riga, Latvia last summer where I was able to see a couple of our academy kids – Callan Low and Mate Okros – represent Great Britain. To be able to play a small part in multiple player’s lives is massively rewarding.
Which parts of coaching do you like the most?
I just love being around the game. The sport has played such a big part in my life and opened so many doors that have allowed me to do and see some incredible things. I am grateful I can work every day to help provide others with similar opportunities.
What is your greatest strength as a coach?
A lot of what I have achieved has happened because I am hard-working. The value of putting time and effort into something was always stressed when I was growing up and first got into coaching. This is something that I have carried through and try to instil in the players I work with.
Where are you now? And what is your coaching vision for the future?
Another successful season at Myerscough College has just ended. We entered the European Youth Basketball League (EYBL) this year to compliment our domestic provision and came within one possession of winning the SuperFinal in our debut season which is an incredible achievement. Alongside this, our Under-18 Men’s team were recently crowned National Champions, gaining some redemption after losing out in the same championship game a year ago.
Preparations are currently being made for our 2nd season in Europe and I am excited to return and see how our new cohort embrace the oncoming challenges as we continue to fly the flag! Being part of the staff that travelled to Estonia, Latvia and Poland for the regular season and then Estonia for the SuperFinal was invaluable and easily one of the best development opportunities I have experienced!
What is your favourite coaching question from athletes?
You need to be able to provide context to everything you ask the players to perform. So naturally them asking “Why?” is so powerful as it enables them to not only check what you want from them and the applicability of what you are asking? But provides you with the opportunity to check you know why you do what you do.
What advice do you have for those coaches looking to get started and those already on their coaching journey?
Surround yourself with good people. There are a handful of coaches that have already walked the path that I am on and it is so beneficial to be able to turn to them for support and advice whenever I need it. It is important to be mindful of the breadth of information that is readily available today and constantly ask yourself what is relevant now and what may be useful at a different time. For example. some professional practices might not be suitable for players at the youth level. The most valuable lesson I have learned over the past decade is that coaching has its fair share of ups and downs, but if you stay committed and put the hours in you will be rewarded
For coaching week, we are asking coaches to make a pledge. What is your coaching pledge?
I have been fortunate enough to have several opportunities to develop as a coach both domestically and overseas. I will continue to share what I have learned from these experiences to help others.
For more information on Coaching Week, follow the link below: