No one-size fits all approach to coaching: Eva

words by Tackle Your Feelings, Monday 14 February 2022

Having coached across both girls’ and boys’ talent pathways, the Greater Western Sydney men and captaining the Giants’ AFLW side, there is hardly a scenario Alicia Eva hasn’t seen as a leader.

In a coaching sense, the ability to challenge players with varying needs is a skill the 30-year-old is particularly qualified to advise on.

Speaking on The Coaches’ Box podcast, Eva elucidated the importance of coaching players in accordance with their unique skillsets.

“When you’ve got player X,” Eva said, “Who is an absolute star, can kick left and right, got great hands, very versatile, how do you keep them engaged in training when you’re trying to do skills and fundamental work with a player who’s an elite athlete, but can’t kick or can’t mark?

“What does challenge look like for player X, and what does challenge look like for player Y?

“With those top, high-end skillful players that have been playing for a long time, a lot of planning went behind OK, we’re going to do this drill, how can I challenge them a bit more? It would involve tapping them on the shoulder during the drill and saying … ‘I want you to really go for the harder kicks’.

“For the elite athlete that doesn’t know how to kick properly … it might be, ‘OK, we’re going to do this drill, and I might pull out for two minutes. We’re going to work on this type of kick and then you’re going to jump back into the drill’.”

Eva also spoke about being perceived as a coach, not merely a female coach, as well as her message to aspiring female coaches.

Listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.