Chelsea Barker - Football Coach & Volunteer
Tyne & Wear Sport have supported Chelsea on her coaching journey. She was successful in achieving a coaching bursary to support for her level 2 coaching award. Chelsea also attended our next generation talent programme, accessing continued professional development in talent, strength & conditioning and behaviour change.
What’s your coaching/volunteer role? Durham United Regional Talent Club U10 head coach and Whitley Bay Girls U12 head coach
Tell us about your background I have been playing football since I was 6 years old when I signed for a local boys team Blackbrook Football Club in Merseyside. When I was 11, I signed for Everton WFC and spent most of my football career here developing as a player and a coach.
I moved to the North East to attend Northumbria University where I studied applied sport science with coaching. I started coaching at Whitley Bay Sporting Club where I looked after U10 and U12 boys. Whilst at University I was also selected to spend 6 weeks coaching in Zambia, Africa, delivering football-coaching sessions to the local community as well as play alongside the Zambian national squad. I am now the Head Coach for two girls’ teams in the North East; Whitley Bay Sporting Club and Durham Regional Talent Club. I coach at both the grassroots level and on the England Pathway and I have just completed my Level 2 in Football. Currently coming back from an ACL injury, I have now signed for Newcastle WFC and I am looking forward to the season ahead both playing and coaching!
Best thing about being a coach/volunteer The best thing has to be seeing my players develop. My coaching philosophy has certainly changed over the years with my focus now being primarily on creating an enjoyable environment whereby players have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.
Who’s your role model or inspiration My role model within sport has always been my dad. He got me started in playing football and has always supported me whether that be on the side of the pitch coaching or playing! In terms of a coach in the current game it would have to be Pep Guardiola, he is a tactical innovator and I love watching how his team plays!
Have you faced or overcome any barriers in relation to your coaching I have faced many barriers throughout my journey as a coach but it has gotten me to where I am today. I will never forget one time when I was in Zambia and I was told that I needed to plan a session for 12 players and 72 children arrived of all different ages and abilities! I have also had to deal with challenging parents as well as safeguarding issues, but I feel as long as you have the right support around you and knowing whom to contact within your club, you can always overcome the barriers!
Advice to other coaches/volunteers looking to get started I would say immerse yourself fully into any opportunities that you can, this could be just attending one CPD session every couple of months; I believe you get out of coaching what you put in! Get a real understanding of why your players are turning up to your sessions.Not all of your players will be the same! I firmly believe that “players don’t care what you know, until they know that you care”.
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