Guest author Sarah Jauncey is the Head Coach of American Football at the University of Chester, as well as Director of Education for BAFCA and QB coach for Great Britain Ladies Flag Football.
The first of the indoor training session for current team was held in Northampton in early March. Attended by the existing team members, this session allowed the coaching team to analyse and assess the progress and introduce the plays for the upcoming campaign.
Women’s Flag in the UK is one of the fastest growing sports; it is a fast, tactical and competitive sport. Female flag players come from a variety of backgrounds, many play crossover, in that they play both contact and flag – others play purely flag football. The athleticism required of the players at the elite level is high, as this fast paced game requires quick thinking and quicker feet. Think of it as Chess with tag belts and you have the idea.
After the recent Opal series, run by BAFA (British American Football Association) where the teams play a series of tournaments, the GB Coaching staff have been able to see the huge improvement in the game and in doing so have made our lives more difficult! Head Coach Andrew Gambrill has put together a strong coaching team including Philip Gaydon, Mik Smith, Simon Browning and Sarah Jauncey. Together, the coaching team brings experience from all walks of football and varying backgrounds, resulting in a diverse and open team.
The indoor training session saw the first session of 2017. The day was split into sessions of offense and defense – each player being allowed to work to their strengths and enabling the coaches to analyse and assess each player not only in their own role, but within the team atmosphere and individually. Many of the players play against each other during the season, and bringing them back together as a team is an important part of the process. The day saw some players move from previous positions into new ones, and the more intense coaching structure (many working 5:1 with a coach) saw improved understanding and quicker results. The QB on the day was allowed time to work 1:1 with the coach, this enabled her to improve at an amazing rate of knots. QB coaching tends to be one of the more neglected areas within the British game, and the ability to work one to one with a player is a rare luxury.
The first GB trials will take place in Northampton on April 1st 2017.