Coaching Association of Canada

Coach Q & A: Brent Dobson

June 7, 2011

Coach’s Full name: Brent Dobson
Province: Ontario
Sport(s): Soccer

NCCP Status: Community Coach Senior (Soccer)

Tell us about yourself:
I am a proud husband (to a runner) and father of three athletic daughters. I am a coach (and President) in a community-based youth soccer club (Nepean City Soccer Club), which aims to provide programs for all ages and levels of skill.

How did you first get involved in coaching?
I first started thinking about coaching in grade school when my teacher asked me to coach the girls soccer team (under his watchful eye!), and again in high school when I was nominated to attend the Ontario Educational Leadership camp (athletics).

What is your greatest coaching moment/achievement?
Each season brings some memorable coaching moments. But looking back over the years, the most rewarding personal achievement wouldn’t be one moment, but the journey itself so far – that I was able to help teach and motivate young athletes, and watch them develop their skills, confidence and personalities, on and off the field, and to see them continue in sport.

What are three things you think every coach should know?
1) That kids play sports primarily to have fun, exercise, be with friends, improve and learn new skills.
2) To be prepared and educated to meet the development needs and goals for their players.
3) That you are a role model to the players you coach, and you have the ability to inspire them, regardless of their level of skill, both in and out of sport. Coaches must be prepared for this, and respect it.

Why did you decide to become a coach?
I’ve always loved playing and teaching sports. My own coaches, from my early playing days to my university years, showed a belief in my ability to lead and coach and gave me opportunities to develop an understanding of how important and rewarding the role of coach could be. The opportunity to teach, to inspire, to motivate, to play and laugh with your players is extremely rewarding. And to coach my own daughters and spend time with them is something I cherish.

How would your athletes describe your coaching style in three words?
Fun, Fair, Firm (most of the time!)

What is the most important thing you learned as part of your NCCP training?
That coaching youth is not about winning and losing, it is about developing skills, having fun, teaching fair play and respect, motivating young athletes to be the best they can be, creating memories, and understanding the coach’s role in these areas and others. The opportunity to learn and share with other coaches cannot be underestimated and the NCCP training sessions provide this.

Why is being a coach the best job in the world?
Coaching youth soccer, a sport that can be enjoyed by many at any skill level, is great for a lot of reasons. But mostly, it’s fun – to teach, to play and compete, to develop a child’s self-esteem and confidence and to watch them grow as players and people. To be able to coach a sport in a community club setting, while promoting the enjoyment of the game and physical activity, is a wonderful opportunity to give back to a sport that provided me some great experiences and life skills.

Final thoughts?
As a former competitive player and someone who really enjoys teaching children, there was little doubt I would find myself involved in coaching soccer at some point. Being involved in youth sports and passionate about learning more, I realize how much work is involved to provide the necessary resources and programs to community coaches, particularly the parent-coach, and how helpful this can be. I also believe the way coaches coach and players train has changed and will change again, which makes it important to continually learn and adapt. I am a supporter of the LTAD/LTPD initiatives and hope these plans can be implemented quickly and successfully.

I am a big believer in the role of community, volunteer-led sport organizations. These organizations provide opportunities to 100’s of children through 1000’s of hours of volunteer efforts. I believe that through sport - children, coaches, parents, officials and volunteers have the opportunity to learn values such as teamwork, fair play and hard work, staying fit and giving back to your community. Whether an elite or recreational athlete, young or old, I believe the lessons learned through participating in sports can make a big difference, on and off the field.

Looking to coach a specific sport?