Coaching Association of Canada

Coach Q & A: Shelley Richardson

January 5, 2012

Shelley RichardsonShelley Richardson is the Program Coordinator for Burnaby MoreSports – a program that uses sports as a vehicle to teach life skills to children in grades two to five who face barriers to participation in traditional sport environments. She started coaching in 2002 in softball and is now trained in volleyball, gymnastics and badminton. She is also a Learning Facilitator in Fundamental Movement Skills and has a Bachelor of Education degree with a specialization in Early Childhood Education.


Coach’s Full name: Shelley Richardson
Province: British Columbia
Sport(s): Multiple sports
Coaching role: Program Coordinator – Burnaby MoreSports
NCCP Status: Level 2 Certified (Softball), Level 1 Trained (Volleyball, Gymnastics, Badminton), Learning Facilitator in Fundamental Movement Skills

What is your greatest coaching moment/achievement? 

Working with children who face barriers to participation in traditional sport environments (language, cost, transportation, culture, gender, etc.), my greatest achievement was working with two particularly challenging participants, who had sporadic attendance and exhibited disruptive and aggressive behavior during our sessions. Over the 10 months (two 1-hour sessions per week), we saw a marked improvement in their attendance, teamwork skills and overall social/emotional growth.

What are three things you think every coach should know?

  1. Focus on building relationships with each and every participant.
  2. Sport is a vehicle to develop the social skills necessary to be a contributing adult member of society.
  3. “PLAY” is not a “4-letter word.” Okay it IS four letters long, but “play” should not hold a negative connotation in a sport environment. Unstructured play is where the real learning and understanding occurs.

Why did you decide to become a coach?

To give back to my community.

How would your athletes describe your coaching style in three words?

At the end of each session, our goal is that our participants are: 1) Smiling (fun), 2) Sweating (action-oriented), and 3) Safe (inclusive).

What is the most important thing you learned as part of your NCCP training?

Coach to the individual’s strengths.

Why is being a coach the best job in the world?

To hear these 3 little words: “I did it!”

Looking to coach a specific sport?