Katie Glynn has been the Assistant Coach of the Vantage Black Sticks since 2019. Not only is Katie an accomplished coaching having previously coached Secondary School Hockey at Diocesan, Auckland Aged Group Hockey as well as being the head coach of the New Zealand U21 Women’s Team.
During her remarkable playing career, Glynn amassed 134 caps for the Black Sticks and scored a whopping 77 goals during that time before being forced to retire from the game that she loved at the age of 26 due to lingering back and knee injuries.
During her stellar career, she had the privilege of representing New Zealand at the 2010 and 2014 World Cup, the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2012 London Olympics where she was a part of the side that would fall in the Bronze Medal match.
When she retired from playing, Glynn stated that she was passionate about coaching and was looking forward to dedicating more time to this area now.”
We spoke with Glynn during the recent FIH Hockey Pro League matches at Ngā Puna Wai where she talked about her journey to becoming an elite-level coach.
Q – What has been your coaching journey so far?
Katie – I started coaching earlier than I thought when I was forced to retire early from playing due to injury. Coaching was a way for me to stay involved in the game that I love. Once I finished playing, I got involved at club level, and from there, I started to get involved in some age group rep coaching. More recently, I have been involved in the New Zealand junior programs.
Q – What courses have you gone through to get to the position your in today?
Katie – I have been involved with the Performance Coach advanced program, which is a two-year course. I am also on the NZOC women’s leadership program, which has given me some other different skills to bring into my coaching.
Q – What are some learnings that you have taken from your time as a player into coaching?
Katie – Coaching is a lot harder, your on the sideline and you cant jump on the turf and help out. One of the critical things I have learnt is the importance of the relationships that you build with all your athletes. Understanding your athletes, who they are, and how they like to communicate is essential to making the relationships with the athletes.
Q – What are your future goals that you would like to achieve in coaching?
Katie – I haven’t thought about it a lot, I love the game and want to be involved in the sport. I take each year and opportunity as they come.
Q – Why is having good female representation in coaching important?
Katie – Role models are essential, females understand females when you talk about relationships that is a crucial step in building those relationships. Women operate in different ways to men, and I believe having people with those different skillsets in a management staff is important.
Q – How did you embrace the role of being a role model in your time working at a school?
Katie – When I was working at Dio, I reflected on what I struggled with at school, which was finding balance. I tried to take my learnings and support them with some of the challenges that they had.
Q – Hockey is a sport at the forefront of equality in sports. Why do you think that is so unique and important in hockey?
Katie – Its sport for everyone, you want everyone to participate and enjoy it. No matter what you are going through, you want people to feel welcome and accepted.