Top tips I’ve learned from the Sport Sister Podcast.

Written by Natalie Doyle

January 25, 2023

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For the past two weeks, I’ve been recording episodes for Season 2 of the Sport Sister Podcast.  I always say that the podcast is a selfish project for me because I enjoy it so much!  I love listening to the guests talk about their experiences, advice, and opinions.  I’ve been reflecting on Season 1 of the podcast and thought I’d share some key things I’ve learned from my guests.

1. A good network is essential.  Many of our guests have spoken about the importance of building partnerships to help you achieve your goals.  Tina Hamilton spoke about it really well in our episode about the importance of female role models and how her club works with their County FA, The FA, local schools, and their local MP to make sure that everyone understands their vision and can support them in working towards that vision.

2. Remember your participants are people first. Cath Bishop captured this brilliantly in our episode about creating thriving environments.  She said “It’s not, you’re a footballer or you’re a member of our club, or you’re an elite athlete. It’s that person-first approach and the adaptability piece, that means we just allow people to be all of who they are. And we recognise that there are things that we don’t know about that are happening in other parts of their life, but they bring with them, and that has an impact on how they turn up.” It is such an important point.  We never know all of the things that are happening in someone else’s life.  It’s worth bearing in mind when it comes to supporting your participants.

3.  “The number one job of anybody in a leadership position is about inspiring.” This is a quote from David Faulkner in our episode about culture and leadership.  I love this episode because it really demonstrates the importance of effective leadership in grassroots sport and elite performance.  David and Keith Hardy provide some great tips and really had me reflect on my leadership approach.

4. Surround yourself with supportive people.  Sarah Waite and Yvonne Harrison both talked about this in our episode on women in leadership.  They talked about WhatsApp groups, friends, and colleagues that they go to when they need additional support or are feeling a lack of confidence and how it builds them back up.  It’s such an important part of building your confidence and resilience.

5. The social side of sport can be a great way to engage new participants.  This was a great tip from Andrea Ellis and Carol Bates in our episode about never being too old for sport.  They both talked about the experiences they have had with their participants outside of football, socialising with new people, challenging themselves, and taking themselves out of their comfort zone, but having a lot of fun at the same time!  This is especially important for women and Andrea and Carol had some great advice.

I’d love to hear what things you’ve learned or reflected on from listening to the Sport Sister Podcast.  I find I take something from every episode and there is so much great advice from my guests.  You can check out all of the episodes so far by clicking here and we’ll be launching new episodes soon!

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