Coach, athlete relationship key to success – on and off the field

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Having a strong culture and relationship system in place between coach, athlete and parent is essential for the success of any sport program.

And it is the integrity of these relationships that the South West Sydney Academy of Sport says it has identified as a core strategy in the 2023-2024 sport programs.

As part of that strategy, the academy hosted a coaching symposium for its athletes at Wests League Club last night (Monday, September 11).

The evening featured a panel made up of members of the academy’s coaching staff.

Van Nguyen (netball head coach), Jeff Cooper (basketball head coach) and Guy Creber (Wests Future Stars program manager), pictured above, led the discussion on how coaches can effectively plan their program to maximise relationships and implement a strong culture aimed at success.

“Developing strong relationships between the coach and athlete is important within our programs as we aim to assist athletes reach their full potential,” says the academy’s sport operations manager Stephen Craig.

“This is achieved by a deeper understanding of not just the parties involved in the process, but by the process itself.’’

The panel also provided insight into how to plan their sport program content and training sessions around the high performance pathways.

Coaches communicating their season and training plans with fellow coaches and the athletes themselves was a key feature.

“It was really good to be asked to provide our feedback and asked what we think, to know that as athletes we are important and feel respected,” said academy triathlete Zoe Bruce (pictured) afterwards.

The academy says it hopes the coaching symposium will be an annual event.

It also plans to release a community coaching survey and community coach education program in early October.

For more information on the South West Sydney Academy of Sport, head to or email

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