Camaraderie, joy and a love of the game is what drew Tove Crosswell to football.
It is also why she started her coaching journey.
Crosswell is the coach of Singleton FC’s senior women’s team as well as the Strikers’ under-10 JDL side.
Her dual coaching appointments are the next chapter of Crosswell’s life in football, which started as a young girl in Denmark.
“I grew up in a small village of about 2,000 people. But football is so much bigger in Denmark that we had girls-only teams, I never played in a mixed team,” Crosswell said.
“I always played and loved it. I’ve played for the last 35 years. I haven’t stopped. Even when I’ve had a break like when I had my children I would dream about football while I was away.”
Tove then moved to New Zealand with her husband before relocating to Singleton about 10 years ago.
The first thing she did was find herself a football club.
After a handful of false starts with other coaches, eventually Tove took up the responsibility with Singleton’s women’s side.
Then, halfway through last season, an opportunity arose to take on coaching the club’s HIT Northern League One under-14s team.
Tove will coach Singleton’s under-10s JDL team this year.
“It took a little while for me to become a coach. For many years in New Zealand I was asked to do it but I know how important it is to have a really great coach and I just didn’t have the confidence yet,” Crosswell said.
“I really like training the girls. I’m still passionate about having good training sessions. It’s just hard to get started when you don’t have the confidence because in my thoughts I know what I’m doing because I’ve played, but how do I teach others?
“Then I found out about things like [NNSWF] coaching courses and resources and it was exactly what I needed. It gave me great confidence and knowledge to be able to help others.”
Learning the ropes
Crosswell was also acknowledged as a recipient of NNSWF’s C-Licence Scholarship for Women last year, which she started in January and will finish this month.
“It was overwhelming to be chosen. The information I’ve taken from that is amazing,” Crosswell said.
“Ash [Wilson, Newcastle Jets A-League Women’s coach] has done a couple of sessions and come over to show us how to do things.
“Other girls have been around NPL level but I haven’t really been at that level so it was cool to get all that information. All the things like how to set up a session. I can’t wait to go back and learn more and to take what I’ve learned to my teams.
“This has been really good. Exactly what I needed and with the resources out there it gives you so much confidence.”
Love of the game
For Tove, the reason she loves being a coach is the opportunity to give experiences to her players she too has enjoyed during her career.
“For me it’s the enjoyment of knowing myself how cool it is to have a really good session. You feel like you learn some things, you forget you’re running around. That euphoria of having so much fun regardless of being so tired. To have a good coach make you feel like that is really cool,” Crosswell said.
Crosswell said the most important step for anyone considering trying their hand at coaching was simply to have a go.
“Everyone is appreciative of the time you give. Just make sure you try and attend a course or check out the resources. Getting that little bit of background is so helpful in giving you an idea of what to do at training,” she said.
“That’s really what helped me and my confidence. It’s so much fun when parents and their kids come up to you just to tell you how much they are loving it.
“You want them to have that joy, especially during COVID times. You realise what life is like without sport and how much you miss it, the joy it can bring. It’s something to focus on rather than school or work.
“There must be more fun to life and a coach can really help bring that out. It makes such a difference when a coach is enthusiastic.”
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