Q&A: Taelor Parker

While away in Wellington this week on the Female Only Senior Level 2 coaching award, Auckland Football caught up with Papakura City FC and FTC coach Taelor Parker on her experience and plans for the future.

Q: What prompted you to apply for the Senior Level 2 course in Wellington?
A: The reason why I applied for the Senior Level 2 was to expand on my current coaching knowledge and to expand my current coaching style that I use. Also it is a good way to reassure myself that what I’m doing is right or if I need to improve on anything and also to get myself familiar with New Zealand Football’s approach to coaching.

Q: What’s the experience been like on the course so far? What have been the key things you’ve taken from it?
A: The experience has been very comfortable; I don’t feel too intimidated in the environment whereas I would if it was all males with very few females. It would be very difficult to come out of my comfort zone and speak up in certain situations.

The biggest thing I have learnt so far is around the half time team talks, many coaches struggle with the structure of them and the content they deliver to their players. So, learning about how to approach them and what content to include has been the biggest eye opener. It has always been something I have struggled with and researching it has been quite difficult.

Q: How has the all-female learning environment helped you while on the course?
A: I feel less intimidated because females naturally have this welcoming and caring nature about themselves. So, of course you always feel comfortable because they aren’t the ones to not acknowledge you or leave you out which has been a big help on the course and I think a lot of us younger ones can feel the same way that having the older and more experienced ones allow us to come out of shells and have a say because we can learn off them and they can learn off us.

Q: Where are you coaching now and how do you think you’ll apply what you’ve learned this week back in those environments?
A: I’m currently coaching at Papakura City, with two of their junior and youth teams. That is just a starting point for me as this is the first year of coaching at a club. I have coached a school team but it is different when you are put into a club environment as everyone has a different way of how their development programmes are set out.

What I will apply is definitely what I have learnt around the half time team talks. As I said before, I never really had a certain way of how I talk to the team. Session planning is also another big one.

Q: Do you have goals or aspirations about progressing along the coaching pathway? Where would you like to be in five years?
A: My goals vary from the management side to the coaching and player side. I don’t only learn as a coach, I’m also learning as a player because I’m still young so I still take all these coaches approaches and how I can take them into a game. The coaching pathway is definitely helping me to my ultimate vision which is to be a pioneer for Maori females as I think the game needs to be expanded in the Maori culture.

In five years’ time I’ll be 24 so, I’d just like to be able to expand on my knowledge by being in different parts of the country and world. I’d like to go to different countries to see their approach to football.