WA Coach Leadership Series

UWA logoThe Department of Sport and Recreation has partnered with The University of Western Australia to deliver a pilot Coach Leadership Series in Western Australia. This is a series of 2-day modules that are designed to assist in the development of effective leadership capability (skills) and capacity (energy) among individuals working in high performance sporting contexts. This series has a priority target audience of WA high performance coaches, and secondary target audience of WA high performance leaders.

Each module will be delivered by faculty from The University of Western Australia School of Human Sciences with contributions from high performance sport leaders.


Modules delivered during business hours between 9am–5pm (approximately), so applicants will need to be available during these hours. All modules will be delivered at The University of WA campus. Applicants should note these dates in their calendars until the candidates are selected and confirmed.

Understanding Self

9am–5pm Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 June 2017

This 2-day module explores the concepts of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, self-leadership, resilience and mental toughness.

Themes include:

  • Self-rating of mental toughness, resilience, coping styles and subjective wellbeing
  • Interpretation of Realise2 (strengths identification) and DISC (behavioral and relationship style) profiles
  • The importance of emotional intelligence to leadership and high quality relationships;
  • Capacity to challenge own and system’s assumptions
  • The dynamic nature of the role that demands coaches to be ‘change ready’
  • Recognising ‘competing commitments’, ambiguity and working ‘emergently’.

Understanding Others

9am–5pm Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 July 2017

This 2-day module explores ethical leadership behaviors, creating value driven cultures, facilitating organisation-wide strategic planning, and conflict management.

Themes include:

  • Not just the ‘what’ and the ‘how’. Ethical approaches to coaching and decision-making
  • Holding multiple perspectives and questioning underpinning assumptions for integrity
  • Values alignment, organizing principles and rules of engagement
  • Managing high profile athletes. Inviting them to take responsibility of their performance
  • High level communication skills. Dynamics of information overload
  • Managing difficult situations and conflict, and developing negotiation skills.

Understanding How to Leverage the Whole System

9am–5pm Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 November 2017

This 2-day module explores the means of engaging individuals and teams within organisations in a way that builds collaborative capacity in ourselves but also with the whole high performance sporting system.

Themes include:

  • Putting your strengths to work
  • Exploring Adaptive Challenges and appreciating Adaptive Challenge Archetypes
  • Developing agile high performance team cultures
  • Strengthening media skills and communicating with the public.

Motivational Practices

9am–5pm Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 December 2017

This 2-day module explores the concepts related to motivating individuals and teams.

Themes include:

  • Using principles from Self-Determination Theory to foster intrinsic motivation
  • Learning and applying psychological/mental skills training
  • Motivational Interviewing - open-ended questions, affirmations, and reflective listening
  • Embedding mindfulness practices and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Developing self-compassion and the ‘art of playing badly well’
  • Creating the Third Space for coaches and athletes.


Applications for the full series will open on Monday 24 April 2017 and close on Monday 15 May 2017.

A maximum of 20 candidates will be selected for the pilot program, with successful applicants determined through a rigorous application and selection process.


$300 for the 4-module series (payable once successful applicants are notified).

For this pilot program, the preference is for applicants to be available to attend all 4 modules, however consideration may be given to applicants who can attend 3 of the 4 modules.

Participant expectations

The success of the program is dependent upon committed and dedicated participants who are seeking to play an active leadership role in delivering high performance success. Places are strictly limited, so those wishing to be accepted onto the program must be committed to:

  • learning new ways to lead in a complex high performance environment
  • being stretched and challenged
  • being an active participant in the program, including being able to commit the time and effort required to complete profiling tools and assignments
  • actively sharing learnings in your sport and in the high performance system.

Application process

  1. Discuss your intention to apply with your SSA/NSO high performance manager noting that you or your sport/organisation is required to cover any travel and accommodation costs (and leave from work, if applicable) for you to attend each program
  2. Complete and submit your online application form by close of business, Monday 15 May 2017. Each application must include the following:
    • summary of your coaching/management CV and HP aspirations in this area (1 page maximum)
    • a letter of support from your SSA/NSO high performance manager (if you hold the position of high performance manager or higher, include a letter of support from your line manager)
Applications will be consolidated and considered by an DSR selection panel. All applicants will receive notification of the selection process outcome approximately four weeks prior to the program commencing.