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Meet the Coach Developer

The ATC Sport Office is very excited to welcome Jordan Cassidy, who is currently working at ATC as part of a partnership with Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Jordan works in the coach development space and is conducting research in skill acquisition.

The role is for 18 months initially, and he will be completing a masters alongside his work at ATC. On the side, Jordan has his own website (www.skilledathleticism.com) where he consults with a variety of development and performance clubs to aid their skill development offering, and shares insights, alongside his experiences working in coach, athletic and skill development across all levels of sport.

Growing up in Ireland, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) played a significant part in his sporting journey. One of the major sports governed by the GAA is Gaelic football, Jordan started his Gaelic football journey at the age of five and has played wherever he has travelled including Perth and Hong Kong, where he is a lifetime member of the HKGAA Club. Back in Ireland, Jordan also played soccer and hurling. Hurling is an Irish sport which is a cross between hockey, and lacrosse, played on a field the same size as a Gaelic football pitch. While abroad in Hong Kong, he picked up AFL, which turned out to be the busiest time over his (limited) sporting career, playing Gaelic football, hurling, soccer and AFL simultaneously!

From a coaching and sports science perspective, Jordan has worked as a Gaelic football coach, strength and conditioning coach, sports scientist, PE teacher, and now works in the skill acquisition space as a practitioner here at ATC, and researcher at QUT. As Jordan progressed through university, he got involved in coaching in local clubs and working as a sports scientist with both recreational and professional athletes across a range of sports. Jordan’s most significant career experience prior to coming to Brisbane was in Hong Kong, where he had the role of sports science and conditioning manager at Hong Kong Rugby Union. Here, Jordan was responsible for collecting GPS data on players and working with coaches to design appropriate sessions to prepare players for competition.
Jordan’s research is focussed on team invasion sports, specifically AFL, soccer, rugby union, basketball, and touch football. As part of Jordan’s role at ATC, he will work across all sports, and will be available to assist all coaches who are seeking to enhance their coaching abilities. Since arriving, Jordan has been working with cricket and volleyball. “So far, it has been absolutely fantastic, and coaches have been so open to learning and improving the service they provide to students”.

Jordan is immensely passionate about coach development, believing the impact a good coach can have is vast, and will stretch far beyond the sport they are coaching. To prepare coaches for the important role they have, it is essential that there is a development program to help them positively impact the students they work with.

There are a variety of reasons why someone would become a coach – love of the sport, spend time as part of a group, wants to give their child an opportunity to play (from a parent point of view). When a coach sets out on their coaching career, they tend to copy how they have been coached. This includes the drills they performed, the things they say, and the structure they implement. A thorough coach development program can aid coaches in finding their own unique coaching style and help them understand how to align their beliefs and actions. A more informed coach can then provide players with a more engaging and enjoyable experience.

At ATC, we are fortunate to have many students turn into coaches once they leave, and Jordan’s research will focus on how we can best support them through their development as a coach. This will involve coach observation and analysis and feeding back to coaches on maximising student engagement through appropriate practice design and coaching behaviours. The aim is to develop a coach education program to ensure that our coaches here at ATC are best placed to design high quality sessions, ensuring that students get the best opportunities to play sport at whatever level they aspire to play at.

ATC Sports Office