Good coaching is about developing a lifelong love of sport in people and in a commitment to seeing the quality and number of coaches grow in Northland, the Northern Advocate has teamed up with Sport Northland to publish a question-and-answer feature on one local coach per month.

The aim is to highlight coaches from an array of codes to give an insight into the nuances of coaching and the people who dedicate themselves to the discipline.
The fifth monthly coach profile is a dual profile on sisters Chenae and Courtney Phillips, two future stars of Northland's hockey coaching stocks.

Sisters Chenae (left), 21, and Courtney Phillips, 27, might give each other a bit of stick but as hockey coaches, the pair are top class. Photo / John Stone
Sisters Chenae (left), 21, and Courtney Phillips, 27, might give each other a bit of stick but as hockey coaches, the pair are top class. Photo / John Stone

Names: Chenae and Courtney Phillips

Age:
Chenae: 21
Courtney: 27

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Hometown: Hikurangi

Sport: Hockey

Current coaching role:
Chenae: Kamo High School first XI girls hockey assistant coach, Northland under-13 Collier team assistant coach.

Courtney:This will be my eighth year coaching the Kamo High School first XI girls' team, and my third campaign as head coach of the Northland Collier under-13 girls' team in its current format.


Favourite meal:
Chenae: The one thing you can't have, is the thing you want the most - anything dairy. Too bad I'm lactose intolerant.

Courtney: Sushi

Favourite movie:
Chenae: Coyote Ugly
Courtney: The Lion King (1993)

Why do you coach?
Chenae: I believe that everyone deserves a chance.

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Courtney: I remember what it was like to realise I love sports and anyone should get a chance to experience that too. I can try my best to cultivate an environment that encourages that.

Sisters and Northland under-13 hockey coaches Chenae (left) and Courtney Phillps watch on from the sidelines. Photo / File
Sisters and Northland under-13 hockey coaches Chenae (left) and Courtney Phillps watch on from the sidelines. Photo / File

What is your playing background?

Chenae:

Being the youngest of a sporty family, I was always keen to get involved. I played hockey throughout primary school for Hikurangi, as well as five years for Kamo High School. I am currently playing in the Hikurangi premier women's team, alongside my sister and niece.

Courtney: I was always a sporty kid. Graded to junior black belt in taekwondo at a young age, I also played volleyball, touch, cricket, lacrosse and badminton at school, but hockey was the game I enjoyed the most. I've been playing in the Northland premier women competition since I was 14 and I've been fortunate to represent Northland in all age groups.

What is your coaching experience?
Chenae: I am rather new to coaching. I have coached a couple of junior teams during high school, and have been involved in several hockey holiday and development programmes. This will be my fourth year assisting with the KHS 1st XI Girls team, and my second year assisting with the Northland U13 Collier team.

Courtney: This will be my eighth year coaching the KHS 1st XI girls' team and my third campaign as head coach of the Northland Collier under-13 Girls team. I've also been accompanying the Northland under-18 and NHL teams to their national tournaments as a videographer.

On her way back from a foot injury, Courtney Phillips is looking forward to the upcoming season. Photo / John Stone
On her way back from a foot injury, Courtney Phillips is looking forward to the upcoming season. Photo / John Stone

Who has been the most influential coach/person in your life?

Chenae:

In order for success, I believe that all players must give 100 per cent effort in all they do. They are respectful of others and are willing to learn and grow. These are values that my parents have instilled in me and that I utilise when coaching.

Courtney: My parents were big on ensuring my siblings and I grew to be humble, empathetic and honest people in adulthood. These are values I continue to live by and choose to incorporate into my coaching.

What is your most memorable moment coaching?
Chenae: KHS tournament promotion. Getting KHS back into the tier one and two secondary schools tournament.

Courtney: The 2016 Chica Gilmer tournament with KHS was my most rewarding moment as a coach. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought those 17 girls were related, the way they supported and cared for each other during that week. They were family, and it showed on the field.

How did you get into coaching?
Chenae: As a Year 13 at KHS, placing fourth at tournament was great, but it wasn't enough for me. I felt I had more to give so I assisted my sister Courtney to coach the following year.

Courtney: It wasn't something I'd intended to pursue. Coaching KHS was an accident after the original coach could no longer continue and I'd been asked to take over full time. The call of school pride was too strong so I stayed, and here I am eight years later.

How has your coaching changed?
Chenae: Considering I have had no formal coaching training; I have had to learn through observation and my experiences as a player. I try to take the little bits I pick up here and there and adjust them to fit my game plan and coaching philosophy.

Courtney: The biggest change is that I've taken on more of a mentoring role now that I'm coaching alongside my sister. We're essentially an extension of each other but we both have experiences the other doesn't and that's when we find we learn the most.

Chenae Phillips takes the ball up for Hikurangi. Photo / File
Chenae Phillips takes the ball up for Hikurangi. Photo / File

How has coaching/sport changed?

Chenae:

The use of technology in sport, in particular social media. We are now able to communicate and distribute information instantly.

Courtney: Overuse injuries are occurring in younger players more frequently. I put it down to early specialisation. Encourage kids to play all the sports! Let them learn to move their bodies through different motions and work other muscle groups.

What is your number one coaching tip?
Chenae: Get to know your people. It's about more than just a game.

Courtney: Grow your know. Read, listen, observe, ask questions and ask for help. It's just like how you can always be fitter – you can always learn more.