After an unforgettable summer, my final week in the US has finally arrived and I was lucky enough to spend it in the state of Oregon, just north of California. It is a state I am familiar with as I had been located there the previous year.
My stay got off on the right foot when I was picked up by my amazing host family – The Garners, who whisked me away to their sprawling house which had horses, chickens, cats, dogs as well as a steady stream of wild animals such as deer, foxes who would randomly trot through the garden – fortunately no bears! Compared to the houses I stayed in in California, it was completely different, but that’s what I love about coaching abroad it gives you the chance to experience different things. The house was located just outside of Oregon in Washington State, which meant I’d travelled all the way up the East Coast across 3 different states.
I am delighted to say that from the middle of summer I have been Camp Director – the US version of Head Coach – at various locations. This was one of my main objectives at the beginning of the summer and I felt a real sense of achievement. Being Camp Director is superb as it shows that your hard work is being recognised and you also get to put across your own ideas – the extra pay is a nice bonus also! At the beginning of the week I selected which coaches would go with the varying age groups with my selection being based on each coach’s personality and experience. The Camp Director normally takes the oldest group as it means you can do more technical sessions and challenge the children. The group I coached in Oregon varied in ability quite dramatically, so when I progressed sessions I had to be mindful that they weren’t too advanced for the less able children or too easy for the more talented. I overcame this by giving players individual challenges which meant they were always engaged and having fun.
It was a wonderful week to round off my latest US adventure, topped off with some outstanding feedback from parents. One parent stated that it was the best camp he had seen in 8 years, which was quite a compliment! This year I feel I have developed as both a coach and a person; seeing amazing places and making friendships which I am sure will last a lifetime. I am now looking forward to returning home to continue my coaching journey but I am sure this is not the last time I will be this side of the Atlantic. Until next time USA!

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