Kear joins elite coaches

Wakefield coach John Kear has joined a very elite group of coaches by enrolling upon the Level 4 coaching certificate and he says the British coaching scene is in a healthy state.
The RFL is one of only five sports to receive UKCC Level 4 endorsement alongside Hockey, Basketball, Squash and Table Tennis and coaches who successfully complete the course will also earn a Post-Graduate Diploma in Elite Coaching Practice. No other sports enable their coaches to study for a professional qualification alongside their coaching certificate and with fellow British coaches Daryl Powell,  Dave Elliott and Steve McCormack enrolled on the course, the future of British coaching is looking promising.
Kear himself is already one of the most experienced coaches in Super League with a proven knack at getting the best out of his players, but he insists that coach development is a vital aspect of the game.
“We talk about self-development for players and I think that coaches need to have that same mentality,” said the former Sheffield and Hull FC coach. “You never stop learning as either a player or coach and if you ever think you do know everything, then you can be sure you will fail eventually.”
Kear’s attitude is typical of his coaching approach, but it has been the case in recent years that overseas coaches have enjoyed a near monopoly over British coaches such as Kear when it comes to the ‘top jobs’ in Super League and questions have been asked as to why there aren’t more British Head coaches in Super League.
“For British coaches to get the jobs is all a matter of opportunity,” said Kear. “There’s a pressure on clubs to deliver immediate success for sponsorship and financial reasons and it’s a club’s decision who they go for.
“That then makes it difficult for British coaches because the ‘plum’ jobs tend to be dominated by overseas coaches. If you look at the coaching names that have been at Leeds, St Helens and Wigan over the years, they have tended to be overseas. There are undoubtedly some very good overseas coaches that have had much success here, but equally there are some very good home-grown coaches who could do a great job.
“Take Brian Noble, he’s one of the most successful coaches in Super League and has had fantastic success wherever he’s been. He took Wigan from relegation candidates to title contenders and his success with Bradford was unquestionable.”
With the likes of Tony Smith, Mick Potter and Michael McGuire holding the Head Coach jobs at the top three Super League clubs in 2010, British coaches have been cutting their teeth in the lower divisions but their success is promising.
“There are certainly enough good British coaches in the game,” said Kear. “Especially if you look at the Championship, coaches such as Karl Harrison and Daryl Powell have shown themselves to be very astute and could have success at a higher level. There are also some very good coaches at assistant level in Super League, it’s a matter of them being given the opportunity at the highest level.”
With the RFL working to improve their coach support mechanism this year, results have been seen with big names such as Keith Senior, Rob Burrow and Adrian Morley all gaining Level 2 coaching awards which will allow them to remain involved with the game after retiring from playing duties and Kear feels the system is working.
“The RFL coaching education system is very thorough and there’s nothing wrong with it” he said. “It’s very important for all British coaches to be educated through a coaching system and to be educated to an acceptable standard. That standard obviously depends on what level they want to coach at, whether that be as a club coach at level 2, a Super League Head Coach at level 3 or if they want to continue their education and go on to level 4, but they do a good job at educating coaches to the required standard.
“Of course people will say that they could do more or do this and that, but it’s also a matter of resources and it’s impossible for anyone to spend more than they have.”

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