September 22, 2021
Amanda Brodner was inspired to make coaching gymnastics her career when she realized she was spending hours in the gym day after day and enjoying herself.
“I knew I wasn’t ever going to be very good at an office job or anything like that,” Brodner said. “And so I realized that I can be in this building every single day and I can be working with these athletes and I’m happy with what I’m doing.”
Brodner currently works full time out of Regina’s Gymnastics Adventure. There, she coaches young athletes in the developmental stages all the way to those who are competing at the national level and earning gymnastics scholarships to schools in the United States. She’s also had the opportunity to coach at provincial, regional and national-level events.
A former gymnast, Brodner gained her first coaching experience while she was still training as a teen and young adult. She would work with recreational groups and athletes younger than herself and it grew from there.
“I just kind of never left,” Brodner said. “Coaching just kind of took over from there and I just worked my way up and tried to learn everything that I could.”
Her desire for learning and her drive to make coaching her career is what interested Brodner in taking the NCCP Advanced Coaching Diploma, a coach-driven, expert-led, peer-enriched and mentor-supported coach education program.
“I thought it would be a really good program for me to take if I was going to be coaching full-time and coaching was going to be my main career path,” she said. “There wasn’t really a university degree or anything else that kind of fit for what I was looking for.”
Designed for coaches working along the High Performance pathway, the ACD gives participants the opportunity to work alongside top coaches and mentors through a competency-based learning experience. The program is part time and usually takes about two years to complete as coaches work through modules with a set number of hours with a blended learning environment.
Along with the instruction she received from the program, Brodner found working with coaches from other sport disciplines gave her tools that she could apply to working with her gymnastics athletes.
“It made me look deeper into a lot of different areas. Since it was multi-sport, I got a lot of different input and a lot of different ideas from other coaches in other sports that I wouldn’t have normally thought of just thinking in a gymnastics point of view,” she said. “It’s given me a lot of really good solid foundation tools to build a lot of great things off of.”
As part of the program, coaches are required to make a formal final presentation of a yearly training plan. Brodner successfully presented her plan in June of 2021 and graduated at the end of the summer.
“I had the pleasure to attend Amanda’s final presentation and she did a great job communicating her vision through her yearly training plan,” said David Robertson, Executive Director of the Coaches Association of Saskatchewan.
The Coaches Association of Saskatchewan works with the Ontario and Calgary Canadian Sport Institutes to offer the ACD programming, giving coaches the opportunity to apply for enrollment at two different deadlines annually. Calgary’s deadline is January 31 with an April start, while Ontario’s application deadline is June 30 with a September start. To help cover the program’s tuition, Brodner received the Canadian Sport Centre Saskatchewan High Performance Coach Development Grant, which is funded by Sport Canada, the Coaching Association of Canada and the Sask Lotteries Trust Fund.
“If coaching is what you like to do and you’re really passionate about that, it’s definitely worth going into,” said Brodner. “It is a lot of work, a lot of time, but it is definitely beneficial if coaching is your passion.”
Learn more about the Advanced Coaching Diploma.