Women in Coaching | Justine Dunce

Cricket Wellington is commited to the growth and development of women and girl's cricket in the Capital and we are proud of the growth we have seen in the female space over the past three years.

To continue our focus on the female game we've introduced our 'Women in Coaching' series, which highlights the women who are doing amazing things in the cricket coaching space in the Capital.

First up, it's Justine Dunce from Upper Hutt United Cricket Club.


What is your current involvement in coaching cricket?

Upper Hutt Premier Women & Premier Girls Coach, Heretaunga College 1st XI Coach, Upper Hutt Cricket Development Officer, Coach Developer for Cricket Wellington Development & Level 2 Courses, Cricket Wellington Female Pathway Coach


How did you start your coaching journey?

I started at 15 coaching netball. Since then I’ve coached cricket, touch, basketball and swimming. My parents always coached and I was raised knowing it was important to give back to your community.


What is your proudest coaching moment?

There isn't just one! I love it when kids do something amazing and it makes them feel good. For them to see even the smallest improvements - that what you coach for. I love working with kids, they always share how they’re feeling and ask questions. It’s really enjoyable!


What’s the best piece of coaching advice you’ve ever received?

Maia Lewis mentioned this one – she probably doesn’t even remember sharing it! Time on task. How much time are kids spending doing the activity rather than watching others or listening to me talk. It’s so important that kids are engaged and as their coach we need to be facilitating this.


What relationships or people have influenced your coaching style?

It’s the kids I work with. They influence how you operate. Every team is different and you need to change your methods to suit them. I like that change element and having to rise to that.


What coach had the biggest impact on your coaching career? What was it that made them exceptional?

I have two. One is my dad. He always coached me when I was kid and we have a really close relationship with him because of that. It's special to look back on that and realise how much time they were willing to give up for you.

The other is Ann McKenna. She was my WHITE FERNS coach and was so approachable to all players at every level.


What do you think are the key attributes that make a good coach?

A good coach must always be evolving to ensure the athlete is at the centre of every decision we make. It’s important to establish a relationship with the player. It’s a long term relationship and you must understand what their motives are and what drives them. I strive to set my teams up to meet the motivations and drive of each player.


What do you think could be done to attract more females to coaching?

Understand that there is no short-term solution. It will take thought and effort. We need to show leadership and take a stand. Ask mums to get involved. Asking is the key. We need to make space for mums, encourage them to give it a go and understand their value as a coach. It’s not that females don’t want to coach, but sometimes they are not actively sought out. Looking in the junior and youth space is vital too, these spaces are where we can make the biggest difference.


Article added: Wednesday 18 November 2020