In this korero we catch up with Jean Marsh, who is the newest addition to the Touch Black coaching Whanau.
Jean is well known, hugely respected and often referred to as one of the greatest Touchies to come out of Counties Manukau.
Whilst she has an obvious wealth of experience and knowledge, our Jean is not the biggest fan of interviews - so getting her to share as part of this series was a bit of a coup!
She's also probably going to kill me for using that photo! ha! I hope you enjoy hearing from our new NZ Women's coach.
This is #CoachingtheTouchBlacks
Congrats on being named Touch Black Open Women’s Head Coach through to the next World Cup. Can you share with us what being the Head Coach of the Open Women’s team means to you?
I don’t think I have come to terms with it yet... it almost feels like such an extravagant title and that it doesn’t belong to me!
In saying that though I have learnt that playing touch is not the only way to represent the Touch Blacks so I thought heck if I couldn’t play - then I could coach!
Can you describe the difference in how you handle the pressure as a Coach, to what you feel as a player?
As a player at times I took on a lot of pressure just with the style that I played and my role in the team. This was just part and parcel and you either take it on or you ask someone else too.
The pressure as a coach for me personally was similar, and I followed the same philosophy as I did when playing. Take it on, or ask someone else too!
Whilst you are the ‘new’ Touch Black Coach as part of the latest announcement, you are certainly no stranger to high pressure games – coaching with Counties, the Warriors in the NRL Touch Premiership etc – can you share some elements of your coaching style that you will carry over into the Touch Blacks role?
The coaching style I use… I would call it “direct”, Lol. For me I feel this style comes from building trust with my players.
I create a healthy, honest and fun relationship, which makes it easier to have the hard chats. By building this rapport with my team, they have a better understanding of where that feedback is coming from.
What's the dream?
The dream for this role? To win! Then to win again, and again! ... Why not aim for the stars!
Seriously though, at this level of the game it’s a big component to want to win - but there are many other ways to make the dreams come true.
I’m also focused on ensuring I can bring balance to the role – and support my team to set and achieve goals, and do well on and off the field.
When it's all done and dusted, what will be your legacy?
Once the campaign is complete, I’ll be more focused on what holiday I’m going on! But as far as leaving a legacy? Well, I will leave that up to the people that I have crossed paths with either as a coach/player/friend to decide.
All I’m after is a smile. :)