Discovering three reasons she coaches critical for Taurua

Noeline Taurua. PHOTO: Government House
Noeline Taurua. PHOTO: Government House
Discovering her purpose in coaching was a big driver for Noeline Taurua following one of her biggest disappointments.

The Silver Ferns coach spoke of how she developed a resilient attitude, at the Otago Academy of Sport’s connecting coaches conference yesterday.

Taurua took over the Silver Ferns in 2018, leading them to a remarkable World Cup victory a year later.

It was the fourth time she had applied for the job.

The most recent prior to that had been in 2015, when she was overlooked for Janine Southby — and a handful of others.

Taurua had not even made the shortlist on that occasion, something she admitted left her "really disappointed" at first.

Going into the process she had felt she had put together a strong CV.

More than a decade of coaching the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic had given her both experience and proven success.

She had also felt she had the knowledge and had done a masters course as well to help boost that.

However, not getting the role had forced her to reflect.

She asked the application panel for feedback to get areas to work on.

It also spurred her to consider why she coached, as up until that point everything she did was geared towards coaching the Ferns.

She identified loving a challenge, getting to work with like-minded people and enjoying winning as her key drivers.

They became the three things she looked for when considering any future teams she would coach.

That proved key in luring her to the Southern Steel in 2016.

She admitted the South would have been one of the last places she would have considered moving.

But following a meeting with Steel chief executive Lana Winders, she could see the Steel would fulfil all three principles.

That drove her to take the role Southby had left vacant and lead the Steel to the playoffs in the final year of the transtasman league.

There were similar reasons for moving to the Sunshine Coast Lightning a year later.

Alongside her key purposes, it was also a chance to learn from the Australians, the long-time world No1 team, as well as challenge herself coaching people from different places.

It also taught her about sharing resources — something that was evident at the Lightning as it was connected with rugby league’s Melbourne Storm and the University of Sunshine Coast.

Those lessons had been key following the bounce back from Covid-19.

She won two titles with the Lightning and made the final in her third season. That prompted her to receive more recognition in New Zealand.

It led to her getting the Ferns job when it became available in 2018. Crucially, she felt she was a better coach when she got the job because of the experiences in the intervening years.

Taurua was one of 24 speakers at the conference, which continues via Zoom today.

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