tSG Awards ’21: Coach of the Year

This award is combining all three divisions for a pretty simple reason: coaching for elite teams in the UK is still in the very early stages of development so there aren’t many people that we could think to nominate. Every time I speak to European colleagues they are baffled by the dearth of coaches available for teams in the UK, especially at the Great Britain level, and think it holds us back. However, that is starting to change and people up and down the country are starting to dedicate themselves to developing players and making teams better. This is the only award where we’ll highlight the entire shortlist because all of these people deserve a shout out for the time they’ve put in. Hopefully in future years we can split this out to three different awards.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Sam Vile, Oxford Ultimate

As well as playing for Deep Space, Sam spent time coaching the Oxford Ultimate players every week during their National Cup and Nationals runs. Combining playing at such a high level with coaching another team is hugely impressive and Sam (along with the other coaches who help out at Oxford) deserves huge credit for doing so.

Mike Lewis, Devon

Devon branched out this season and accepted players from all over the country. Mike and his coaching team spent time early in the season instilling the kind of things that such a new group would need when it got to Nationals, and was rewarded with a semi-final place.

Paddy Ward, Bristol Open

Paddy coached Bristol Open through an excellent season, reaching the National Cup final and Nationals. He also does other work in Bristol, maintaining the club as a whole and playing a role alongside others in helping to ensure that anyone who wants to play in Bristol has somewhere to do that.

THE TOP THREE

Third place: Oliver Browne, SCRAM

Oli has coached at a number of levels, including currently coaching the St Andrews teams to excellent results in Scotland. His work this season with SCRAM was impressive, taking a young team and helping to develop them to the point where they finished sixth after running teams above them close. He worked with captains Lulu Boyd and Rhona Gordon to build SCRAM’s tactic and continued to offer a calm presence on the sideline. They’ve now qualified for WUCC in their second competitive season and will head to Cincinnati to continue that development.

Second place: Philippa Hackett, SYC

Phil has been involved in coaching SYC for a number of years, first as part of a group and this past season on her own. She played for SYC for a number of years so knows the team well, and was able to integrate a number of new players last season while also ensuring that the veterans of the team were able to maintain their high standards. A semi-final spot at Nationals, where they pushed eventual winners Bristol very hard, shows how effective that work was and the reward is another spot at WUCC.

WINNERS: Ruth Tayler and Ben Hall, Bristol Women

This coaching duo came together largely by chance but captured lightning in a bottle this season. Ruth, a Bristol player, was injured for the season and Ben worked more on one-to-one skills and development, leaving Ruth to cover the big picture approach. While Ben was the quiet, calm presence, Ruth was the motivator and the energy on the sideline, working with the captains to drive the team on and play to their fullest potential. With Ruth unable to go to Nationals, Ben stepped up into a more primary role and helped the team on their way to the title. While it came about by chance, it seems to have worked brilliantly and they are our coaching duo of the season.

The ShowGame Awards 2021: an overview

Over the next few days, we’ll be announcing the winners of the inaugural ShowGame Awards. These awards will try to reflect the best of what we’ve seen this year, as well as recognising the people who have worked hard to make the sport what it is.

This is obviously the first time we’ve done these awards, so the process is brand new. That means we might have missed people you think were obvious picks, or maybe we picked the wrong people or even the wrong order. That’s fine! We’re after discussion here after all, but rest assured that any omissions were not for the want of trying and that we don’t hate your team or anyone in it. We’ll see how this year goes and try to improve the process for next year whatever happens, so if there’s anything that you’d like to see changed or needs to be done differently, let us know!

As a reminder, here are the categories we’ll be awarding:

  • Player of the Year
  • Best Newcomer
  • Best Thrower
  • Best Cutter
  • Best Defender
  • Best Young Player
  • Best of the Rest

  • Coach of the Year
  • Play of the Year
  • Community Spirit Award

We’ll be doing separate awards for all three divisions in the first list with two POTYs for mixed. Otherwise, those awards will cover both male- and female-matching players in mixed. The final three awards will combine all three divisions into one category.

The final thing to note: if a player wins POTY, they are automatically ineligible for any other award. That’s why we’ll be doing that one first, since the detectives amongst you probably would have been able to work out who won POTYs after not seeing people mentioned in the slightest ahead of the announcement.

Here’s a timeline for when we’ll be announcing everything:

December 19: Community Spirit Award

December 20: Coach of the Year, Player of the Year

December 21: Best Young Player, Best Newcomer, Best of the Rest

December 22: Best Thrower, Best Cutter, Best Defender

The voting for the Play of the Year award will start on New Year’s Day!