To say Madi Crowley will be busy in 2015 would be an understatement.
This year she will coach Zillmere’s QWAFA side, vice-captain their QWAFL side, will coach the Brisbane North Youth Girls Team and referee state league basketball, all while teaching full time during the week.
Finding time for everything will be a balancing act, but Crowley knows she has the right support groups around her to make it possible.
“Jake Simmons-Bliss, our seniors coach has been great with that, we are a pretty unified coaching group so everyone helps everyone out,” Crowley said.
“I graduated university last year, I started first year teaching this year, so time has been a bit less this year than last for sure, but I think I’m balancing it well.”
Her involvements in the junior program at Zillmere lead to her stepping up to the QWAFA coaching role last year.
“I was heavily involved in the junior program up until last year, we played our under 18’s in the QWAFA, so I went through with them,” she said.
“This year I have stayed as the reserves coach instead of going back to the juniors.”
Crowley is an educator on the field and off. Her teaching degree and coaching skills work hand in hand.
“They mesh pretty well together, there is definitely a lot of overlap between coaching and teaching, making sure that you have strategies that fit different learning styles because everyone is different,” Crowley said.
“Especially in a reserves level comp, everyone is playing for different reasons so you are trying to cater for a bunch of different things.”
The vice-captaincy role is nothing new to her, having been a leader around the club for years, but it’s still something she prides herself on.
“It’s massive for me. The last four or five years I’ve had some sort of leadership role at the club so its definitely been something that I’m really honoured to have, so I’ve got to try to live up to it and do the right things and set the right example and get around the group,” she said.
“It meshes with coaching a bit because you are aware of how everyone is feeling and making sure everyone is up and about and on the same page.”
Outside of her duties at Zillmere and in the classroom, she somehow finds time to run the Brisbane North Youth Girls team.
“We have started preparations for state champs so we are running sessions once a month at the moment,” Crowley said.
“We are trying to piece together not only our 17’s but a 14’s team for the state champs so it’s been really good.”
It doesn’t stop there, just when you think she couldn’t possibly cram anymore into her week, Crowley referees basketball at a state league level.
As for the year ahead, she wants the Eagles to go all the way in 2015.
“Last year we made the grand final and we are definitely looking to go one better this year, and we certainly think we are capable, but that’s a long way off, and it’s a long season,” she said.
“The first two rounds of the QWAFL showed how good everyone is capable of being so you have to be on top of your game every week.
“There’s no point looking towards August or September at the moment, you’ve just got to get everything right and build it from the ground up.”
On the coaching front, Crowley has positive expectations of the team, but realises the QWAFA will be extremely hard to predict.
“I think we would like to see ourselves as contenders across both competitions, or pushing to be contenders, but in the QWAFA there is so many unknowns this year,” Crowley said.
“The competition has expanded massively, which is fantastic, word on the street is that Bond is really organised and have been training since uni games, and Moreton Bay have a program that just keeps getting bigger and bigger, they seem the team to beat at the moment.”
She will have a lot on her plate, but if her previous history is anything to go buy she will be more than up to the task.
Who knows, come grand final day she could be holding a premiership cup in each hand.
By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles