See why dedicated Leah received national role
IT doesn't take long to see why Leah Ala-Outinen was recently chosen as coach of the Australian 14 years indoor netball side.
The Ipswich Indoor Sports Centre co-manager and part-owner has devoted many years to learning the game while encouraging young players.
This year, she's shared in multiple junior successes at national level.
"I've had a ball,'' she said.
"I love coaching the kids. I love seeing them improving each year.''
Ala-Outinen has been selected to guide the 10-strong teenage girls team at a tournament in South Africa in July. It will be her first time coaching a national side.
Receiving the international honour capped a massive year of success for the Purga-based official and dedicated coach.
Before gaining what she called the "bonus'' national honour, Ala-Outinen coached two 13 years girls teams to victory at the Australian junior championships last month.
The seven-a-side Queensland team won the national title for the third year in a row under Ala-Outinen's influence.
The newly introduced six-a-side competition state team also won their 13 years and under tournament in Melbourne.
Both state 13 years teams were undefeated.
Ipswich players Aaliyah Wilson, Shaia Tautua and Shaniqua Goodson were involved in the state Sparks team.
Ala-Outinen's double 13 years triumph came after she oversaw the 18 and under state girls team that finished third at the nationals in Mackay in May. The team impressed playing in the 21 years age group.
In July, she was also awarded the Indoor Netball Federation of Queensland coach of the year award for the first time.
"That was very unexpected,'' the modest Ipswich coach said.
"I've done five years probably coaching at a state level and just put my hand up for the Australian side and got selected.''
She thoroughly enjoys working with 13 and under players.
"They are still learning and they just absorb everything,'' she said.
"I like the girls to enjoy the netball as a sport. Really work on their attitude on court and their skilling ability will come.''
Ala-Outinen's commitment to indoor netball also extends to coaching Super League teams and helping co-ordinate the annual junior state titles at the Showgrounds centre each September.
The tournament attracted 100 teams in Ipswich.
National indoor netball coach Leah Ala-Outinen
Most satisfying part of coaching: "I just like seeing the girls really work together as a team. Train hard. When they actually come to play the game, you see the skills and the tactical side of things really come out in their game play.''
Toughest part: "When you get a new bunch of girls together, just getting them bonding together. Just doing things together outside of netball as well.''
Qualities of a good coach: "Communication; allowing players to strive to find their goal as well; patience.''
How Leah coaches so many successful state sides in one year: "Time management.''