Margaret’s netball coaching success

Mid Canterbury Netball coach Margaret Butler with her community coaching awards.

As a netball coach Margaret Butler gets a buzz from seeing players’ confidence and skills develop. It’s why she does what she does.

She has been coaching off and on for the past 30 years, but has recently taken her netball coaching up a few notches, completing both her community coach award (CCA) levels 1 and 2 on the Netball NZ coaching pathway.

The awards are a series of online and practical modules to help coaches develop players at the community level.

Attaining award level 2 is a pre-requisite for the Performance Coach Qualification (PCQ), the next level on the national coaching pathway.

Margaret began her courses in 2019 to gain more ideas for her coaching. Initially she’d planned to complete all of the courses by the end of the 2020 season, but covid disrupted those plans and she completed the final two courses this year.

The biggest highlights for her as a coach were seeing the players you were working with develop their skills, she said.

“I love seeking players’ confidence and skills grow throughout the season. I also love seeing a team begin the season without really knowing each other, and ending the season as one tight unit who work together to achieve common goals.”

The Netball NZ pathway had helped her on her netball coaching journey, she said.

“The pathway has meant that I have met new people from throughout Canterbury, other coaches, and been able to discuss coaching ideas with them.

“It has also given me many resources to draw on for developing my players. The resources have been a huge help for skills and drills to try with my teams, as well as recording sheets and stats.

“It has also been great to work alongside other coaches within Mid Canterbury, and having a local coach developer (Claire Tappin) to support and answer any questions has been a wonderful resource.”

Clubs in the district are always on the hunt for more coaches and Mid Canterbury Netball provides coaching courses and resources for all coaches at Future Ferns (Year 3-4 and Year 5-6) level.

Anyone wanting to find out more about coaching netball, or how they could go about obtaining coaching qualifications, can email them directly at

Margaret’s coaching journey began as a teenager living in Dunedin, working with age group teams, and although she stopped coaching when she went to university, she continued to play and later picked up coaching again.

“I began coaching again when I started teaching, and coached 3-4 school teams each year as we couldn’t source coaches for the school I was working in.

“When I moved to Ashburton I stopped coaching as I had a new baby and wanted to focus on being a mum. I got back into coaching in Ashburton about eight or nine years ago when my daughter (Gianna) started playing netball.”

She coached Gianna’s teams through the age groups.

“My goal has always been to move into coaching a premier team, and this year I moved to United in order to achieve this,” she said.

Her aim was to continue coaching in premier grades, ultimately into premier 1, and pick up more representative coaching.

She coached one of Mid Canterbury’s U16 teams this year and was keen to coach more rep teams in the future.