Beckitt takes the reigns of Cowboys
Col Beckitt will take charge of the Cowboys Women’s Elite 8 team for the first time in 2018.
After a four-year apprenticeship as assistant coach to Phil Gyemore in the Cowboys Men’s team, Beckitt will take the reigns as the women’s head coach following the resignation of Paul Cobham.
Having steered the Cairns Women’s Open team to victory the past two years, Beckitt said the transition to coaching women wasn’t a daunting prospect.
“I won’t find the change too different because I’ve still been coaching women all along,” he said.
“You can’t expect big cut-outs and you have to find your lines and gaps but otherwise it’s not too different.”
He said at the elite level, instilling the right culture and understanding players was more important than technical coaching.
“The biggest thing I’ve learnt from (Gyemore) is how calm he is under pressure,” he said.
“When you’re giving players a blast who are gasping for air, they’re only going to hear the first few words.”
“You don’t want to come in as a new coach and make too many changes to a team, but it’s more about getting them to play the style that you want to play, and understanding what sort of players you have.”
“Every coach has a different playing style - you want the best possible players in your team and then go from there.”
Seeing his rate of progression first-hand over the past few years, Gyemore said Beckitt’s appointment was well-deserved.
“I think he is ready for the challenge of being a head coach,” he said.
“He’s had some success coaching and developing a number of young female players, from the local competition in Cairns to the Queensland schoolgirls and Australian youth teams.”
“He’ll likely have some new players and some young players in the Cowboys team, and he will spend time working with them.”
Beckitt was a relative late-comer to the sport, joining as a player in his early 20s.
He began playing socially in Townsville with his brother before moving back to Cairns, but still returned regularly to play in the Townsville competition for a number of years.
“We took a mixed team to NQ Championships, made my first NQ Mixed Open team, then within a couple of years I was given the opportunity to represent Queensland in a state development team – it all happened fairly quickly,” Beckitt said.
Falling into the player-coach role early on, it wasn’t long before Beckitt had shown promise in the coaching ranks.
“A lot of coaches, in their home regions, probably don’t know what they don’t know until they have that exposure to people who are knowledgeable and have been around the sport for a long time,” Gyemore said.
“To his credit, Col put himself in a position to ask questions and learn, and he is always improving.”
“His best coaching year was this year – I had complete confidence in the role he was playing within the Cowboys men’s team.”
The Elite 8 series is played at the National Touch League (NTL) in Coffs Harbour in March.