Barry Morrison, the co-recipient of last year’s Coach Developer award, has been a stalwart of the New Brunswick and Fredericton soccer community for many years and is one of the most active and experienced NCCP learning facilitators in the province. He holds a level IV NCCP certification and is a Master Coach Developer. Barry puts a high value on continuous learning and his commitment to training himself and other fellow coaches is virtually unparalleled.
Coach NB sat down with Barry to discover why he cares so much about coaching and coach training.
“I got involved in coaching because I saw a need for positive coaches and my goal is really just to continue to be able to set and provide positive environments for kids to get out and play soccer,” said Barry. “My ultimate goal is to just continue to have a positive impact on the New Brunswick soccer community.”
Barry wears multiple coaching hats as he is the club coach of the Fredericton District Soccer Association [FDSA] and an assistant coach of the Varsity Reds Men’s Soccer team. He thinks the two programs have much to offer each other.
“We’ve been working really hard at our relationship with the university program at UNB,” said Barry when asked how he balances the two programs. “We’ve worked really hard to bring our resources together to best benefit the soccer community.”
With all of his experience, education and passion, it would seem likely Barry would be a candidate for rapid career progression in the world of sport administration, he is adamant however, that he will remain on the field as a coach so he can continue to mold players at the grassroots level.
“It’s what I love, it’s what gets me out of bed in the morning,” said Barry. “I’ll probably stay within an arm’s length of coaching most of my career.”
Barry previously held the position of Technical Programs Manager at Soccer New Brunswick and gives that experience credit for his love of coaching and his current career path.
“I was a step removed from working with players all the time and that’s what really motivated me to want to go back and work at the club level,” said Barry. “I think working at the club level in sport is where you really have the opportunity to have the biggest impact on the day-to-day sporting environment of kids.”
The Leave Your Mark Coaching Awards were created in participation with National Coaches Week and were designed to honor coaches who for the most part, are volunteers. Barry, who is a professional coach, advocates the importance of recognizing these volunteers.
“It’s critical that people who are putting in all those evenings and nights and weekends and everything are recognized for their hard work and it’s good to show there are great people out there in the community doing these things.”
Barry is optimistic about the outlook of coaching in New Brunswick and credits organizations like Coach NB, Canadian Sport for Life and the Coaching Association of Canada for the steps coach development has taken in the last few years.
“You just look across the sporting spectrum, and all sports across the province are trying to raise the bar, trying to increase the training of their coaches and increase their profiles,” said Barry. “I feel like everything is moving in a very, very positive direction.”
As the number of professional coaches in New Brunswick continues to rise, so does the need for more people like Barry, who enthusiastically engage with and learn from other coaches, and who understand the importance of continuous coach development.