Advanced Coaching Diploma Graduate - Dave Waknuk
Dave Waknuk’s career goal was never to become a post-secondary basketball coach, but 16-years of coaching later he is entering his 6th season coaching the University of Lethbridge Women’s Basketball Team, marking his 3rd year as head coach.
Despite his own skills as a player not quite excelling in the game, his love and interest for basketball lead him into several volunteer opportunities coaching youth groups which ultimately started his coaching career. His post-secondary student-athletes remind him of how rewarding being a coach is as he states his enjoyment of watching them grow throughout their college careers.
“At our level of post-secondary you get to see them come in out of high school, young and trying to figure it out and then you get to watch them grow up and leave with degrees and get into the real world”, says Waknuk. “To see the people they’ve become and the lessons that they’ve picked up along the way is pretty fun; it’s definitely the most rewarding part of coaching.”
Dave knew the Advanced Coaching Diploma was right for him as it was something he wanted to do to continue to improve and learn more about coaching. “I had a quest to continue to challenge and grow myself in the career of coaching and I’m glad this avenue brought me to the ACD.”
As someone who loves coaching himself, he encourages those who share a passion of being a coach to enroll in the Advanced Coaching Diploma. “This program is for coaches that want to improve and grow and taking coaching seriously while enjoying it and having a passion for it,” Explains Waknuk. “If you have a passion for coaching, this program is a dream scenario because you get to get in with some experts at the highest level and people that are taking it seriously around you.”
Although the ACD isn’t targeted towards any specific sport, Dave said he would challenge coaches to look at this path more because there is so much that can be applied that can push coach past their expectations. “Just because this program is not based on my sport doesn’t mean that I won’t get so much more out of it. Coaches get to work with information collected by high level experts and the ACD gives you the depth to go as deep as you want. You’re going to get the most out of this program if you really want to grow and improve and come in open minded and able to commit to the process.”
Now a proud alumni of the ACD, Dave plans on continuing to challenge himself and continue coach education after experiencing a “family-like environment” lead by Jason Sjostrom who encouraged and supported the group along the way. “This program ignited my passion to further my coach education and keep looking for those next opportunities that lead me into the sport 16 years ago”.