WEEK 49: ERIN McALEENAN
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Sussex, New Brunswick. My dad was a high school teacher and the senior boy’s basketball coach, and my mom was a stay-at-home mom while my brother and I grew up. I played basketball, soccer, volleyball, and badminton with my school teams. I completed all my swimming levels and had a brief stint as a downhill ski racer before becoming a ski instructor. I loved sports growing up. They gave me an outlet for my energy, but also gave me an opportunity to learn new skills and work with teammates towards a common goal.
Basketball was always my favorite sport, so after high school I went on to play university basketball at Acadia while completing my Bachelor of Science. I was hired as an Associate Faculty Member at Trinity College School (TCS) in Port Hope, ON after I graduated. That’s when I started coaching high school girls’ and boys’ basketball. During my second year there, I commuted back and forth to Peterborough to complete my Bachelor of Education and went on to teach high school Math and Science at TCS for 4 years after that.
Following my six years at TCS, I decided to pack up and move to Edmonton to take my Masters in Coaching at the University of Alberta. It was there that I was given the opportunity to learn a lot about professional coaching at the university level in Canada. I completed my Masters in 2 years, and then stayed on to work in the Athletic Department and the Phys. Ed. Dept. at U of A for a third year before being hired to the Head Coach position for the Women’s Basketball Team at the University of Lethbridge.
I spent 3 years as Head Coach at the University of Lethbridge, before being offered the Head Coach position at York University in the summer of 2015. I am currently in my fifth year as Head Coach at York, and I love it!
I have also had the opportunity to represent Canada on several Canadian National teams over the last nine years. I have been a team manager, as well as an assistant coach on Junior National Teams, and the assistant coach for the Pan Am Games Team in 2011. It is an absolute honor to represent Canada on the international basketball stage.
Please share a story about an internal or external barrier you have faced.
I struggle with perfectionism. It has been very challenging to deal with as a professional coach, as I am not sure that the perfect game is even possible in my head. Both Head Coaching jobs I have had have been in programs that hadn’t had much success before I got there, and time had to be spent rebuilding