2018 Japanese Women Leaders & Coaches Academy 11 – 13 September, Karuizawa, Japan


Mim Haigh
Sports Writer – Athlete Assessments
The groundswell of support for women coaches worldwide is gathering momentum with the fourth annual Japanese Women Leaders & Coaches Academy running 11-13 September 2018 in Karuizawa, Japan.


The 2018 program is packed with professional development opportunities, including sessions on Women in Sport, Diversity, Leadership and a panel discussion centered on Navigating the Future for Women Sports Leaders. The Academy is an international extension of Academies in the United States which were developed in conjunction with WeCOACH (formally named the Alliance of Women Coaches). An international team with expertise in women’s sport, coaching and professional development will lead the 2018 Academy.

Marlene Bjornsrud, previously of the Alliance of Women Coaches and fundamental to the women’s coaching movement, Dr. Nicole LaVoi, Board Member of the Alliance of Women Coaches and Co-Director of the Tucker Centre for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota join a team of local presenters led by Dr Etsuko Ogasawara, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Japanese Centre for Research on Women in Sport (JCRWS) and Professor of Sports Management at Juntendo University.

Athlete Assessments’ Client Director, Liz Masen has been on board since the Academy’s interception and has been invited to present for the fourth time at this important annual event. She says, “while the Academy is definitely an opportunity to share knowledge and the latest information developed internationally to support women in sport, it’s also about making connections and consolidating the network of women coaching women all over the world”.

Anticipating the energy and positive outcomes for women in sport in Japan, Liz says “the Academy is a real highlight for me. When I’m not presenting, I love participating in all of the sessions. The team of women who steer the Academy have already made an incredible impact on the international landscape and to be part of that team amongst the cohort of Japanese women coaches is phenomenal.”

Liz will present a workshop using the CoachDISC Profile on Day Two that empowers women coaches with knowledge of their own coaching style and the styles of their athletes. Prior to the workshop, all coaches attending the session take the Japanese CoachDISC Profile (developed by Athlete Assessments in partnership with Juntendo University). She’ll begin the session by debriefing the coaches on the reports and talking about how they can use the information to improve their coaching.

Liz will work through a translator and present to an exclusively Japanese audience, she says, “my presentation is about strong relationships and clear communication as the basis for the best results. Even though I present through a translator I keep the session engaging and interactive with activities to keep the coaches thinking and acting out the learning”.

“Ultimately, our information is practical. Coaches need to understand their own coaching style so they can improve their performance and consequently the performance of their athletes. The CoachDISC Profile, especially being in Japanese, is a really effective tool to use in that process.”


Liz explained how important it is that the Academy takes place in Karuizawa, the only city in the world to host both the Summer (1964) and Winter (1998) Olympics. The 2018 Academy commences in the same way each year, with a tour of the Karuizawa Olympic Memorial dedicated to honoring Japan’s Olympic experience.

Liz said, “the Olympic experience forms a backdrop to the Japanese Women Leaders & Coaches Academy with both the city’s history and preparations for the 2020 Olympics in Japan being so prevalent in the day-to-day lives of all of our coaches.”

Where to from here…

At Athlete Assessments, we are the experts in the ‘people side’ of sport. While we are best known for our athlete profiling and sports team consulting using the AthleteDISC, CoachDISC and Sports ManagerDISC, we do more than just Assessments. Athlete Assessments Services include Sport Specific DISC Profiles, Performance Reviews, Team Consulting, Program Reviews, Keynote Speaking, Events & Professional Development Programs.

At Athlete Assessments we’re here to provide you with excellence in service and to help you be your best. If there is anything we can do to be of service, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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