Coaches Focus with Michael Follacchio
With 14 years of experience, Michael Follachio is one of the most accomplished coaches at Darebin. He recently coached the Darebin Phoenix 12-1 and 16-1 girls, and is set to coach the 12-1 and 18-1 girls in the upcoming 2023/24 VJBL season. This is his story:
How Did you originally get into coaching?
I first coached when my daughters U11s domestic team needed a coach. My first Rep coaching experience was as an assistant in my daughters’ U14 Rep team. I’ve been an age group coordinator and director of coaching at many domestic clubs now, and over the years have coached at all age levels (boys and girls) at different Rep associations.
How did you end up with 2 teams at the Darebin Phoenix?
I came to Darebin originally as a Director of Coaching, helping to recruit both coaches and players in the club’s initial years. I enjoy coaching 2 teams. In the younger age groups, you get to introduce players to rep for the first time, building a solid foundation of skills and a strong work ethic. In the older age groups, you get to build on the skill base and introduce more team structure with an increase in offensive and defensive principals.
With recent changes (including our new head of coaching), are you excited with the direction of the Phoenix program heading towards the upcoming VJBL season?
I’ve always been passionate about basketball, getting more people involved in sport and increasing skill development in the junior programs. I’ve been really excited with the direction of the club since Luke joined the program and with the rebranding to Darebin Phoenix. Having Dain join as the director of coaching this year really strengthens the future of the program. I can see it growing and becoming a destination for players and coaches who want to get better and be a part of a great basketball community with a dynamic culture.
Proudest moment as a Phoenix coach?
My proudest moment as a Phoenix coach is winning the club’s first VJBL title with the Under 12 girls in season 2022. I’m always proud when reflecting back at the end of a season, seeing how far the players have come and how they have grown together as team mates, forming friendships and building resilience, character and confidence.
What would you say to coaches and parents who are thinking about coaching at a VJBL level?
My message to any coaches or parents thinking about coaching at VJBL level would be: Get involved!!!
It is such a rewarding experience to coach a team at rep level, to see players improve, develop friendships and build confidence working together as a team.
The Darebin Phoenix are still on the hunt for coaches for the upcoming VJBL season, to express your interest in the Phoenix program CLICK HERE