As a British Coach you can do one of two things. Sit and complain about the lack of opportunities and salary for your current role (which is hurting your continued development), or stand up and face your barriers head on, even if it means taking baby steps to reach your end goal. If you want something bad enough, you will find a way to reach your end goal. If you’re not willing to make some sacrifices along the way, prepare to stay sat and be content with whatever position you are currently working in. Whichever option you choose, it is vital that you accept that option and live with it (whether it be for the short or long term). If you can’t live with it, there’s a good chance you need to rethink your decision.
Leading on from the great job, people and other resources have done; such as the British Coaches Abroad website, I’m now starting a British Coaches Network. My main intention and aim is to provide some kind of platform, for British Coaches to share their achievements and their past/ongoing hard work. If we are not aware of each other as coaches, how can we expect anyone else to know about us and more importantly, to even care.
In an ultra-competitive industry where positions are limited and coaches worldwide are looking for that golden ticket, it’s so easy to become selfish and ‘in it for yourself’. Of course, we all need some of this mentality in our makeup, we all need to build our own path and create our own destiny but here’s one thing you should know; THE MAJORITY OF BATTLES ARE WON BY WHO YOU KNOW AND NOT WHAT YOU KNOW. Many of us hear this and agree, there will be those who disagree - I think of it this way; Coach A and Coach B had a 1v1 coaching contest, 10 judges decided at the end who was the better coach and Coach A was victorious. A week later, the same Coach A and Coach B applied for the same coaching position and being the only two candidates, Coach A was understandably confident. What Coach A didn’t know, was that Coach B had previously played in a golf competition the week before and had by chance, bumped into the owner of the club (enjoyed more than a few drinks and laughs) who was now about to interview both of the candidates. Who do you think will get the job? People hire or surround themselves with people they trust. Trust comes from building a relationship.
'NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOU ARE COMPARED TO OTHER COACHES, IT’S WHAT YOU DO IN THE JOB WHEN YOU HAVE IT THAT COUNTS'
With this in mind, being part of a network opens up many possibilities and in numbers, comes strength.
The three main issues I will be looking to address from the start will be;
- Job Opportunities and availability in the U.K
- Job Opportunities and availability abroad
- Links and pathways for coaches abroad between themselves and the U.K
How Will This Be Done?
Unlike other networks with most of them being Coaching ‘whatsaap and facebook groups’ with thousands of people scrambling for attention or fighting for their voice to be heard, this network will attempt to provide ideas and opportunities for British coaches to progress.
Partnerships and relationships will be made, directly impacting our development for the good. By gathering advice and wisdom from all our experiences across the globe, we can use our strength in numbers to make our own improvements…. possibly even help others along the way!
British Coaches are labelled with an uninspiring tag across the world. We are deemed to be stale in our ideas, tactically inept and unfashionable in every coaching attribute available. Most labels and stereotypes are inaccurate and by connecting with 20 new British Coaches in the last few days alone, it’s plain to see there’s some exceptional talent out there. There are instances where we don’t help ourselves and this is down to personal desire and motivation to develop ourselves; How many of us know another language? How many of us have got a qualification or completed courses in a completely different discipline? How many books do we read every month?
' WE ARE OUR OWN ROAD MAP, WITH FREEDOM TO CREATE NEW ROUTES'
Between a large network of British Coaches, I hope we can offer support guides by sharing and caring. Some of us may be able to share tips on how they learn other languages, some of us may be able to give an insight into Sports Phycology or the best way they’ve found to speed up player recovery? Remember that sharing is ok, because Coach B is still getting the job over Coach A regardless!
Within a network there will be many individuals whose circumstances differ. In terms of a British Coaches Football Network, I believe it’s so valuable to have both professional coaches with experience at the highest level, and also those who may be just starting out. Regardless of which end of the spectrum we are at, there needs to be respect coming and going from both ways.
Can we try and be patient and spare some time for those British Coaches who are just starting out, and at the same time can we respect that some professional coaches are very busy and it’s not possible/suitable for them to receive 500 emails or requests for a job (and certainly not of best practice).
On an added note from the above; We do need coaches of great experience within a network.
With this in mind, we should try and network within best practices.
Try and avoid;
- Contacting people on Linkedin with your first message being; “Got anything going”?
- bothering people for phone numbers, emails and contacts unless said contact has knowledge of it.
- build relationships to enable more detailed discussion
- keep in consideration, everyone has their own busy life and schedule. If someone is worth knowing and your attempt to connect is with sincere professionalism, they will reply or connect in good time.
Feel free to send an in-depth account of your coaching career, whether it be at the start or coming to the end. Feel free to share your story of development, adventures had or barriers met.
Within the next week, the British Coach’s live forum will be up and running.
Are you a grassroots coach? check out some helpful videos here