Big Coaching Hours in U.S.A - Callum Moss

'Working nearly 70 hours a week was obviously very tough, but it improved me as a person and as a coach. I was fortunate enough to have coached some of the best young talent in New England...'





Name, age, where are you based?

Callum Moss, 22, Chichester, West Sussex

Current Role:

Recently left Heriot-Watt University as a reserve team goalkeeper and coach, currently seeking new opportunities. Previously coaches in U.SA.

Qualifications:

BSc in Sports Development & Coaching Sciences with Sport Biology, Health & Psychology

Completing an MSc in Management and Leadership in Sports Performance

FA Level 1, finalizing my Level 2

UK Level 2 Community Sports Leadership Award

UK Level 3 Higher Sports Leadership Award

FA Level 1 in Goalkeeping

FA Coaching Deaf, Disabled and Blind Footballers

FA Level 2 in Talent Identification

Level 2 Certificate in Football Fitness & Conditioning

UKSCA Workshop Certificate in Foundations in Strength & Conditioning

USSF Coaching Licenses in 4v4, 7v7 and 9v9


How did you get into coaching and what has your path been like?

I started considering a coaching career shortly after leaving secondary school as I had done a lot of volunteering in the community and for Brighton & Hove Albion’s skills centre. I immediately did my FA Level 1 when I was 16 and followed it up with level 1’s in goalkeeping, futsal and talent ID.

I decided to go to university at age 18 because I was interested in the science behind coaching and I felt it would be a great platform to get me into more coaching opportunities whilst developing myself as an individual. At university, I had a range of coaching roles. I became the university’s football development officer, organizing and recruiting volunteers at local sporting events and coaching myself at them. I became a sports ambassador for the university as well, coaching at football events hosted by them. During this time, I was also a project officer for the Dorset FA, coaching at their annual events. All of this was great for my personal development and gave me the confidence to start to challenge myself.

My first big role was in my university industrial placement with FC Bayern Munich’s North American Technical Partner, Global Premier Soccer (GPS), the largest football club setup in the USA. I worked as a regional community manager, technical department assistant, sports performance department assistant, professional development officer and a football and futsal coach. Coaching in three different US states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine) also provided a lot of adventure into the role. I coached and managed three teams in league and tournament settings, lead player recruitment in my region, helped design technical football drills for the club website and also acted as a consultant for a local football association.

I came back from the USA and began an exchange in Norway at the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences (the second best sports science institution in the world) where I studied Sports Biology, Health & Psychology. I specialized in nutrition and psychology in sports performance and was taught by some of the world’s leading experts in the field. I realized just how important psychology is to coaching and how we can use techniques to promote motivation in children which I found very interesting. I also helped play and coach some futsal every week which kept my coaching fresh.

I began an MSc at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland after completing my degree, studying Management & Leadership in Sports Performance. I initially planned to be a coach for one of the teams, but the head coach was impressed with my goalkeeping and wanted me to play for the reserve team. I figured this would be a great way to shadow UEFA A licensed coaches and although I have played two games a week at a high intensity, I have taken a great deal from these coaches and started to formulate their ideas and understand the meaning behind them. I always try and chip in when I can, occasionally acting as an assistant in some games.




Any achievements or experiences you would like to share?

I think my biggest achievement was adapting and living in the USA for a year and making the coaching and office roles I had, my own. I gave 100% every day and I still get some messages from the kids and parents I used to work with and that always boosts my confidence. Working nearly 70 hours a week was obviously very tough, but it improved me as a person and as a coach. I was fortunate enough to have coached some of the best young talent in New England, even the All-star teams and best of all the GPS national team. Working with them was a pleasure. I think the fact that I was coaching with a Bayern Munich badge on my sleeve was pretty cool as I was pretty much coaching on their behalf in the states and delivering their curriculum.

One funny story does stick out. I covered a u18 league game for another coach for GPS. However, only 9 of our players showed up so it turned into a 9v11 game. I thought we would get trounced. To minimize goals conceded, I decided to go for a 1-3-1-3-1 with the defensive midfielder acting as a sweeper, we would sit back and counter with three attacking midfielders and the striker. It worked brilliantly and we equalized in the last minute to draw 1-1. I was shocked as much as anyone but what a day it was and I will also highlight that as a huge achievement in my personal development.


How did you enjoy your time with Brighton & Hove Albion, what was the role like and what did you learn from it?

I was only 14 when I went on work experience with Brighton & Hove Albion’s skills centre for a week. But this was a magnificent eye opener into the world of community coaching. The coaches were impressed enough that they let me lead the coaching sessions. Afterwards, they offered me the chance to act as the goalkeeper coach for their next upcoming tour to Holland. I was to coach some of the best young goalkeeping talent across their development schools. Having so much responsibility at a young age was great. I learnt how important planning was and also that at a young age, reinforcing the footballing principles and fundamentals are paramount. I always explained to my goalkeepers why they were doing what they were doing, otherwise if they don’t understand, they learn nothing.


After monitoring their progress against top level European youth teams, I found that they always tried to do what I taught them. Even if they made mistakes I was proud of them because it showed I was communicating with them in a way that made them listen and take things on board. Giving continuous constructive feedback for me was the key to their development and I have since done this in the states and in the UK.


How was your experiences abroad and what challenges were you faced with

In the states, I had a lot of roles and I worked very long days 7 days a week. I would normally leave at 7:30am and get home for about 9pm. There were times when I felt why am I doing this. I lived with three host families in the states and I was constantly being given newer roles and responsibilities so I was always having to adapt. But what overcame these challenges was being able to coach my teams from u8 to u11 and sometimes u14 up to u18 and seeing them always strive to improve themselves. Our performances reflected this and I had a lot of support from senior management in how I managed my workload.

Living in America, Norway and Scotland also provided some great experiences on a personal note. I have lived with people all over the world and shared a lot of ideas. From shoveling a drive way to be able to get to work, playing with and against some of Scotland’s most talented university players, watching football around Scandinavia and driving overnight across the US states to coach provide some great memories. Personal challenges is adapting to a new environment wherever you go but it’s so rewarding when you overcome them and I have now made friends for life and made some great contacts in the world of football which will hopefully stand me in good stead for the future.




What things could you take away from your time in Europe and in the U.S.A, which would be useful to implement in the U.K?

The USA has a very different developmental pathway compared to the UK. It is very money-oriented over there and whilst I don’t agree with it, the amount of games children of young ages play there are much higher compared to here. On some days, the age groups up to u13 would play up to six games in a day! They played in loads of tournaments and against teams from everywhere and this was handled very strongly in terms of logistics. In Norway, from what I learnt, it’s all about promoting a positive motivationa