'In terms of work ethic, many staff (at Burnley) would be arriving long before I did and leaving long after me – I have now taken that trait as my own and don’t believe that I will ever be outworked!...'
Name, age, where are you based?
Josh Arnold, 23, currently based in Surrey
Current and past roles:
I am currently working as a full-time Sports Coach at a Surrey Preparatory School for boys, Aldro School. I play a part in delivering all sports across the school – In PE lessons I am coaching athletics, badminton, basketball, bench ball, fitness testing and indoor hockey. The majority of those lessons take place in the morning’s before afternoons spent coaching football, rugby, cricket or hockey dependent on the season. I also spent time working with Burnley FC.
In the football season I work with the 1st XI and the U8s, the two extremes of coaching! Working with the 1st XI involves motivating the boys to perform to the best of their ability and providing sessions that are going to challenge them, whereas the U8s are full of energy and my task is to make sessions fun, high tempo and engaging whilst ensuring that progress is made every day!
Aldro is my first full-time job and I have been there for 3 years now, but have previously worked at Burnley FC whilst at university. I worked in the Academy as a Performance Analyst and Scout, spending my weekends and evenings either watching youth matches around Manchester or at the training ground filming the Academy.
I also work for Kickstart Academy, based in Surrey, where I coach football to kids in the U8 and U10 age groups. We have a Development Centre and an Academy, focused on developing young players to reach their footballing potential in an academy environment.
· UEFA B License
· BA Hons Sports Business & Coaching (UCFB Etihad)
· PFSA Scouting Level 2
· From September I will be studying for a Masters in Performance Football Coaching
How did you get into coaching and what has your path been like?
Since school my ambition has been to work in football, initially as a player (like everyone else!) and then I focused on coaching. I love being part of the development of young players and sharing my passion for football with others. I coached voluntarily for over 400 hours whilst at school and in college which gave me a good foundation of knowledge. Whilst at university I worked at Burnley and for local coaching companies in Manchester and the surrounding areas to gain experience and learn more about working with kids of all ages.
I had no doubt that I wanted to be coaching long-term so I was always hoping to come out of university and get a job coaching full-time. Fortunately, I had a massive stroke of luck! Whilst at UCFB I spent my summer’s working on holiday camps and was employed as an Activities Coordinator in Spain for 3 months in the summer 2016.
One thing led to another and one of the holidaymakers turned out to be the Headmaster of a Prep School in Surrey … that’s how I ended up at Aldro the following year!
Any achievements you would like to highlight?
This year I led the Aldro 1st XI boys to the ISFA Cup (National competition) Quarter-Finals as well as to two IAPS National finals. I always enjoyed working at Burnley as the senior professionals and management staff would often be around – It was a great experience to be in that elite environment. I have witnessed and been part of coaching masterclasses from Sean Dyche, Ian Dowie and other elite coaches which were good fun and an opportunity to learn from the best!
I have done many hours of voluntary work whilst in education, with a job in professional football always the end-goal. I have been fortunate to have had a passion that I have been able to focus on throughout my coaching journey so far and I feel that I am gradually working towards my goals.
Tell us about your roles with Burnley F.C and what were you able to take away from them to help with your coaching?
Working in an elite environment taught me many things but mostly increased my knowledge of coaching, analysis and work ethic. At the time I was surrounded by people who knew more about football than I thought I ever would, so I just constantly listened and asked questions!
In terms of work ethic, many staff would be arriving long before I did and leaving long after me – I have now taken that trait as my own and don’t believe that I will ever be outworked!
How useful has your school background proved in your coaching roles, and what have you learned?
I have learnt so much from my time at Aldro. I love working in a team where every member is equally as passionate about the same outcome, and as a Sports Department at Aldro we are all determined to help every boy to fulfil his potential. There will always be politics but the most important thing is the children and their progress!
Having spent time teaching in the classroom it is really interesting to see how children behave differently on the sports field to when they are in other lessons, and I feel that sport can bring out the best in every pupil. I will continue to use my experiences at Aldro to improve my coaching – This may include the way I manage various situations, interactions with parents and guardians, and using different coaching styles.
In your opinion, what values are important for a coach to instill to their players and how have you been going about implementing your own standards and values?
In my opinion, some of the most important values in order to be successful are hard work, creativity, teamwork, positivity and organisation.
I don’t necessarily state these values to the players that I work with but instead display them through my own coaching, personality and passion for the sport.
What experiences have been best for your development so far and what are you doing to ensure you continue to develop your skills?
I think every coaching job, opportunity and volunteering experience has been great for my development so far. From working abroad to working in a professional club and working in various schools, every experience has taught me something different.
I remain open to all opportunities and I’m gaining any qualifications available to me. I am looking forward to beginning a Masters in Performance Football Coaching in September – This will be a great challenge but one that excites me greatly!
What’s been the biggest challenges you’ve faced and how did you overcome them?
· UEFA B – It’s not an easy qualification to complete, particularly the final assessment, so I was really pleased to have overcome that challenge last year!
· Finishing university and starting a career – When finishing at UCFB I wasn’t sure what my next step would be but moving away from my family in the South West and relocating to Surrey was certainly a risk and a challenge. However, it has been a great decision as I love working at Aldro and it has presented me with many exciting coaching opportunities!
What’s next for you, any thoughts on the future?
My long-term ambition is still as it always has been; to work at the elite level of professional football as a coach or manager. I will continue working towards this goal every year and I believe that I am capable of achieving it, although I also understand that this will take time and that football is a highly competitive industry. I am excited for the journey!