Today's article is a special one, with some opinions being shared by a mystery British coach. This came about by an original email to me from the coach, saying he had just read my book. "I just read your book. Found it interesting but unfortunately, it shows you don't have what it takes to continue in this game just like so many other 'new wave coaches'". I replied with a thanks for reading my book and yes he was correct. I also pointed out that in my book, it actually tells why I don't have what it takes to continue as a coach at a professional level (at the moment).
Intrigued by some of his comments made, I asked if I could share them through a mini interview and post them as a BFCN article. I also offered that his identity would be kept private (just to save hassle for everyone). It seemed fair, as there are some interesting comments what are sure to spark debate but at the same time, everyone is allowed their own opinion, and should be free to give theirs without causing big uproar.
What shows that I don't have what it takes to maintain being a pro coach?
It seems that you wasn't flexible enough to get on with your job, and concentrated too much on the politics surrounding the game. Coaches who are in it for the long term, know how to handle pressure and manage the tricky environments.
What is a 'new wave' coach?
More and more it's becoming that everyone is an expert. Even those with no actual pro coaching experience are giving advice and acting like they are in a position to pass on their views. There are guys who haven't even coached in a senior team, out there giving quotes and advice about how difficult coaching as a professional is. They put up a motivational quote or give a copied sentence of a training manual, get a few more likes or followers and that's that. Should we not start asking these guys to pass advice about things they have actually done or had experience of?
Should there be a balance between what a coach does on social media, against their involvement in the game?
Everyone is free to use social media how they wish, but shouldn't a coach make up their mind if they are being a professional coach or talking about being a professional coach. How many real professional coaches are posting quotes written on a photo every day? I'm sure not many, because these guys are too busy being a professional coach.
So what is the definition of a Professional coach in your view?
There's a thin line between a couple of options. There are coaches working in a professional club's academy, but are they a professional coach if they are not working with professional players, who are only 4 years old? It would be safe to say that if you coach professional players, you are a professional coach.
What ways can we continue to evolve as coaches, to keep up with the times and not become extinct, If 'new wave' coaches don't share things such as analysis on social media, where does extra information come from?
Wanting to help others is a good thing, but again there must be a point where we must ask, do I want to be an influencer or do I want to be an actual coach? If professional coaches are working in professional environments with professional players, then they will keep updated. This will mean that others can learn from workshops and other courses. It's not to say that there isn't a use for information shared from coach influencers, the point is whether or not you are a coach or an influencer. By all means, still learn from other coaches as much as you can.
What catogary would I come under now, a coach or an influencer?
As you are no longer coaching full-time and you now offer services to other coaches, you could be considered an influencer. It's difficult to concentrate on both. If you are a pro coach, you are already influencing others by the coaching and results you are getting as a pro coach.
Does this have any relation to how pro players are evolving, and the amount of influence they now have while playing and using social media?
Not entirely related. Most of the players are still young people and are seen as influencers and in a position to be role models, whilst being seen to stay connected to their fans. Coaches should have a more mature head on them and let their own work do the talking.
Does this all mean that 'new wave' influencer coaches can't be good coaches?
Not at all. There are many very good ones, it's just a matter of what they actually want to be and putting their time and effort in being it. My only qualm would be, is getting more tweets more important than actually getting on with the actual job?
How do you feel the future of British coaching will develop?
I'm sure it will be healthy. It sounds like I'm against the new generation of coaches coming through but I'm not. If we can bring together the best of the old world and mix it with the new, the balance should be steady. One thing for sure, the attitude and will is there and that's half the battle.
Without being a pain in the ass, doesn't that sound slightly contradictive with what you said before?
I still stand by my opinions, about people worrying more about their social media following and pretending to be a Pro, instead of being a pro. But still, there is a lot of talent out there and it's something to be proud of.
This may or may not be a good time to share (LOL), but take a look at my new 1 month mentoring programme below, where I will be taking 20 coaches and helping to give them all the tools needed, to push onto the next level.
The programme also includes the course 'Zero to Pro in 4 Years' for FREE.
All the best.