We all have or should have our optimum goal in sight, and it’s sometimes difficult to keep patience. It’s mostly natural to want to get from A to Z as quickly as possible but sometimes, you may need to get from A to B before the Z.
An example of this could be the way we perceive coaching/specialist roles with clubs, and how we respond to expectations that don’t reach our needs. It’s sadly too common now, that a Head of Sports Science job is advertised for £12-£15k a year, or an Academy Manager in London is needed for £22k a year – it’s certainly is a dreadful short-term payback, on a big investment in terms of completed coaching courses and education. The key word here is short-term, a shocking short-term investment but how can it be made into a good long-term investment? Or do we deserve more than that, are we too good for short-term pain for long-term gain?
Of course, there are so many valid reasons and barriers why coaches and specialists cannot take one of these disgustingly paid jobs, including the fact they do deserve and are worth so much more. But here’s the bad news…. if you don’t take that opportunity then someone else will, and these opportunities will remain of bad taste, due to the vacant positions always getting filled. What makes it even worse, is the coach who took that awful paying opportunity has now moved on to their next role, possibly a better role with bigger rewards.
Let’s compare two variations here Coach A and Coach B;
Coach A has a family, house and car. They really want to start to forge a good career out of coaching and are ready to step up. They see a ‘Head of Academy’ role advertised for an English Championship club and the salary is £20,000 a year. Coach A can really see this club and role as the next big step in their career, but is put off by the salary. Coach A cannot afford to take a pay cut, especially while they’re currently earning more in a lesser coaching role. Not to mention, £20k isn’t going to cover the outgoing costs of basic living. It’s not a viable option, Coach A quite rightly believes they deserve better and they stick.
Two years down the line Coach A is still in the same role, earning the same money and continues to be disappointed with the lack of value coaches are shown.
Coach B has a family, house, car and two dogs. They often complain how most of their coaching salary goes straight to their German Shepherds. They want to push on in their career, not only for the extra money but also to match their ambition. They see the same job available as Coach A did. Coach B shook their head at the salary and laughed, it would be a drop in salary and would definitely mean less food for them vs the dogs. None the less, Coach B’s desire to be proven at a higher level out powered everything. Instead of thinking of reasons why they couldn’t take the bigger role (for less salary), they started planning on how they could apply for the role and make it work. The first thing they thought about was making up the extra money they would lose by accepting the new role. Getting part-time work somewhere was a possibility, but there would be an issue of available time, especially alongside a more demanding job role. Fast forward one month later……..
Coach B applied for the vacant Head of Coaching role and got it! They found time in their schedule to coach at a school a couple of times a week, which also helps to bring in extra income – they found time for this by cutting down the hours they spend a week watching movies and looking on social media. In addition, a ‘car sacrifice’ was made. They previously had two cars, one being a ‘run-around’ and the other being of higher value. The decision was made to downgrade slightly on the ‘bigger car’ and they exchanged it for something more affordable. The best thing was, they also made £3,000 profit on the exchange. With the addition of extra coaching hours (3 hours a week), a cheaper car to run and a little profit leftover, Coach B was now earning just a little more than they were in their old role – enough for extra steak for the dogs!
Two years later, Coach B had moved on from the Head of Coaching role. They were so determined and confident in their own ability, it showed in their quality of work produced. With a good two years behind them in a Head of Coaching role, Coach B applied for the same role at another club. It was a bigger opportunity at a bigger club and the salary was a lot more. The best part about it was, they could now upgrade both their ‘run-around’ and ‘big car’. Coach B now looks back at their short-term pain, with more excited for the long-term gain.
This of course is just an example but one thing for sure, it is realistic. Now we look at a real example of Coach Z.
Coach Z finished playing in the U.K after bouncing around Non-league ‘Reserves’, and started doing a bit of coaching alongside their Fitness Instructor job. Enjoying the security of a regular income, it never occurred possible, for Coach Z to somehow get into football coaching as a Full-Time Profession. As the years passed, Coach Z realises that football coaching is the career they want to pursue, with the biggest barriers being affordability and the opportunity to get their foot in the door.
It wasn’t until Coach Z moved to Asia that they found a way they could coach, whilst holding down a job to pay the bills. They continued to work Full-Time (not in football) whilst they coached on a part time basis and they was determined to succeed. Some days tired, lacking in time and energy, Coach Z would often finish work and then get on public transport for 40 minutes with bags of equipment in tow. They then had the pleasure of doing the same journey back again, only this time with the equipment a little dirtier. Coach Z would do this for 3 years, their desire to succeed growing stronger with each day.
After 3 years, Coach Z was presented with a huge opportunity to step into their first Full-Time coaching role. Finally, a Full-Time job wasn’t needed because coaching was their new Full-Time employment.
Sometimes you work hard and feel good things will happen, it’s just a matter of when and how long you can stay positive for. Looking back over the past 3 years, Coach Z knew that without the previous sacrifices made, there would of been no new position and no progress.
After Coach Z’s first Professional, Full – Time coaching role, along came another…..
and then another…….
And now Coach Z looks back with admiration for those who gave belief for these opportunities and most of all, Coach Z has now learned that to sometimes reach the Z, you first must get from A to B.
The British Football Coaches Network is now adding additional opportunities to their jobs board. These additional roles may not be specifically ‘football coaching ‘ positions, but they are roles which share similar skill sets in sport such as; Performance Coaching, Sport Development, Sport Mentoring/Tutoring and many more.
If you’re having a tough time on your journey to Z, maybe you need a side step before moving forward again. If you’ve not already joined the BFCN, get on board and start your journey with us today!
For extra reading on making the most of opportunities available, take a look at Liam Dowson’s article.