For the last week of Black History Month, we are catching up with London FA coach educators about what makes them proud to be part of the coaching community and what advice they would give to aspiring coaches.
When did you first start coaching? What were your goals at that time?
I first started informally coaching in my late teens. I was helping out at a drop in session in Brixton and thought coaching would be really easy after playing all my life. I was wrong and I was terrible! I decided if it was something I wanted to be good at in the future I would have to learn, get experience and take some courses.
What is your current coaching role?
I currently coach at Fulham's FC academy and for the FA as a tutor.
From the start of your journey to your current role, can you state the length of time it took to attain your highest qualification and how have the qualifications helped you?
It took around 10 years to achieve my current qualifications and this went hand in hand with gaining more experience and getting recognition from peers and managers. Coaching wasn't something I was sure I wanted to do as I have other qualifications and experience in other areas, however it has become a constant in my life.
Who are your coaching role models?
I don't have coaching role models, but I have watched or worked with so many other good coaches who I have learned so much from. The best coaches are usually the best thieves I'm told!
Coaches such as Richard Horner, Geoff Pike, Corey Donoghue, Kevin Green, Darren Smith, Jon Gittens, The Drabwells, Ben Bartlett, Jeremy Sauer, Emily Hill, Matt Joseph and many more have all played a part in my development.
As an FA affiliated tutor, what advice would you give to grassroots coaches?
I would say to coaches to gain all the good experiences they can and not rush to achieve qualifications. Don't be afraid to fail and always seek advice and feedback from people you trust.
What are your coaching aspirations for the future?
My aspirations for the future are to continue to do the best I can for players in my care trying to develop them as holistically as possible.
If you are interested in getting your coaching qualifications, you can check out the coaching pathway here. If you have any questions, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.