Meet The Coach
Have you ever wondered what the world of a professional sports coach is like? All the glory and excitement of working with and developing some of the best athletes in the country. What struggles have these coaches had to overcome to get where they are today and what advice would they give to those who are new to the game?
As part of our aim to support sport coaches across the world, we have asked a number of professional sports coaches to contribute to our new Meet the Coach series. We will be posting a new meet the coach each month for a year.
In this post, we ask Wayne Harrison (Ex Professional footballer and qualified UEFA A coach) for his advice to coaches involved in sport. Wayne has been the head coach for a number of professional football teams and has since created his own company training sports coaches and players across the world.
The five questions we are asking the professional sport coaches in meet the coach are:
- What motivated you to become a coach?
- What challenges did you come across in becoming a successful coach?
- What is the most important value a coach should instill in their team and why?
- What strategies do you use to ensure your coaching leads to success?
- What advice would you give to a person starting their coaching career?
Name: Wayne Harrison
Current Coaching Role: Wayne owns Soccer Awareness (https://www.soccerawareness.com/) which aims to provide training for sports coaches and players across the world. He is also the author of a number of books. As stated on his site, his view on coaching is:
“The ultimate goal in coaching is helping each player develop his or her talents and abilities to the fullest. With this in mind, I created the Soccer Awareness philosophy of developmental coaching and training. It simply means training the mind before the body.” –Wayne Harrison
Previous Coaching Experience: Wayne was a professional footballer for Everton Youth, Sheffield Wednesday, Blackpool, Oulo Palloseura (Finland), Carlisle and Workington Red Football Team (Player Coach). He has first team coaching experience in over 250 senior games and holds the UEFA A football coaching licence as well as the NSCAA Premier Diploma.
After his playing career, Wayne held three coaching roles and then went on to be 1st Team Head Coach for Accrington Stanley Football club. Following this, he has since worked as a Technical Director for a number of football clubs before moving to the USA. Where he has set up the Soccer Awareness Professional Training Programme.
What motivated you to become a coach?
I enjoy making players better on and off the field.
What challenges did you come across in becoming a successful coach?
Ego and Jealousy from others who try to block your work because you frighten them.
What is the most important value a coach should instill in their team and why?
Teamwork and supporting each other working selflessly.
What strategies do you use to ensure your coaching leads to success?
Strategies, (there is) no secret formula. Just work to each players strengths and teach them accordingly.
What advice would you give to a person starting their coaching career?
Have a thick skin. You’ll need it every day.
Wayne is regularly updating his Twitter feed with ideas and thoughts on sports coaching. You can view his twitter account here. Why not also check out our Twitter or Facebook page if you haven’t already.
Wayne has also published a number of sports coaching books on football. Here are a few of his books below:
Coaching the 4-2-3-1
Coaching the FLEX 1-3-3-1-3: Adaptable Tactics for the Modern Game
Wayne also has a free downloadable soccer coaching Ebook which is available using this link below: https://www.soccerawareness.com/coaches-corner/free-coaching-the-4-2-3-1-ebook
New to sports coaching? Then you may want to check out our guide to sports coaching. Here you will be able to learn techniques and strategies that will excel your coaching career. Topics include Stages of Learning, Methods of Training and Leadership Styles.
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You may also be interested in the following articles:
- Downloadable Sports Coaching Session Planning Template
- What Apps Should Sports Coaches Be Using
- How to Become A Sports Coach
- Our review of the Best Sports Training Equipment
- Team Cohesion In Sport
You can find all of our resources, articles and reviews on our resource page.
*Thank you to Wayne Harrison for his contribution and time to complete the questions for this article. All views and opinions expressed are my own. This post also contains Affiliate Links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.