Guidance and Advice For Sports Coaches
In this meet the coach post, we ask Saul Isaksson-Hurst (Director/Owner of MyPersonalFootbalCoach and ex Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur’s Coach) on his advice to coaches involved in sport.
Saul is a qualified teacher and has completed his UEFA B football badge. He has 10 years experience coaching football for two Premier League clubs and has set up his own company and app following his time coaching in the Premier League. He has coached across the world and has agreed to share his advice and guidance here at Leadership And Sport.
I’m extremely fortunate to work full time in football but its taken me 20 years to get to this point. – Saul Isaksson-Hurst
At leadershipandsport.com, we aim to provide resources and articles with the aim of making you a better coach. All our resources and articles are free and you can visit our resources page for all our articles and resources on sports coaching skills and techniques here.
You can also view all our other Meet to Coach articles in our series here.
Meet The Coach
Name: Saul Isaksson-Hurts
Current Role: Director and Owner of MyPersonalFootballCoach and PDA Football 121.
I spend most of my time working on the MyPersonalFootballCoach app, concentrating on creating content and liaising with partner clubs. I also have a small portfolio of 121 clients who are predominately Professional or Academy Players.
What motivated you to become a coach?
My passion for football. It’s always been an obsession of mine. I’m extremely fortunate to work full time in football but its taken me 20 years to get to this point. I was previously a primary school teacher which I really enjoyed but it was always my ambition to work full time in football.
Read our post on how to become a sports coach for three different ways on becoming a coach. Also, our post on what qualifications do sports coaches need provides further information on how to start your own coaching programme.
What challenges did you come across in becoming a successful coach?
There are lots of challenges. Anyone who works in football will tell you. For example, working every weekend means you can lose out on a lot of the social aspects when you are younger. As you grow older, the late nights and weekends can also take a toll on your personal/family life. You’re often working several jobs and unsociable hours. It’s something you accept because you feel fortunate to work in this industry.
What is the most important value a coach should instill in their team and why?
The motivation to be the best they can be, both individually and as a team. This is something I think coaches should also try and do.
Try and go that extra mile to be better than your peers, who are in reality your competition. Make sure no one outworks you, that should be the minimum.
What strategies do you use to ensure your coaching leads to success?
All sessions whether team based or individual should be high intensity, enjoyable and importantly linked to the game. I want players coming out of my sessions saying wow…that was an experience…that was intense.
We want our players working hard and making gains, but most importantly enjoying it. You’ll find the top players all enjoy this kind of environment.
What advice would you give to a person starting their coaching career?
I’d say just get out there and do it. The more hours you can accumulate the better.
Get experiences with as many different age groups and abilities as possible. It is also important to go and watch experienced coaches and see what and how they do things.
Get a mentor or mentors. This is really important and has been key in my progression.
Finally, become a student of the game. The internet is now an unlimited resource of information, some of it isn’t the greatest but there is some real gold out there.
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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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