Thoughts on coaching…

Good afternoon (well it is here)

To avoid the pending “weather bomb” i thought some light reading was in order to pass the time, so to start proceedings, our audience would like to know who they are reading about today?

My name is Laurie McGinley and I am 23 years old. I live in Glasgow and one day want to be a professional football coach. I support Chelsea FC and in Scotland I like Queen of the South. I am a big fan of the national squad and think Gordon Strachan is a legend of how he has transferred the team into a great team.

So what is it you do?

I also play for the Scotland Cp football team. This is the national squad for people who have had a stroke, cerebral palsy and a head injury. I had viral encephalitis when I was 9 years old. I have worked hard to get to where I am. I have a degree in Sports and Active Lifestyles from Glasgow Caledonian University.

I am currently a UEFA level 2 coach for children and 1.3 for the main pathway but currently working towards my C license during the month of October and November. I also have a number of smaller awards such as goalkeeping certificate, coaching players with disabilities and a youth diploma from Coerver Coaching.

I work for Glasgow Life as a General Attendant, but in my spare time I go to the gym and coach football.  I also read a lot of books that are related to sport and more specifically football. I read autobiographies, psychological books and tactical books.

This way I can keep up to date with new material and look back on existing ideas and try to make them my own. I like to create new ideas with a variety of existing and new games that are related to the theme I want to pursue.

What originally inspired you to become a coach?

I’ve always wanted to become a coach for football and when I had the chance to work in schools I took my chance and started to get my badges. I love football and working with such a variety of different ages and abilities over the years helped me more as a coach. I always prepare my sessions and have a plan B or C if plan A doesn’t work. I have worked every year to get more badges and a variety of different experiences working with different clubs. Hopefully next year I can build on my confidence and get to work with a pro club.

You got any happy stories to tell us?

I have many happy stories, but the best one is when I played for Scotland at Toryglen for the 2010 European Championships. We were playing England in the 5/6 play off and it was a Friday night. I was selected to start and was feeling nervous, but always remember a coach saying that you have the ability to beat anyone in the world. I felt much better then, but still fully focused on the job ahead. The game went to extra time and through the months of fitness training and the adrenaline I felt I could play forever. I remember it being around 10 minutes into the first half and I disposed the English midfielder and passed the ball to my team mate and he got it into his stride and took a shot from 30 yards out and it went into the top corner. The place was going mental and celebrated like we won the world cup! When the final whistle went I collapsed because I gave it my all as I was so tired.  We collected our medals afterwards and chilled out for the rest of the night as we deserved a good rest.

That memory will stick me forever as it was one of my greatest achievements as  a player and as a person!

If you had the chance what would you change about youth development?

I believe the youth system is going the correct way, but the only thing about it I would change would be more game like situations as Johan Cryuff said that ‘players sometimes need to figure out what to do themselves as they are the ones who are on the field’. I think we need to adapt the Dutch and German way of playing the ball around and having the confidence to try something new. As I say to my players, that I will never criticize a player if he tried something new and is the right timing, but try not to make the same mistake ten times a row. Having the confidence in your players will leave the manager or coach with more time to plan new things as they can do more on their own.

Are there any philosophies you follow when coaching?

I follow my own philosophy, as I believe football should be a simple sport and we can change things to help the players become better. I love technical players and players that have speed and tricks as I believe if you have a good attack then the defense can relax a bit more. I always have a strong and tall centre back to win the balls and have a quick centre back that if one makes a mistake then the other one can cover. I like the way Jose Mourinho thinks about football, but Brendan Rogers way last season was the best way to play football last season. Speed Strength and creativity now its Chelsea that are full of that.
Big thanks to Laurie for today’s interview, hopefully have enjoyed some further insight.