Open Forum: Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

As part of our FCN | European Sports Leadership & Coaching Network, January 2021 saw our first ever Open Forum – an online networking event where our members are the special guest!

To find out more about FCN | European Sports Leadership & Coaching Network, CLICK HERE

Coaches from across Europe (as well as Australia and Canada) joined in a 90 minute discussion in which FCN hosts Anna and Vicky posed a number of questions to those in attendance about their career development and how they have coped throughout the last 12 months of the pandemic.

We wanted to share with you some of the answers from our first question

Post in the comment section below to share your answers too!

Who has been the biggest influence on your career and what attibutes or knowledge did they impart on you that made a difference to your career?

“My biggest influence on my career or in general in my life were my parents. What I learned the most is to try everything, becuase they let us try every sport. Whichever sport I liked, I could do in a competitive way or not, there was not pressure. The lesson was always to try something to find out if you like it, but if you like it then don’t quit.”

“For me it was family as well. My biggest influence would be my daughter who I had to coach, not through any design of mine, but becuase there was no one else to do it. That’s how I got into athletics coaching. When she was 12 she was really good, and she had demands constantly in what she wanted from me as a coach, whcih completely shaped how I coached, which made me more and more confident. The drive and determination was everything. The biggest thing I think was the shared enjoyment of the process, she helped me to learn it was the process of coaching and the process of training is the biggest fun, not necessarily the results.”

“When I think back to when I was first coaching rugby when I was 15, having never played before, the local club just heard I was coaching and asked me if I fancied going down. They didn’t make me feel nervous because I had the support from the club in the very beginning. Becuase I had that, it was like a saftey net everytime. Looking back they were a massive influence on me and continue to be so.”

“Mine is my first coach. They took me out of a game and put me in a complete opposite position, which to me then didn’t make sense, you don’t take a defender out and put them in as an attacker. I looked at him asking what he was doing and he said ‘your my utility player, I can put you anywhere I need you to go and you will do anything I tell you to do’. I didn’t know that about myself when that happened, I was 15 or 16, and I realised that is actually who I am as a person. Whilst everyone is trying to be specialist in something, I am the master generalist…I am interested in everything, I can’t focus on just one thing, but now I have decided to own that, I am the utility player!”

“When I first started out playing basketball, it was my basketball coach that inspired me to push and do more. Whilst she was coaching me and my team mates, she was also playing, and had a child and a family, so that inspired me – if she could do all that, then why can’t I coach? As I started to develop as a coach, I saw hardly any other women coaching, and that pushed me more.”

“From a coaching perspective, I early on had a strong mentor early on. The thing she imparted with me was the level of professionalism, there is a clear line of what you need to deliver and the expectations as a professional. “