ETS would like to introduce you to one of our International Advisor's, knowledgable coach and great friend, RYAN MAYE (Head of Coaching at West Bromwich Albion Academy). This week in the Coaches Corner, Coach Ryan Maye shares some insights into his coaching and his soccer journey so far.
Q: CAN YOU PLEASE GIVE US A BRIEF INTRO ABOUT YOURSELF PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE:
A: My past has seen me have the fortune of experiencing community development, women & girls and elite mens and boys environments over the past 17 years at Chelsea, Glasgow Rangers & WBA. In the most recent time my role as a coach developer for the FA working within the professional game has allowed me to support and work with some exceptional people within some fantastic clubs both in site club support as well as delivering on the UEFA A & Advanced Youth Awards, working within the National Association has also given me the privilege of experiencing and observing international youth football. The FA role has opened the door back into club football as Head Of Coaching at West Bromwich Albion Academy which sees me combining my experiences as a coach and coach developer in this role which I’m excited about the challenges it poses and the journey ahead in ultimately supporting and developing better coaches and players for the club. Future I am against predicting what it may hold, in the past the worst question I have asked people is where do you want to be…… I would never have predicted when I started the journey I’ve been on and what experiences I’ve amassed and continue to search for, therefor id never restrict my vision or opportunities by narrowing my focus down to specific roles. All I know is I want to advance my knowledge so that I can continue to have a career within our great game in whatever capacity that motivates and stretches myself.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR COACHING PHILOSOPHY AND HOW DID YOU CREATE YOUR PHILOSOPHY?
A: Philosophy for me often gets mis construed with game style/systems of play etc. My philosophy is simple create an environment that inspires and challenges people to fulfil their potential. This is a complex mix of variables and means adaptability & patience are key fundamental skills. My game style I’m not a staunch football snob, I enjoy the beauty in all aspects of the game from what Barcelona bring with their possession based approach, but also love the past Italian greats which build defence and counter attack, I also hugely enjoy what lower level and non league can bring, what I think it boils down to is competition and tactical adaptation. It links to my personality and desire to always learn from what the past has taught us to therefor understand the present and better equip and predict future trends to gain that competitive edge.
Q: IN YOUR OPINION WHAT IS THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL SKILL FOR A PLAYER/COACH TO MASTER?
A: Growth mindset, Humility and a hunger and thirst to learn but I’m not sure you can ever master it!
Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE NEW COACHES STARTING THEIR COACHING JOURNEY?
A: Value experiences, don’t chase qualifications these should form part of your journey and not be in a hurry to complete. When your ready they will come, be always stretching and taking yourself outside your comfort zone putting players and their needs at the centre of everything you do.
Q: HOW DO YOU MANAGE THE DIFFERENT ABILITIES OF PLAYERS WITHIN YOUR SQUADS?
A: Effective planning & reflection! Getting to know the person above the player and delivering sessions that meet their needs first. Think of them in three sections those that struggle….how can I support, those that cope….the game and practise itself will stretch them so does my practice design reflect their needs?, and finally those that excel need stretching and advancing.
Q: HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH SET BACKS (POOR PERFORMANCES, INJURIES, LOSING, ETC)?
A: Set backs are a mind set, I don’t perceive them as failure there just attempts in learning that I didn’t work yet! Injuries are just part of sport I know I’ve had too many operations!! But with the right support make you a stronger and more resilient person.
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST LIFE SESSION YOU HAVE LEARNT FROM FOOTBALL?
A: That I don’t know everything and never will! as a younger coach I wanted the session to go well to show people I was a good coach, theres nothing wrong in this as its part of evolution but experience has given the hindsight to shift my attention to where its important the players.
Q: WHICH COACH/MANAGER INSPIRES YOU?
A: I loved Bobby Robson, Sir Alex and Arrigo Sacchi as they influenced me during my formative years during my learning, but in my roles I’ve been inspired and learnt from Level 1 coaches as much as I’ve learnt from experienced ones. I admire many current managers in their approach to the game and achieving that competitive edge, my aim more so now is to try and be someone that may inspire others!