Coaches Corner | Coach Interview: SHAWN BISHOP
ETS would like to introduce you to SHAWN BISHOP (Head of youth at MAMELODI SUNDOWNS). Shawn has many years experience in the South African Coaching industry, has travelled to participate in the World Cup and has taken some time to chat to us. This week in the Coaches Corner, Coach Shawn shares some insights and his coaching journey so far.
Q: CAN YOU PLEASE GIVE US A BRIEF INTRO ABOUT YOURSELF PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE:
A: Currently I am the Reserve team coach at Mamelodi Sundowns as well as the Assistant coach at the National U17 Team, I have progressed through the system at Mamelodi Sundowns having started as an U11 Satellite coach in 2011 having previously coached at the then Vodacom League now ABC Motsepe League from 2009 to 2011. I was the Head of the Academy and Head of Scouting at Sundowns for a number of years but decided to focus all my energies on improving and growing as a coach.I started coaching after I stopped playing at the highest amateur level in SA, I started with U9 teams and my love for the caoching and satisfaction it gave me to see young boys growing and falling in love with the game inspired me to further my education and obtain my UEFA qualifications.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR COACHING PHILOSOPHY AND HOW DID YOU CREATE YOUR PHILOSOPHY?
A: It is difficult to categorically state what my philosophy is, I am a student of the game and I am always trying to stay current with modern trends and styles of play in the game, it is important to be able to adaptable and change so that you can get the best out of the players and the team.
Q: IN YOUR OPINION WHAT IS THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL SKILL FOR A PLAYER/COACH TO MASTER?
A: Obviously the most fundamental skill for the players is technical ability,but for me also the foundation of that should be a passion and a love for the game, a player that is committed to getting better and improving, is the player that is the easiest to work with and improve, the same applies to coaching, always be open minded and appreciate the changes and developments that happen in football, be able to understand and accept other ways and reject what you don't find useful
Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE NEW COACHES STARTING THEIR COACHING JOURNEY?
A: The advice I would give is learn and learn some more, apply yourself and make yourself available to help anyone in the football fraternity. Get to as many games and courses as possible and learn from everyone.
Q: HOW DO YOU MANAGE THE DIFFERENT ABILITIES OF PLAYERS WITHIN YOUR SQUADS?
A: This is a difficult concept to grasp as when a coach works at an elite level, the challenge is to keep the players interested and challenged, on the other end in terms of the grass root level it is the coaches responsibility to understand his players, then plan and organize so that every player is challenged and their interest in the game is maintained. Players at different levels can be challenged if the coaching principles are applied at grass roots level so that all players are involved and are always in contact with the ball.
Q: HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH SET BACKS (POOR PERFORMANCES, INJURIES, LOSING, ETC)?
A: Dealing with set backs and failures is a challenge as coaches are always looking ot improve themselves, the best way to do this is firstly dont do anything when you are emotional, sit back, reflect and try and identify and understand what went wrong and how best to deal with it. Also if a problem i identified make sure you can be as objective as possible and deal with the issue immedialty, by giving positive and constructive feedback to the individuals involved.
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST LIFE LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT FROM FOOTBALL?
A: The best life lesson I have learned so far, and of course i am still learning is that the journey to being a successful coach never ends and it is important to stay focused. Coaches can also be easily distracted as do players by things that have no consequence in the game. Also outside of football I have learned to make sure that you have the support of your family and loved ones, as ultimately when results are not going well they will support you.
Q: WHICH COACH/MANAGER INSPIRES YOU?
A: In terms of longevity and the way he conducted himself, continuously rebuilding teams and making the difficult decisions I have been greatly influenced by Alex Ferguson, as a student of the game I have a great interest in the methodology and philosophy of South American coaches, especially coaches like Marcelo Bielsa. Modern coaches all learn from each other and its important to borrow ideas and