Coaches Corner | Coach Interview : MARC ROWE

ETS would like to introduce you to MARC ROWE (FULHAM FC Foundation). MARC started his coaching pathway in SOUTH AFRICA then moved overseas to push his career further. This week in the Coaches Corner, Coach Marc 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: I started coaching the youth teams at my old club, Panorama FC in Johannesburg, as a way to give back to the club I had been at for so long. From there I found my passion for coaching to grow and I went on to coach various age groups fromU5-U16 at Panorama as well as other clubs and coaching companies. This enabled me to learn not only from my own experiences but from other coaches too. As I started to understand the game more and how players develop I realised I needed to push myself to new limits which included getting more qualifications and experiences elsewhere in the world. After moving to the UK I began to coach for a number of local clubs/organisations which included a stint in the US. I am now at Fulham FC Foundation coaching across our curriculum program as well as coaching and managing our U11 age groups in our performance centre program. My passion lies with youth development and I hope to continue on this path.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR COACHING PHILOSOPHY AND HOW DID YOU CREATE YOUR PHILOSOPHY?

A: Creating one’s own philosophy is easier said than done. The game is always changing, growing and evolving and with that so must I. If I had to name a philosophy I guess it would be something along the lines of creating an environment for young players to learn the game at its purest so they may learn to love it, and with that develop in their own way.

Q: IN YOUR OPINION WHAT IS THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL SKILL FOR A PLAYER/COACH TO MASTER?

A: As any coach will know, this is a very open question and can lead to hours of discussions. Technical ability on the ball is just as important as the hunger to learn and improve. Players with passion and an open mind will always find a way to understand how to be successful but also know how to learn from failure/mistakes. A player that can have that mindset will be able to push themselves above and beyond. Much the same can be said for a coach. As much as any coach has their individual styles of playing/coaching they need to understand that players too have their own way of learning and developing. Being able to create an open environment that allows players to explore their ability is vital.

Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE NEW COACHES STARTING THEIR COACHING JOURNEY?

A: Watch as many other coaches as you can, discuss their sessions and ideas with them and then go out and don’t be afraid to try new things. Remember that with each session not only do the players develop but so does the coach. Understand what works, reflect on what may not have worked and then try again. Asking the question ‘what could I have done differently/better’ is not a sign of a bad session, but rather a sign of a developing coach.

Q: HOW DO YOU MANAGE THE DIFFERENT ABILITIES OF PLAYERS WITHIN YOUR SQUADS?

A: Understanding the player as an individual is important here. Everyone has a different way of learning and they are all on different paths, knowing what they need at certain times on their pathway will help you develop each one of them. Every player must believe that their role within the squad is as important as the next player, and this is down to the coach to build that bond with each individual. A coach needs to understand how to push those that are striving as much as how to challenge those that are a few steps behind. Session design is vital here; can you design a session to achieve group outcomes as well as challenge individuals to their needs. As mentioned above, reflection afterwards is as important as planning.

Q: HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH SET BACKS (POOR PERFORMANCES, INJURIES, LOSING, ETC)?

A: The first thing to remember here is that any set-back is an opportunity to learn. Any session/game or other aspect you are involved in should be reflected on. What worked, what didn’t? Why? What can I do differently next time? Not only is this important for a coach to remember but it is also important for the coach to instill this mind set in the players

Q: WHAT IS THE BEST LIFE LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT FROM FOOTBALL?

A: As much as I’d like to think I know all about the game, I do not. Every day, every session, every game is an opportunity for me to better myself so that I may guide my players through their development.

Q: WHICH COACH/MANAGER INSPIRES YOU?

A: I could pick out a number of greats here from the likes of Sir Alex, Pep, Matt Busby and so on, but thinking about it, at the moment I draw most of my inspiration from my peers at the level I work at now. The passion for the game, the thirst for knowledge and the pure excitement around developing young players that they display is exhilarating and motivating.