Coaches Corner | Coach Interview: GREG LOWE

ETS would like to introduce you to GREG LOWE (Western Cape Technical Director Of Football Academy Plus). Coach Greg has been doing some ground breaking work in transforming talent and we are excited to have him on the blog and get a glimpse behind the scenes to what is really happening. This week on THE COACHES CORNER, Coach GREG shares some insight and his coaching journey so far.

Q: CAN YOU PLEASE GIVE US A BRIEF INTRO ABOUT YOURSELF PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE:

A: My football past in Australia is a common one where potential to be a professional goalkeeper in Newcastle, NSW, Australia was lost through injury and missed opportunity. A path which too many young footballers follow. After having to retire from football at the age of 25 years old through a chronic back injury, I was desperate to be apart of the high performance football environment through coaching. I was given my first opportunity to work with Andre Gumprecht with the state U/13 side as an assistant coach/goalkeeping specialist. This was the catalyst for further growth and the first opportunity is the one you feel most grateful for. After obtaining my AFC B Licence and AFC Level 2 GK Licence and gaining valuable experience working with the academy program at the A League club NEWCASTLE JETS and with the 20’s at the same club, it was time for a challenge overseas. I moved to South Africa and was quickly working with a progressive and forward thinking high performance named FOOTBALL ACADEMY PLUS. Managing Director Sebastijan Ribic gave me an opportunity to open my football wings and develop and grow a high performance program in the Western Cape of South Africa. Working alongside Claudio Lorenzani | Technical Director Gauteng of FAplus, we are sitting 140 talented players in the Western Cape of South Africa and over 400 nationwide. I see myself specialising in high performance youth development in the years to come and only being 32 years of age, time is on my side and the sky is the limit.

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

A: I have always been a professional fan of keeping the match centralised in player development. Once you take the match out of training, you lose purpose and direction when developing players. My philosophy revolves around holistic development both on and off the field with CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT the most fundamental component. Without a sound growth mindset, you are unable to apply yourself on and off the field to be a professional.

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

A: For me as a coach, the most fundamental skill a coach can master is taking information and finding the most effective medium to relay it across. Players learn in different ways and this must be understood by the coach. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT the most fundamental component in player development. Without a sound growth mindset, you are unable to apply yourself on and off the field to be a professional. It is your base for all technical/tactical development.

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

A: There is no shortcut. Being content with your level of ability as a coach is the first step towards plateaued performances in players. Never give up on perfection.

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

A: We have a unique situation in our development centres at FAplus where we do have age differences. This is due to the development centres being identification centres. Identifying different ability levels is the first challenge, once you have made this identification, you can manage growth within ability levels and achieve a balance of Challenge/Confidence by micromanaging them into smaller groups for sections of the session.

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

Set backs in football environments are only opportunities to learn. Positive mindset is the key to breaking through negative football experiences.

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

Never forget yourself in any football situation. It can be a very high pressure environment where your values may be compromised. Never compromise on who you are as a person.

Q: WHICH COACH/MANAGER INSPIRES YOU?

A: As a coach who did not have a professional football career, I am inspired and can relate to managers who made a football career through coaching. Also Horst Wein is a big influence in my philosophies as a high performance development coach.