iCanCoach: Thabiso Magida
Tell us about how and why you got involved in coaching?
I got introduced to coaching at College as part of my course and being on the football academy, we were given the opportunity to take the FA Level 1 in Coaching Football course. I then started volunteering with the younger teams of the club I was playing for at the time and loved it. I’ve never looked back since.
Over the years I have had great experiences which have inspired me to want to keep growing as a coach and see where I can get to. I’m currently working towards completing my UEFA B (FA Level 3) which has been challenging but an amazing learning experience.
I started my coaching in Oldham with Oldham Greenhill CFC, I then moved to FC Sports in Manchester, before moving to coach the Mens team at Huddersfield University in 2016 and then Huddersfield YMCA in 2017, which is my current club.
What do you enjoy about coaching football?
For me coaching is a hobby first, I do it because I enjoy it. I am also an ambitious person and want to work my way up the pyramid and see where I can get to. I love being on the training ground with the players and sharing my knowledge and understanding of the game with them to help them on their journey in the game, not only to develop but also to enjoy playing the game and creating positive experiences. Seeing my players put what we have worked on in training into matches is my biggest reward when we get into playing games and competitions.
What are your greatest achievements in coaching and why?
Getting on the UEFA B course has been my most valuable achievement so far. On the pitch, it was great to win a double as Head Coach of the University of Huddersfield Mens team in my first season working with adults, back in 2017. The experience has shaped the way I work now and how I approach situations and challenges in the game including dealing with big characters.
What is your best memory of coaching?
During my time with FC Sports in Manchester, I organised a trip to take my U10s to the Nou Camp in Barcelona. Watching the boys walk out from the tunnel and see the disbelief in their eyes as they got on the grass was great. I was proud to have given the boys the opportunity to experience what could be a once in a life time opportunity for them.
What are your goals in the sport?
I want to manage in non-league football once my playing days come to an end, and then hopefully go higher with experience and success. I am currently studying an MSc in Football Coaching and Analysis. Completing this alongside my UEFA B should hopefully open more doors for me and put me in a position to be a role model for the younger generation. I have never been involved in elite football, so if I can work my way up and get there, hopefully that will inspire more boys and girls who have never played at a high level to have the aspirations to work their way up and have a long term career in the higher rankings of football, even though their background is based mainly around grassroots.
What are the biggest obstacles you have faced in football?
I took on refereeing in my early twenties, and those were my most difficult years in football. Some of the things that happened made me stop which was sad because I enjoyed it to some extent, however for me, it was not worth the stress and anxiety it caused overall. I have enjoyed seeing the recent campaigns based around respecting and developing referees and I believe it is the duty of everybody involved with the game to make sure we help referees like we would do with players and coaches.
Apart from that football has always had a positive impact on me. I am a private person and tend to be a social loafer in other aspects of life, however when I am involved in football, I come out of my shell.
Who’s had the biggest influence in your coaching career and why?
Everyone who has coached me has played a part I think. Everyone has their own special qualities and strengths, so I have always tried to learn from the guys that try to teach me or develop me in the way that I liked to be coached and use that as a foundation to shape my coaching.
What advice would you give to people wishing to get involved in coaching football?
Coaching is more than just winning and losing, the impact on people’s lives you have as a coach goes beyond just football. Coaching gives you the platform to empower, develop and give. For this reason it makes it a very powerful position to be in. Stick to your values and beliefs and share with the people around you including your players, this will make the process easier and more stable, which in return will give you the best chance of success, in which ever way you measure that.