iCanCoach: Paul Quinn
Tell us about how and why you got involved in coaching?
I first started by coaching journey at Huddersfield New College when I undertook my level 1 back in 2001, since then I have worked with foundation phase teams through to senior teams and progressed onto the UEFA A license. I am currently first team manager at Tadcaster Albion FC and work as a coach educator in the PE Unit at the FA.
What do you enjoy about coaching football?
I have always had a passion for coaching, being out on the grass, working with the players and other coaches. I feel at home. I enjoy the challenges coaching provides, ultimately (in my opinion) it is about building relationships and having a two way process with the players. It takes time to build your values and philosophy into the team and patience is important. I love how coaching is continually evolving and also that there is no one size fits all approach to successful coaching. I am fortunate I have been able to make coaching my profession but ultimately I am still involved in the game for the same reasons as when I stepped foot on the level 1 at 17 years old, I enjoy coaching and also feel I have a lot to offer the game despite not having a professional career behind me.
What are your greatest achievements in coaching and why?
Above and beyond personal achievement and trophies giving players and staff opportunities and then seeing them progress in the game is top of the list. Working with people who go onto bigger and better things and playing a small part in helping someone else achieve their potential is what it is all about.
What are your goals in the sport?
It is a big world and we are more connected than ever so I would like to gain as much experience as I can and see where it takes me. I am enjoying my coach education role at the FA and would also like to continue to develop in this area. In terms of qualifications at the moment I am fully focussed on my A license and I want to maximise this opportunity. After the A license I would like to do some formal learning completely different to football coaching, I think its important to diversify your experiences.
What are the biggest obstacles you have faced in football?
Working in the semi-professional game contact time with the players is often restricted so it is challenging to get messages across in the way you would in the pro game. Keeping messages clear and concise is important and also being unapologetic for reemphasising key points.
Who’s had the biggest influence in your coaching career and why?
Without doubt my dad and grandad, my dad (Gerry Quinn) managed in the semi-professional game for many years and my Grandad (Ian Greaves) had a good professional career as a player and manager. I was brought up around coaching and management and soaked in all the conversations and debates that took place on a Sunday afternoon over a roast dinner!
What advice would you give to people wishing to get involved in coaching football?
Get out on the grass and give it a go, it won’t be perfect to start with, in fact it will never be perfect, that’s coaching! Also work with as many different age groups and abilities as you can and don’t lose sight of making the session enjoyable for the players. I personally have also learnt a huge amount from other sports which I have been able to transfer into football coaching.