Coaching and Education
Manolo Marquez and Owen Coyle enlighten AIFF International Coaching conference attendees
04 Dec 2021

AIFF Media Team

NEW DELHI: The afternoon session on Day 2 of the AIFF International Virtual Coaching Conference on Saturday, December 4, 2021 was conducted by two coaches who have been plying their trade in India – Manolo Marquez and Owen Coyle, who shared their insights on the demands and various challenges they faced in the world of coaching.

The first afternoon session was conducted by Manolo Marquez, who took the coaches through his journey of coaching across Spain, Croatia and now in India as the head coach of Hyderabad FC in the Hero Indian Super League, while also fielding various questions from the attendees.

When quizzed by an attendee about the basic steps that someone should teach at the youth level, Manolo said, “I feel there are four important steps that you have to follow when you are training a child. The first is to make him practice with the ball, the second is to make him practice with his teammates, the third one is to practice against opponents, and the fourth and most important one is that it is okay to lose. That is the time when children are building their personalities and it is important for them to understand failure as well and how to recover from it.”

Mr. Marquez also told the attendees about the role that a good coach can have on a kid’s life. “When a kid is training with you, he idolises you. You are not just a coach for him, you are kind of a father-figure as well.”

The day was concluded by a session with Owen Coyle, former head coach of Burnley FC, Bolton Wanderers, Chennaiyin FC and currently the head coach of Jamshedpur FC. He shared his experiences about managing teams in the United Kingdom, overcoming relegation battles and the situations teams face in this battle.

Looking back on his experiences, Coyle explained how to take charge in crisis situations. “When I first went to Bolton, the club was in 19th place. I was brought in to stave off relegation. The first step for all the coaches over here is to always have a look at what you already have. The second step is to be yourself, only then can you gain the trust of your players which is very important for any dressing room,” said Coyle.

“The third step is to find the right system for the team at your disposal. The final and most important step was to lift the mood and the spirits of the team and bring all of them together. It is imperative that any team plays collectively. The players were given a clean slate as well, so everyone would give their all in training and all players had an equal chance of making it to the playing XI,” he continued. “All of a sudden, the mentality, the desire, everything came together. The combination of these things resulted in better performances on the pitch. The team started believing in each other and playing for each other. Eventually, we finished at 14th place, comfortably evading the relegation battle.”

Day 3 of the AIFF International Virtual Coaching Conference will take place on Sunday, December 5, 2021 at 10.15 AM (IST).

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