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Last week current LLS students were given exclusive access to some of football’s elite, who gave first hand advice and insight on what it takes to reach the top!
With Liverpool Hope University the setting for our conference, we were prepared for an education from football’s finest. It’s safe to say they did not disappoint.
Our guests, representing the highest levels of sport, arrived with a wealth of experience in their respective fields, and the day kicked off with Aston Villa’s Head of Sports Psychology Tom Bates giving an inspirational talk on the importance of mindset in elite sport.
‘What we believe, we become’ he began by saying, a sentiment which set a fantastic precedent for the day ahead. His words were echoed throughout the day by our guests, and gave our students a real motivation to reach as high as possible in their coaching careers.
Current Leicester City Tactical Analyst and last year’s Premier League Champion Adam Sadler followed, giving a tactical masterclass, showing students that preparation is key – no matter the field of work. His story is one that students took much away from, having spent the best part of 14 years as a coach, including coaching abroad, he made the transition to Tactical Analyst. His story shows how experience in different settings and roles, can open doors in the sports industry.
After a short break, current England U16 Lead Coach Dan Micciche took centre stage, giving an insight into how he nurtures the England stars of tomorrow, outlining the key fundamentals of being a strong coach. Using his work with Dele Alli as an example, he described in depth the challenges he faces on a day to day basis working with England’s young talent- challenges that our LLS students face regularly in their own sessions. ‘You get what you coach’ commented Dan, accentuating the benefits of hard work, determination and flexibility when coaching young groups.
After Dan’s inspiring and informative words, students got a chance to witness a coaching masterclass undertaken by former Everton Head of International Football Development and current coach and consultant, Tosh Farrell. His high tempo session with a group of lucky St Marys West Derby C Of E Primary School students exhibited the importance of enthusiasm and personality when delivering sessions. His fantastic sense of humour, matched with a booming, friendly voice, ensured that all who watched were encapsulated by his delivery.
The day came to a close with an exclusive question and answer session with West Ham’s Academy Director of 40 years Tony Carr MBE and renowned youth development coach Alex Gibson, who has overseen over 50 players make the transition from Manchester City’s Academy to the first team. Together, with their vast experience of coaching at the elite level which spans decades, they gave students an insight to what it takes to remain at the top level of sport.
From stories about Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole, to Shaun Wright-Philips, Joey Barton and Daniel Sturridge respectively, Tony and Alex captivated all who were present. Their insight and advice to our young and aspiring coaches proved invaluable having coached generations of players, in an ever changing industry.
Sharing tales about their respective humble beginnings and dealing with limited resources, both guests emphasised the need for one thing: professionalism. Alex commented that having a level of professionalism is key no matter your environment: ‘Mental toughness is massive, don’t let anything stop and distract you from becoming the best’ was the advice he gave to students.
The interview itself was rounded off with some final words of advice from Tony Carr – ‘You can’t buy experience; you work towards it’; words that tied everyone’s talks together perfectly, as every guest highlighted the importance of a hard work ethic when reaching towards the upper echelons of the sporting world. Although all our guests belong to alternate areas of the industry, they all have one thing in common: the same drive and determination to succeed.
What this fantastic day gave our students, was an opportunity to listen first hand to the stories and advice of football’s elite. With all guests advocating the need for work experience, good qualifications and formulating a quality professional network for a career in the industry, students could recognise that this is exactly what they have access to during their studies at LLS.
Overall, students, guess and staff alike had a very informative and entertaining experience. The day was a resounding success and we look forward to hosting many more days like it!
We recently welcomed current Everton Football Club Director of Football Steve Walsh to speak with our students, read about it here:

Premier League winner visits LLS


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