Last Thursday we were fortunate to have been joined by Colorado Switchbacks (USL) Head Coach Alan Koch for a live interview and a Q&A with the coaches in attendance. The topic of development at the professional level is one that can be very complex, and to hear Alan's insight into they managed Alphonso Davies during the season where the Vancouver Whitecaps reached the USL Conference Finals in 2016 was fascinating. There are no quick fixes where individual or collective development are concerned and Alan certainly made that point as he discussed the difficulty with a young team in the previous year and the recruitment process he went through to identify and sign experienced professionals who he felt could take the group forward. Another aspect that was very interesting was Alan's insight into the inaugural MLS season at FC Cincinnati where he explained the different dynamics in an organization once it moves up onto another level. Levels of communication can become just as complex and challenging as the competition on the pitch for managers at the professional level today.
There were a few great questions from the crowd on this one that sparked a lively discussion, most notably around the area of risk when it comes to the coaching journey. I really enjoyed Alan's message to young coaches during this aspect of the interview where he was asked on what advice he would have for coaches who want to work at the professional level. "Go expose yourself to the beautiful game and put yourself out there on the pitch as often as you can" was Alan's key message as he explained how that would lead to confidence, growth, and the challenges that you require to get better.
You can watch the full replay below.
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