Kris Korkian is an Armenian coach who played football on all continents in his youth. He moved to Australia 26 years ago where he met his wife, and they have since had 2 daughters.
What are some things he has learnt from his journey across the globe?
I played in Italy and got a bit too cocky at one point, not following club rules and policies. So the coach benched me and I ended up dropping down a division and nearly stopped playing because of it. I learnt not only humility from that experience, but also that you have to be patient when you try to force your way back in, because there will always be more opportunities, and you need to be ready for them too.
And how does he see football now compared to back then?
I very much believe that talent is not enough. 35 years ago it was, because there was a lot less competition, and good players could get away with a lot and didn’t need to work as hard. These days there is so much talent out there, so you need to put in the hours, otherwise the ones coming up behind you will take your spot.
Kris coached for the first time about a decade ago with an Armenian all-age team based in Willoughby, but he didn’t enjoy the experience. He took a break before coaching his daughter’s team at Forest Killarney FC in the second half of 2017. He has been with them since and they are now in the U12s, and he gets a lot of enjoyment out of working with them because he sees them grow a lot.
I think the two biggest things you can do as a coach are inject some confidence into your players, because so many lack it, and teach them mental toughness. Football is not always going to be easy, so if you lose the ball but can work hard to react straight away and win it back, or play with a lot of focus even when you are against a team that is stronger than you, this will benefit you in the long run. I also constantly preach to my players to maintain discipline and perseverance.
Kris also believes the lessons a coach can teach in football can mirror a lot of valuable things to learn about life in general.
I try to teach my team how to play out from the back at goalkicks effectively for example, but sometimes if they make a mistake and concede a goal, that is a learning opportunity to take advantage of, not something to get upset about at this level. I’m also planning to take a big step back at one of our upcoming games and almost not coach at all from the sideline, to give the girls a chance to take responsibility and communicate with each other.
So what about the future?
I did the FFA C-Licence course in 2019, and will be pursuing further coach education and trying to obtain both the B and A Licences. I am also thinking about starting an academy for girls only or maybe even doing something in Armenia to encourage more young girls play the game and develop women’s football there. What brings me the most joy is bringing the best out of people, so that’s what I want to focus on with whatever I end up doing.
MWFA is looking forward to seeing Kris bring the best out of his players, wherever he ends up in the world.
Look out for more articles on other MWFA Future Coaches in the coming weeks.