David Kenney started his coaching journey in the 2020 season, assisting his daughter’s U18 team at Curl Curl.
He has been regarded as an expert in business for quite a long time, but decided to take on the challenge of becoming a student in terms of football, enrolling in the Future Coaches Program in 2019. This was very much jumping in the deep end, and he had some doubts even after the first session.
“All of the other coaches were already coaching. It was like they spoke another language. They all lived and breathed football. I had been a referee several years before, but the rules of football could be learned in an afternoon. Being a ref was of no help in terms of strategy, running a coaching session or trying to analyse the chaos of what goes on in a game. This was foreign to me. I played Rugby League and watched it all my life. Day one, I knew nothing about football.”
Since undertaking this new challenge, David has found a new passion.
“My favourite saying is ‘average is over’. Coaching has become an obsession for me. I have devoured YouTube videos, participated in more courses, read books on football and pre-prepared multiple coaching sessions. I am there to assist and I take that role seriously. I’m enrolled in the C-Licence which begins next month. Bring it on!”
David can see what he has learned about coaching helping him in his professional life as well, and vice versa.
“Having mentored over 200 people in business helped me as a coach. I see the players as people first. This has enabled me to build trust and connect. Without this approach, knowledge is useless. Whilst I can deliver a killer pre-game speech at the drop of a hat, I have continued to drill my weaknesses. Training sessions and game analysis has been my focus. The hardest things you ever do are truly the most rewarding!”
The title of Coach still doesn’t sit well with David though, at least not yet.
“After reflecting on my progress, and hundreds of hours of study, I have managed to stop watching football (purely) ‘as a spectator’. Breaking down games to anticipate and learn is something I had believed was impossible for me. It is hard, but things have begun to click.”
David is also now starting to understand why so many people sink their lives into football.
“I believe we all need a great coach in our lives. During the last 20 years, I have observed that the secret to success (in life), including with youth players (or anyone), comes down to having 5 traits as a person: being coachable, self-reflecting, being naturally curious, putting your team above yourself, and having a desire to improve matched with good work ethic. If you are a GREAT coach, it’s so much more likely that the entire team will exhibit these 5 vital traits.”
David also believes this is the formula for a lifelong defence mechanism for withstanding any challenge.
“Building more determined and resilient humans is something I see as (a part) of the job of a coach. A great coach fosters all sorts of learning. It’s incredibly difficult to become a great coach, but how rewarding is the journey!”
David is very appreciative of his head coach Alex Brazete at Curl Curl, as well as the other Future Coaches, who have helped him along his path so far.
“I also want to thank Eugene Lawrenz from MWFA who is a fearless leader and who has created a football culture to be revered, which sparked something in me. Finally, I want to thank the Curly girls for (sometimes) listening to me. Those moments spur me on to get better. I look forward to the next chapter, and I’m delighted that I took that first step.”
MWFA is looking forward to seeing where David ends up taking his football coaching in the future.
Look out for one more MWFA Future Coach Profile next week.
Applications for the 2020 MWFA Future Coaches Program are now open. See here for more information: https://www.mwfa.com.au/2020/09/22/2020-future-coaches-program-applications-now-open/