James Mitchell started playing football back in the 1980’s for Avalon, and has continued a long-term association with the club since, currently coaching his son’s Under 13 team. His first coaching experience was back in 2006 when he coached his eldest son’s Under 6 team.
“It was an exciting time in football for me with my first entry into coaching. I was also playing, and it was the year of the first World Cup that an Australian team had qualified for since 1974. I was, and I still am, a keen Socceroos supporter, and I was fortunate to be able to attend the World Cup in Germany that year.”
2006 was also the year he attended his first coaching course, which helped him understand what was required to coach very young players. He went on to coach at Under 6 level three times, as he next coached his middle daughters’ team and then his youngest son’s team, all at Avalon.
“I feel it’s a great honor to coach a team and have an impact on the player development and personal development of a child. Through many years of coaching, I feel I’ve generally created a positive bond with the team and have focused on team spirit, culture and personal best. It has been very rewarding to be involved in my children’s football journey and seeing them grow and evolve as not only footballers but as young men and women.”
James believes that to develop people and players, you also need to develop yourself, which is why he has worked on his own coaching skills and attended various courses over the years. He feels that the courses MWFA provide are a great way to elevate your skills.
“I’d highly recommend all coaches of any age group to get involved in the many courses on offer. My involvement in Future Coaches Program in particular has been a very rewarding experience where I joined a group of coaches from across the region who want to raise the bar and become better coaches. This program opened my mind to a higher level of thinking and has helped me to take my coaching to the next level.”
James is now also offering his time and experience to support other coaches at Avalon as a Community Coaching Coordinator (CCC). He is looking forward to helping other coaches at the club and doing his bit to help raise the level of coaching at Avalon, but he is also eager to learn from other coaches too. As for the future?
“A goal of mine is to coach Avalon to the Premier League title! I’ll continue to love the game in many aspects, including coaching and supporting football of all levels. I’ve seen a lot of positive advancements in football in our country over my time, and I have great faith in the future of football in Australia. With great coaches developing excellent players, I see a vision of Australia winning the World Cup one day.”
MWFA is looking forward to seeing James continue to contribute as both a coach and coach mentor to helping Australia realise it’s vision of becoming a world leader in the world game.
Look out for more articles on other MWFA Future Coaches over the coming months.