Geoff Wood grew up in England in the 1980s, with Maradona’s Hand of God goal against England in the Quarter Finals of the 1986 World Cup being one of his first memories of the “beautiful game”.
“I actually found more joy off the football field on my bike as a boy, and was usually one of the last kids the school captains chose from the rabble of kids in front of them when building their team. Football has now become more than just playing for me though, and as I grew up, I grew closer to the game and what it represents – the highs and the lows of supporting a team, the camaraderie, the people, the travel and now the community and the growth I am seeing in the team I am lucky enough to coach.”
Geoff moved to the northern beaches in 2008, and watching his children play soccer was one of his highlights of the week that he wanted to be more involved with. Changes to his work due to COVID allowed him to put his hand up to coach his daughter with Manly Allambie, which is something he had been wanting to do for a while.
“When I heard that MWFA ran regular courses to help develop coaches I jumped at the chance, and in my first year attended as many as I could from the Skills Training Certificate to the Coach Workshop on how to teach positioning”.
The task of training and coaching 15 girls on a weeknight was a little daunting, but the courses Geoff attended gave him what he was looking for.
“The key to a good training session is in the preparation. The courses helped give us the structure, content and knowledge needed to design a training session and also how to approach the season to tick off of all the core items we wanted to cover for the team. And then at the heart of good coaching is the communication method. Coaching is as much about how you deliver your message or what you choose not to say, as it is about what you say.”
After two years of coaching Geoff attend the Future Coaches Program in 2022 to take his learning even further.
“In the Future Coaches Program I got to know a lot of likeminded and inspiring coaches from the region. It was a great mixture that spanned subjects from the philosophy of learning to a deep dive analysing a football match and picking apart the strategies both teams were employing. I felt honoured to be a part of it.”
Geoff is now looking forward to the Women’s World Cup and hoping it can help inspire the next generation of Australian players and future coaches.
“MWFA are all about promoting a positive learning culture and that is one of the common threads that runs through all MWFA programs that my assistant coach and I have embraced. For any new or existing coaches out there, I would recommend attending any of the MWFA courses to gain an insight into best practice for yourself as a coach which will directly help your team become better and enjoy the game more.”
MWFA is looking forward to seeing Geoff continue to grow in confidence and inspiring other coaches to do the same.
MWFA has now run the Future Coaches Program for 4 years, with several participants having completed the course multiple times, and many have gone on to work for the likes of MWFA, Manly United and Sydney FC. Although we won’t be running this program again in 2023, we will look to offer something similar in 2024 for any coaches out there looking to take their coaching to the next level.