This episode of Beautiful Game features soccer coach and entrepreneur Saul Isaksson-Hurst. Saul has worked for premier league clubs and their academies, including Chelsea’s FC Academy and Tottenham Hotspur FC’s Academy. He is currently the head coach for Rebel FC, and runs My Personal Football Coach. He has always wanted to be the best in the world at what he does, so he spent time figuring out what that was. He has found that he is skilled at coaching 1v1, ball mastery, and working with particular players, and now has expanded his sights beyond coaching to entrepreneurship. Saul discusses finding his niche, teaching parents to support their children, how to spot talent, starting a business, and more.
It is important for soccer parents to learn how to communicate with and support their children, especially when their children are playing at an academy. The first thing Saul suggests is learning how to manage expectations: understanding that the likelihood of a child going pro is very small. Playing soccer is a long journey, and though the child may not be successful, parents can help teach them to enjoy the ride. Many of the skills learned when playing soccer, Saul explains, are transferable to other areas of life. Parents should be careful not to be too critical of their children on the ride home from a game, because academy football should be an enjoyable and enriching experience.
Saul notes that the young players who stand out and affect the game are those who have a hunger to get better. This desire for improvement and drive for hard work is a key trait of high achievers. There is also something else present in these successful players that Saul says isn’t quantifiable; there is something dynamic and explosive about how these young players move with the ball. He addresses the thought process of Gary Vaynerchuck and others that you shouldn’t focus on what it is that you don’t have; you should only focus on your talents. Saul believes that it depends on what the weak areas are. If there are things you can improve, then why wouldn’t you do it?
My Personal Football Coach is an app and training program that Saul has developed. It can track data for coaches and parents, and provides players with a platform to video their training sessions, upload, share, and receive comments from their coaches. In starting the business, Saul has found that many of the skills he gained while teaching, coaching, and playing soccer have transferred into the business world. He is used to working tirelessly and always being on the clock. Saul also coaches the team Rebel FC. Through the marketing for the team, he has learned so much about content creation and social media, which is a pivotal part of modern-day business.
Saul continues his professional development by working with and learning from top players. Always striving to improve and be the best, he watches soccer at various levels, visits academies, and learns from his mentors. He believes mentorship is very important, having both business and soccer mentors, and mentoring others himself. Saul looks forward to sharing My Football Coach with as many people as possible, and is always working hard on his personal development as a coach and businessman.
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