Reading manager, Nigel Adkins, believes a thirst for knowledge and self-improvement is a necessary attribute for any aspiring coach to achieve success in the modern game.
The former Scunthorpe and Southampton boss accepts that securing and maintaining a top position is a major challenge in the current climate, but stressed how further professional development is now a must for anyone looking to boost their chances.
“It is such a challenge now (to reach the top levels}. We are looking at some very talented people being out of work, striving to get back in to work but opportunities are limited.
“As I found out no matter what you do people want change, and so if that moment happens to yourself you have just got to look forward and move on and keep going on courses.
“Just being shoulder to shoulder with somebody and being able to talk about different things, I think, is important.”
His desire to keep up to date with the latest trends, ideas and methodologies to strengthen his employability potential has, he admits, not been restricted to those expressed by notable figures within football.
Instead, from early on his coaching career he has sought the advice and lessons learned from other sports to further broaden and shape his own skills as a coach.
“I am really big into my rugby as well and (at a management course) Sir Clive Woodward gave a presentation for an hour and a half a year before they won the World Cup.
“His presentation was fantastic. The detail about how he was the head coach but how he would also get the specialist fitness coach in, the specialist defensive coach, the specialist physio; the way he did it was really inspiring.”
Adkins was speaking at The FA Licensed Coaches’ Club Goalkeeping Conference at St. George’s Park in April, which is one of two major coaching events held at the national football centre each year; the other being the national coaching conference in December.
Both are available for all coaches to attend and showcase a wealth of coaching insight from some of the top names from across football and academia. For Adkins they are invaluable opportunities for any coach looking to advance their own professional development.
“These [conferences] are brilliant. There are 400 people in the room and the knowledge that is here, especially for the youngsters to go up and speak to somebody is great.
“[As an aspiring coach] that is what you have got to do - being shoulder to shoulder with somebody just to talk about ideas and opinions.
“If you can just talk about it and go through it all, I think is important.”
This year’s FA Licensed Coaches’ Club Conference will take place on Saturday 14 – Monday 16 December at St. George’s Park.
To find out more about the event and to book your tickets, please click here.