I have been radio silent for two months. My apologies! I have been caught up in a lot of things, coaching six days a week alongside developing a project that I can't wait to share with everyone when the time is right. All in all, it has been a hectic time for me as I wrap up my year in England and prepare to go back to America, where I will be heading straight into a 60-hour-a-week coaching job (help!).
Here's what I have been up to:
- Monday and Tuesday: coaching in schools
- Wednesday: club coaching with the U10 boys (bunch of cheeky little rascals!)
- Thursday: physiotherapy for my slipped disc, thankfully it's getting a lot better
- Friday: coaching at Manchester United Foundation
- Saturday: club coaching with the U6 boys
- Sunday: coaching my FA Wildcats girls team
So as you can see, add in being a full time student, I have literally no time to do anything for myself. I celebrated my 20th birthday by having a normal day. I'm probably doing life wrong for a 20 year old, really. Though what I have been able to accomplish and the experience I've gained from my time in England have been absolutely brilliant. Looking back, I probably made one of the best decisions of my life to go abroad this year. I've managed to go on courses with the English FA learning from some of the best coach educators England has to offer, got plenty of coaching experience under my belt working with a lot of good coaches (shoutout to Sam Holtham, if you can be bothered to read this...) and also getting top quality education from the University of Manchester (I feel obliged to put this on).
So what's next in store for me? Well, I'm going on the second part of my coaching course in June which is another three miserable days in the rain for 8 hours a day. After that, I'm heading straight back to the East Coast where I will be directing the football program at Camp Micah in Maine, and then back to university! As I mentioned, I also have a very exciting project coming up in which I hope to be able to announce soon. It's been absolutely hectic so far, but I guess I'm coping.
I really look forward to being back to the States and getting on with my upcoming role which I am certain will be an absolutely brilliant time, but I'm also gutted to be leaving behind what has undoubtedly been some of the best times of my life, both as a person and as a coach. The experience here in England has made me a better coach, and I look forward to being able to apply everything I've learned into future endeavors, so that I can look back and say I made the most out of my opportunity.
I better get some sleep. It's 1AM. My sleep pattern is royally screwed.
About the Author
Bao "Terry" Cao is currently a coach at Manchester United Foundation and the FA Development Centre for girls. Terry is licensed by both the FA and USSF. He shares his personal experience of being involved in youth soccer as both a coach and an outside viewer.