Tim Jones is our new Head of Coaching at FBB! Based in Wales, Tim graduated from University of South Wales in Football Coaching and is a UEFA B coach who also works at Bristol Rovers Academy. He is currently developing our coaching methodology and creating a development plan for each FBB staff member. He is a big advocate of self-directed learning and encourages young people to problem solve in his sessions. We interviewed Tim for our monthly staff spotlight to find out a little bit more about him…
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a football coach with over 10 years experience that has seen me work with all age groups, abilities and across four countries. Most recently I have been coaching in the foundation phase of a professional youth academy, managing a female University side and mentoring 1st year undergraduates taking their ‘C’ license with the FAW. I live in South Wales but originally come from the island of Jersey which does not explain why I am a Liverpool fan, McManaman – hero.
What has your journey with FBB entailed so far?
I started with FBB as a football coach on a project at Fitzalan High School in Cardiff. Since then I have had the opportunity with FBB to learn the skills needed to lead our educational programme and develop our football curriculum and practices. I am proud to say I am part of this organisation and look forward to adding even more value through my new role. It has been a great journey so far that I am happy to continue!
What does your new role entail at FBB, and what do you hope to achieve?
In this new role I am responsible for the development and delivery of our football curriculum. As part of this I have developed a coaching philosophy unique to the FBB values. I will be mentoring our coaching staff to help them in delivering to this philosophy and support them in achieving their goals as coaches. We at FBB have the opportunity to change the lives of young people who have a love for football. As we do not have long with the players each week it is important that we make the most of that time.
The best thing about football is?
Football is a universal language. We make connections with people over a mutual love of the game all the time. The game itself is so fluid that it challenges players to make decisions constantly and yet, with all the chaos of the game, it can be a meditation, an escape in which you can be fully present.
The best thing about working with young people is?
There is a vibrancy to young people that I love working with. Their honesty can be equal parts shocking, funny, humbling and refreshing. It’s an authentically challenging environment that pushes you to react creatively to situations, questions even, that you could never have prepared for. Every session is different but the aim the same. There is no greater feeling than seeing young people achieve more than they thought possible and develop self-belief.
How would you describe your coaching style?
Plutarch said, ‘The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting’. I believe in constructivism and the design of practices in a constraints-led approach. Put more simply it is about providing a manipulated environment that encourages players to solve problems within that framework. We see that the ways in which football is played changes year to year. If that is true then we need to develop players capable of flexibly applying their unique solutions to a changing world. Solving the problems for them takes away that opportunity for them to develop that skill.
How did football impact your life growing up?
Like most kids that love the game I played football whenever and with whatever I could, before school, lunch time, after school. It was always an outlet in which I could immerse myself into. I have made friends through football that I would never have otherwise met. I was fortunate to have an older brother who was happy for me to play with him and his mates. I owe a lot to those times.
What does FBB mean to you?
Despite being away from the main hub of FBB, I have always been treated like family. It is a privilege to work with an organisation that so fervently works towards its goals. I am proud to work with FBB, see the continual development of the organisation, staff and its participants and feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity to use my skills to add value to our projects.
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