top of page
  • Writer's pictureJack Mullaney

Is There a Switch?

After a brief one-year stint in the EFL Championship, England's second division, Fulham FC were promoted back to the Premier League last summer. They beat Brentford FC in the playoff final at Wembley, securing the final promotion spot.

And while Fulham are my favorite club, this post isn't about soccer at all.

It's about coaching, and the interview Fulham manager Scott Parker gave after winning the playoff. Watching it is more powerful, but here's a transcription:

"Can you enjoy the moments? The facts are … you can't really. You win a football match, and by the time you get to Saturday night, and you're drinking a beer or having a little bit of Chinese [food], you're all of the sudden thinking about Monday morning and what the next game is … We live in a profession, where, you win a game, [then] you lose the next one, and you're deemed as a failure. You realize that you always have to be at the top of it, and always planning.
Not for me, I hope that, after tomorrow, I can just sit down with the family. I can sit down with my wife and kids, who, probably for the last year at times have been on eggshells at different moments, can just get their husband back and get their dad back."

Look, as manager of a professional team in a country crazy about the sport, Scott Parker faces more external pressure and scrutiny than most coaches in the world. But I think this interview was a gut punch to so many of us in the profession, because on some level, we've all been Scott Parker.

I think we've all allowed our identity as a coach to become all-consuming at one point or another. Whether it be competitive drive, perceived pressure to succeed, or some other motivator, our focus has narrowed to the point that other aspects of our life have been cut out. And there's certainly consequences of doing that.

It feels all too common to hear a retiring coach expressing remorse for the weddings missed, the friends who fell out of touch, or the spouse who had to raise the kids.

As someone still new to the profession, I want to believe that there's another way. I want to believe that a coach can flip a switch when they go home, so that they can both be "all in" while on the job and "all in" with family or friends. I want to believe that competitive success is still possible this way, and that building up a team doesn't mean breaking down a coach.

I'll readily admit that I'm still finding that switch. Part of the motivation in starting this blog was to do just that - forcing myself to do something I enjoyed that isn't part of any job responsibilities (Yeah, I get it. Writing about coaching might not be the way to get away from it, but it's a start).

Because I think if you can find the switch, you can enjoy the moments.

39 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page