It might only be four headers a game because the ball is so rarely booted up in the air with really young kids, but we’ve all been there when you head it with the top of your head. The pain is horrible.
We don’t fully know about the long-term damage heading does. Until we do, we should definitely be more careful with kids heading the ball. Maybe that means using a softer ball to learn the technique at a young age, before progressing as they get older.
Heading is obviously a massive part of the game, so it’s important that players know how to do it properly.
That is the kind of thing that you take home with you as a coach. As a player you might go to the gym after training, but you are paid to go home and rest so you can come back the next day and perform at your best. As a coach, you don’t switch off. You can’t. It’s impossible.
“It was difficult to accept that my playing days were over. I still don’t know if I’ve fully accepted it now”
You’re dealing with stuff on the pitch, with kids growing up and going through different stages in life. You’re always thinking about how you can help them. Even at home with your own kids, your mind wanders back to it.
It’s more mental exhaustion than physical. I’m not running around as much as I used to, but your brain is just so active. You never stop.
I love it, though. I wouldn’t be doing it otherwise.
I loved being a footballer, it was my life. But now my life is helping other people get a career, and I feel very passionate about that.