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Ben Hardaker in the Spotlight – A Great Kick Start to a Coaching Career

18th July 2013

Ben Hardaker has recently secured a job as a Skills Coach for the Football Association (FA) in the West Riding area. After studying Sports Coaching at Calderdale College and Leeds Metropolitan University, he is looking forward to a career in Football Coaching.

What will your new job entail?

I will be working with 5-11 year olds in schools, clubs, in Skills Centres and helping local grassroots clubs with their coaching and development of young players.

What was your immediate reaction when you were offered the job?

It seemed like all the hard work I have put in over the last few years with my coaching and gaining my qualifications has made everything feel like it was worth it, because it is something I have worked hard to try and achieve.

How did the opportunity come about?

I did a bit of voluntary work with the skills team a couple of years back and kept in touch with the Team Leader. He emailed me when the job became available. I applied and managed to get an interview. There were 800 people who applied for the post and I got down to the last 57. I went to an interview, had to do a practical coaching session and then got invited to back for another interview later that day and was successful.

Do you know why you got the job?

I got some good feedback from the Skills Team Leader saying I interviewed really well and my practical coaching delivery was good and just what they were looking for really.

What do you hope to do in the future?

This job was a long term goal, hopefully from here I can progress, keep working within Football and develop myself and keep moving up the job ladder. I would like to go into coach education, so there could be opportunities to do that in the FA.

How has your course helped you?

Some of the modules I did and the delivery of the course helped me develop my knowledge and understanding around my practical coaching and all the theory that goes behind it, enabling me to put the theory that I had learnt into practice.

When did you first realise you wanted to work in Coaching?

I first realised I wanted to work in coaching back in 2006 whilst studying for my Level 3 Sports Science BTEC National Diploma at the College. We did a module on Sports Coaching which made me want to be able to help people develop especially within Football, which is the sport I coach predominantly.

How would you sum up your time at the College?

It was a good experience and staff were very helpful and very friendly throughout the College. I think it is a progressive College and I enjoyed my experience there. With the Inspire Centre across the road we couldn’t have asked for better facilities.

Why did you choose to study at the College?

It was local for me and the deciding factor was that my course was based over two days which fit in quite nicely with my coaching work. It worked well for what I needed at the time.

What did you do after completing your level 3?

After my Level 3 I went out and worked for a couple of years doing Sports Coaching in schools and came back to the College to do my degree in 2010. I think the experience I gained from doing that helped me do my degree.

What did you think of your tutors?

My tutor Chris Brammall has been a huge influence. The way he delivered his lessons and the amount of support, encouragement and help he provided, not just for me, but for other students went beyond the call of duty. He didn’t have to help us in the way he did and with that kind of support and encouragement behind you it motivates you to try and succeed. Chris has been a big influence, so much so I still keep in touch with him on a personal level – he is not just a tutor he is also a friend.

Would you recommend the College to other students thinking of studying a similar course?

I would definitely recommend the course, like I said before the tutor delivery and facilities were the main things for me and the amount of support throughout the College from staff was brilliant. People went out of their way to help you.

As a child what was your dream job?

I think I wanted to be a fireman or a pilot when I was little.

What words of wisdom would you offer other students?

I have realised throughout coaching that if you work hard then opportunities arise. If you want something you have to go out and get it. Just work hard for what you want.

What’s next?

I want to get into coach education. I am just looking forward to getting my head down with this new job and seeing where this takes me. It is going to take up a lot of my time and I will be working during the evenings and weekends and going into schools during the day.

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