Owen Southgate, 40-year-old father of 3 originally from the UK but currently living in Sweden!

I now work full-time within NYFA as a mentor, coach and educator within Sweden and other countries, in which my role is to support the progression of organisations, players and future coaches by developing programmes and initiatives that improve club services and outreach. I have also worked as a tutor of coaches for the English FA, which is cool!

I do it because I love it! Without trying to sound cheesy, interacting with others is my thing and it’s all about those moments of euphoria that come from seeing others taking positive steps. It’s this that motivates me. It’s about making people feel good! I really like the idea of helping others to experience growth on both personal and professional levels and it’s also really cool to witness the moment when the penny drops or seeing a smile appear because of the guidance, learning and belief that I have helped inspire.
For me the measure of my work is actually very simple; it’s in the moment when interactions set a foundation of connection and trust. Once this happens learning becomes reciprocal and ultimately active.

I am kind of lucky to be able to bring two clear passions together (football and education) and create situations that enhance the human experience, especially for young people. Empowering youngsters through the platform of sport, scaffolding values, trust and creativity and learning is for me the only way to engage learning.

Fundamentally it’s the bigger, more holistic picture that’s the most important element to coaching and education. Not many children will get the chance to become an adult who fulfills the role of a professional sports man or woman but what is guaranteed is that each child can learn to become the best person they can be through sport. They can realise their potential in many other ways. It is this positive relationship with participating that creates a lifelong love for sport so inevitably this keeps them playing – a self-fulfilling process that we the coaches must be fundamentally measured by!

We, the educators, are role models for those who are creating a positive legacy for the future generations and it’s being able to be a part of someone’s journey to the degree that they not only fulfill their own potential but help others to move forward that’s crucial to outcomes. This should be the most fundamental and rewarding part of the coaching process; society first, game second, winning a bonus outcome.
The most challenging aspects within coaching come from the processes that give life to non-evidence based solutions within education in sport. For example, the most common misconception in youth sport is that winning a game is the primary indicator for the success when developing individual potential. An adult objective applied out of context. Understandably the pedagogic process is almost always intrinsically locked within the social, cultural and historical complexities that surround individuals. True to this fact and form, non-evidence based formula for education within sport have no existing relevance due to the overwhelmingly unique personality of every person. One size does not fit all.

It is my belief that NYFA will create a profound, fundamental shift in the world of youth sports education within Sweden, Scandinavia and eventually the world. Through NYFA’s world class consultant platform, its movement will always trend in front of the curve, leading the way in confronting the status quo, smashing the barriers that limit the potential of humans within sport.

The most exciting aspect of NYFA is the incredible impact it will have on global sport and education, not only within the short term but in 30, 50 and 100 years’ time. Again, it is the legacy thing. There’s nothing more powerful than a design that has been created to better our future and in the world of sports education the focus on social development cannot be compromised. NYFA will represent this power and process using the integrity and context of sport. It will vibrantly enthuse and animate the new generation of world class sports players and educators to help shape a better society.

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