Gerrard: Why I won't take top coaching job yet
Written by Simon Austin — August 20, 2017
LIVERPOOL legend Steven Gerrard says coaching is completely different to playing and that stars who expect top jobs are “cutting corners”.
The 37-year-old became Liverpool's Under-18 coach in April, having shadowed the 16s, 18s and Under-23s at the club while completing his Uefa A Licence.
“If you come out of the game and automatically think you’re going to be a top coach because of the name on your back, or the career that you’ve had, then I think you’re taking big risks and cutting a lot of corners and a lot of learning and growing and evolving out,” Gerrard told the FA’s Boot Room.
“First and foremost, it’s very different than playing - especially at the beginning. You have an anxiousness about you, you’re out of your comfort zone and all eyes and responsibility are on you to coach a large group of men rather than just being one player in a team or a squad.
“You realise early on that is very, very different [to playing] and that there is a lot of learning to do, there are a lot of people to watch, a lot of tips on how people go about it. You need to find your coaching voice - which might be different from being a player."
Gerrard turned down the chance to manage League One side MK Dons last November, explaining it was "a bit too soon" for him.
“I didn’t want to take a job when I wasn’t ready, when I was out of my depth, and have a bad experience that put me off coaching," he added.
"I’m hoping there are going to be first-team opportunities further down the line, but the key for me is to be ready for those opportunities when they come about. For me there is no rush [to get a senior position], there are no targets on time. If I have a bad experience and it goes wrong, if I’m more qualified and I’m ready then I’ll be willing to accept it more.”
The ex-England midfielder, who won 114 caps, also praised the Football Association for improving their coaching courses.
Players taking courses are now able to do more of the work at their clubs and there is a bigger bespoke element tailored to the individual.
“A lot of ex-players over the years have been put off by the amount of work you have to put in on the [coaching] courses,” Gerrard said. “I think it was almost a test on the courses and people were intimidated to fail and didn’t want to be put in the spotlight in front of all the other people that were on the course.
“The good thing about the FA now is they’ve changed the courses, they’ve evolved them and they’re more enjoyable. You’ve still got to put the work in but you get time to grow. So when you are judged or tested, you feel more ready.
“Also, there’s bespoke courses available which is better for your time individually and people come out to you. I think the courses and the thought of going into coaching now is a lot more enjoyable and less intimidating than it was years ago.
“My advice [for a player coming to the end of their career] would be: get on the coaching ladder as soon as possible.”