Not every end is the goal – sometimes it’s about putting yourself out there…

David Court‘s speech at The Football Association’s Level 5 Technical Director graduate celebration dinner this week brilliantly highlighted the key to the course, without once mentioning its content.

People in leadership positions often talk about wanting their teams to portray certain behaviours, get out of their comfort zones, be open-minded. But so often, they do none of these things themselves.

Irrespective of all the knowledge and skills I saw this cohort gain over an intensive and collaborative couple of years, I applaud them most just for turning up, consistently, and working together to try to change the game.

It’s hard to give up time to continue to learn, to join a group of peers you are used to guarding information from – as opposed to openly sharing it with, to challenge your views and those of others, and to accept that there may be a lot you don’t know about what you do. But experiential learning is a proven cornerstone to adult learning. And if we aren’t learning, on our own and together, we don’t improve.

So here’s to Heather Cowan, Matt Crocker, Les Ferdinand, Jim Fraser, Dougie Freedman, Steve Morrow, Greta Steinsson and Stephen Walsh – and The FA for another great course.