Hanover (dpa) – At first glance, this list of participants doesn’t look like a coaching course. It says: Frank Lampard, who plays with Chelsea in the Champions League against Bayern Munich.
Or Juan Carlos Osorio, who won the Mexican national team against Germany at the 2018 World Cup. And then there is the only German coach who completes a completely redesigned and more modern management-oriented course by the English football association FA this Thursday: Christian Flüthmann, former youth coach of Borussia Dortmund and ex-head coach of Eintracht Braunschweig.
“Football is like building a house,” said the 38-year-old from the German Press Agency. “One component is not enough to build a stable house. The same applies to the football business.”
The English “Football Association” sees the same way. She assumes that she will no longer have to teach her graduates about tactical systems or corner variants. The 18-month course therefore focuses on other questions: How can I get a group of people to pursue the goals that I set? And how do I put together a team of experts around me?
The speakers in Flüthmann’s course work according to exactly these principles, but in many cases had nothing to do with football. The FA invited, among others, a former FBI investigator who is now used by the British police as an expert on hostage-taking. In addition, the head of a musical and a Google manager.
The English Premier League is very global. The club owners come from the USA, Russia or Abu Dhabi. The trainers are Jürgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola or José Mourinho. That is why “great value is placed on getting input from outside, especially in English football,” said Flüthmann.
He worked as an assistant coach from Norwich City from July 2017 to November 2018. It was precisely at this time that the English association offered its new coaching course for the first time, as it did everything in the 2010s that had anything to do with training. The national team has disappointed too often for decades – so talent promotion has been reorganized. There are hardly any domestic coaches in the Premier League – that’s why the new course is now.
“The English are currently investing heavily in the acting minds and their know-how,” said Tobias Haupt, head of the new DFB Academy, dpa. “We are familiar with the training course, we are in regular contact with the English and see whether one or the other topic is interesting for us. We also focus very intensively on the area of personal development.”
Christian Flüthmann has already experienced an almost complete coaching career in time-lapse parallel to this course. When the course started in January 2018, he was still an assistant coach at Eintracht Braunschweig. Half a year later the club promoted him to the boss and only four and a half months later he separated from him, although Flüthmann ranked fifth in the 3rd division with Eintracht.
During the Corona period, the coach, who was born in Münster, then wrote a thesis that fits exactly into this Corona period. “The coach as a motivator – how important is a player’s self-motivation?” Is the title. All Bundesliga coaches had to deal with this question when their players were training alone at home because there was no team training.
Flüthmann categorized the characters of a team into four types: model professionals, leaders, artists, soldiers. His thesis is that in the era of ghost games, it is not the better individual players who decide, “but more than ever the composition of a squad. Every team now needs leaders who want to win under such circumstances.” But that too was very specific: “Two alpha animals in a two-man storm – that hardly works.”
Flüthmann calls the Corona period “a very exciting time for coaches”. Because everyone now sees: “Who do I have to push from the outside? Who just wants to play football again? And who might be better able to cope with the fact that there are no spectators in the stadium?” But he also knows that it is not the easiest time to find a new job yourself. Whether in England or Germany: Flüthmann is open to everything. “I consider it an uncanny gift that I was able to enjoy my education in both countries.”