Alex Hay – Blossom Skills.
I put my interview with former Rovers forward Alex Hay, into words. He has recently started up a football coaching school called Blossom Skills, so I asked him what he believed was important to get out of the sessions and how those interested could get in touch.
What were your initial thoughts when you wanted to start Blossom Skills up and when did this idea first pop into your head?
I think it’s always been in the background of my mind.
There were a lot of people asking but whilst I’ve been doing so much scouting I just didn’t have the freedom of time to start coaching as well. Then all of a sudden, with issues that began with Fylde, I had more time spare. Obviously, I wanted to stay in football and do something in the game and this seemed like a great idea to do that.
I looked at ways to start it all up and there were quite a few people interested. Once you get the first done, word gets round and everything starts from there. It’s also not about making the next ‘superstar’, obviously some of the kids will have aspirations of that but it’s more about making them more socially able. I just find football a very sociable thing to be able to do. I want my sessions to help people socially, even if I’m teaching them how to kick a ball five or ten yards, to take the skills into the school playground or anywhere in everyday life to join in and meet new people.
I want them to be engaged and to enjoy things so that’s what I plan to do. I want it confidence based, it’s not about being the best at football, it’s to use the social skills as a tool to help them. I’ve coached anxious kids, kids with anxiety problems and the sessions have been able to help them through that and to give them more confidence.
When did Blossom Skills start and when did you first get the word out?
Around a month and a half ago, maybe just a month. I like the name because blossom means developing and skills are skills that aren’t just about being the best of footballers. I wanted this to be different, not just about being the best as it’s not necessarily about that. My first sessions went really well, I’ve had loads wanting to be coached and it’s helped my confidence as I’ve seen their confidence improve also. Seeing people with a smile on their face is only going to do the world of good.
Has anyone been in touch or has anyone been a major help in starting this project from the football world that people may know of?
Not really, I’ve had a lot of support from players who I used to play with who are coaching in the football world now. They’re happy to see what I’m doing because they know that it’s just about the enjoyment and that’s been a big part of this for me. So, yeah, I’ve had support. I know there’s always people to lean on but it’s something that I’m using to develop myself as well.
If you could give three words to describe your own coaching style, whether you are coaching a class or a one on one session, what would those words be?
Enthusiastic, I think that’s the most important thing as I think that if you’re trying to make someone be engaged and to improve then you’ve got to make sure to love what your coaching and make your sessions stand out. Another would be, I don’t know the words, just making them feel comfortable as if they make a mistake it doesn’t matter. If they make a mistake, so what? Let’s make another.
Encouraging, caring and enthusiastic?
That’s it! They’d be my three words.
If anyone is hearing about Blossom Skills for the first time through this interview and would like to hear more and get in touch with you about taking their kids to a session. How could they go about doing this?
Contact me via twitter. My account is ‘Blossom Skills’ and my own personal account ‘Alex Hay’. We’re on Instagram and Facebook as well. Hopefully, it’s not too difficult to find out there.
Thank you for your time Alex, I hope all goes well with this as I love your idea.