Coach Interview: Danny Gallagher

Danny Gallagher is a local soccer coach based out of Sion Mills, Tyrone. He currently coaches Sion Swifts, a club which he established in 1988. He also coaches on the IFA Girl's Excellence programme developing the young female stars of the future. Danny recently won the North West Community Coach of the Year Award. We caught up with him to pick his thoughts on winning the award and what coaching means to him.
 
What does it mean to you to win the award?
It is an honour to win any award and very humbling, it’s not what you coach for, but it is lovely to be nominated and then to win the accolade in recognition of your efforts. This North West Community Coach award is special in that you are not just being recognised within your specific sport but across a spectrum of sports within a large region like the North West. It is also great for my Club, good for the local Strabane District area and for soccer in general.
 
How would you describe your coaching methods/ Philosophy?
You can read all the books and watch all the dvds regarding coaching methods, psychology, etc but for me it is really about coaching appropriately at the level or age group that you are involved in whether your coaching U4 kids or a senior men’s team you have to connect, gain respect, plan your sessions and also have an element of fun in every session that you take so that you and the team or individuals go home happy after every session.   
What skills are required to be a top coach?
Dedication, dedication, dedication and a passion for what you do. A willingness to learn and be open-minded. Be a role model, be professional in all you do, respect others and you will gain respect and be a person who interacts well with those under your guidance.
 
How important is the role of the coach in helping to improve sport?
Vitally important and across all abilities, people involved in sport will almost certainly be able to say that their coach or coaches had a positive or negative impact on their development in their given sport. This is why coaches need to strive to develop each individual to the best of their potential which in turn will improve the standards within sport.
 
What piece of advice has helped you to improve your coaching?
“You must enjoy what you do and give the kids every opportunity to play football, develop as individuals, respect everyone, make new friends and have fun.”
Check out all the North West Award Winners at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zyph6Np36PY