11 September 2019
What an experience! Emma Hayes and the select group of female coaches to benefit from her fantastic #WhatIf pledge
Back in May, Chelsea Women FC manager Emma Hayes made a fantastic #WhatIf pledge to the Women in Football campaign: #Whatif I offered an opportunity for female coaches to come in and shadow me for the day and I will give them some coaching education?
And less than 24 hours after Chelsea Women had taken to the pitch at Stamford Bridge to play a historic derby against Tottenham Hotspur Women, winning 1-0, Emma made good on her pledge.
A select group of female coaches, from clubs as far as Aberdeen in Scotland, West Brom in the Midlands and Portsmouth on the south coast, arrived at Chelsea's Cobham training ground on a drizzly morning, ready to find out how Emma has become one of the most successful female football managers in the country.
Welcomed by Stephanie Bulfin, Chelsea Women's Operations Manager, the coaching group was given a fascinating personal tour by Emma of the team's facilities, including the gym and changing room, where they bumped into first-teamers Millie Bright and Fran Kirby who happily took time out to pose for a photo or two.
The group then settled in for a day of coaching work, finding out about Emma's personal brand of people management, and learning how a top-flight manager motivates and takes care of the group she is set to coach and lead.
With such pithy comments from Emma as "you don't become a professional by getting a washbag and a Mercedes" ringing in their ears, the group saw first-hand how elite athletes learn and train as individuals and a group.
The coaches were also able to observe the first-team recovery session after the match against Tottenham Hotspur Women the previous day, and also were given the chance to watch a Regional Talent Club (RTC) coaching session as well.
Women in Football cannot thank Emma, Stephanie and the staff at Chelsea Football Club enough for welcoming the #WhatIf coaching group, and for making their day so special.
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