Liv Paton has steadily worked her way through the coaching pathways provided within the NSFA region after joining XLR8 last year.
Starting off in our In-Club Programs with Gordon, Liv now coaches at her NSFA junior club, Kissing Point FC, obtained her C Licence and has recently started coaching in the Girls SAP program at NSFA representative club Northern Tigers!
What is your favourite team and who is your favourite player?
My favourite team is Manchester City and my favourite player is Sergio Aguero. I started supporting them in 2014 when I was in England on a futsal tour and got to watch two of their games, meet their manager Manuel Pellegrini and some of the players such as Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, and Jesus Navas.
Tell us about your journey within football and what initially got you involved in coaching?
I started playing football for Kissing Point FC when I was 5 years old. I then joined Northern Tigers in 2012 and have been playing at the club ever since. For as long as I can remember, my dad coached my mum, older siblings and me at KPFC. I always saw the environment he cultivated as a coach, where players could grow into better footballers by being encouraged to try new things, by not being afraid of making mistakes and by being confident in their own ability. Hence, he inspired me to get involved in coaching and to replicate the same environment for the players that I coach.
Who’s been your biggest influence within football coaching – and why?
When it comes to football coaching there have been a multitude of influences. As a player over the last 9 years at Northern Tigers, I have been blessed to have the most enthusiastic, encouraging and knowledgeable coaches. I have no doubt these coaching role models helped me grow as a player and have influenced my coaching style so that one day I can hopefully have the same positive impact on the players I coach.
Lastly, Eilidh Mackay has had an immense influence on me as a coach within women’s football coaching. She has established the Female Coach Mentoring Program (FCMP) which is a community where coaches can collaborate, attend workshops and share experiences to feel supported as a female coach in a heavily male dominated environment.
Why do you coach with XLR8 and what do you love most about coaching?
I coach with XLR8 due to the inspiring and encouraging environment. The team of coaches at XLR8 are constantly helping each other, whether it’s bouncing ideas around, or asking for feedback on sessions and coaching technique. The fervent atmosphere pushes each and every individual to be the best coach they can possibly be. What I love most about coaching is that with every session, you never stop learning. There will always be something new you can learn about your coaching approach, your players and football itself.
Describe a moment that has challenged you as a coach, and how did you overcome it?
Over the 2019/2020 summer, I was fortunate enough to undertake my C Licence, which was supported by XLR8. Although I was incredibly excited, I was also incredibly nervous. It was a big challenge for me, knowing I was going to have to coach in front of 25 experienced coaches. I was able to overcome this challenge, by realising that when I was running a session, I wasn’t coaching in front of the other coaches, rather, I was coaching with the other coaches. Everyone was there to support each other to learn and improve, rather than compare and critique.
What would be your advice to coaches and players that strive to improve themselves?
Improvement in the coaching world stems from acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses. XLR8 offers an abundance of helpful resources, workshops and mentoring programs that are designed to provide a supportive environment to better yourself as a coach and even as a person.
For players, never stop enjoying the game you love. Use your passion for football to drive yourself to become the best player you can be.
In one word, describe your role as a coach?