Gee Bola - Head Of Performance Analysis/Foundation Stage Lead Coach
My passion for football started from my childhood supporting my team in the Holte End, my beloved Aston Villa FC, I have supported them through the good years when we were winning the European Cup in 1982, to having an incredible team in the 1990s full of skill, pace and passion with Big Ron at the healm and Deadly Doug in the boardroom.
Aston Villa FC had in my opinion the best youth academy in the West Midlands region, however this isn't the case anymore, youth isn't given a chance to progress into the first team. Our team is full of players that are not technically better than the academy, I believe in giving youth an opportunity to express themselves and take the opportunities presented. Jack Grealish is a prime example and should be playing in the first team. I do not see the conveyor belt from the academy to the first team anymore - where is the player pathway for local talent to get into the first team in 2016.
At ADS we recognise the talent within late developers, it is a fact that some of the most talented players ever to grace the beautiful game were late developers. At ADS we encourage our players to make mistakes and learn in a safe environment where innovation and creativity is at the heart of everything we do.
I excelled in various sports however my goal was to be the best I could be academically. I found that I had an aptitude to learn and develop. I always wanted to coach and learn about the science behind the exercise drills.
I have studied the professional game, conducting research, reading autobiographies, attending seminars, coaching clinics) and obtaining coaching qualifications. However the fundamental principles in becoming a professional player is the focus on playing small sided games with increased confidence and creativity from a young age.
With my passion for teaching I have learned from some great coaches who have coached me well, it is imperative that the best coaches work within the grass roots environment as the foundation years are the most important stages of a child's development. At ADS this is our philosophy, to learn the game at an early age through ball mastery and most importantly playing with a smile.
My favourite football player is Cristiano Ronaldo, when I watch him play I recognise the hours he has practiced to become great at dribbling, shooting, and heading and this is through sheer hard work and determination, we take these lessons and motivate our athletes to aspire to be the best.
I was inspired to be coach after watching a hero of mine, Sir Booby Robson a coach of great character, passion and knowledge for the game. Sir Bobby was a legend, he was a great man-manager, tactician and understood football. I recall his words which was to believe in yourself and be prepared to fail, you learn more from failure than in winning and be prepared to listen and learn. Powerful words which will always remain with me.
ADS is all about identifying and nurturing talent, helping out athletes and giving them a second chance who otherwise would have been overlooked in sport whilst providing a pathway to progress into the professional game.
Futsal is one of the ways ADS encourages its athletes to develop both their technical base but also improve their decision making. Children learn a lot faster due to having more touches of the ball and they are also encouraged to get involved and learn to problem solve instead of being spoon-fed by the coaches all the time. Freedom of expression is the way forward with Futsal and ADS encourage that in abundance. Skill, Speed, Teamwork and Creativeness always wins the race.
I studied Sports Science and Psychology which has given me the foundation to make a difference to the athletes we coach at ADS.
My role is to monitor and record sporting performances of our Elite athletes, I liaise with all the coaches and athletes to improve their individual performance and prepare session plans accordingly.
As a Performance Analyst our training is filmed and then reviewed afterwards to see if the game plans have been implemented in training and to view the player’s skill execution throughout. I give our players homework to improve their skills and abilities and test them regularly against the clock tracking performance against individual plans. I plan and prioritise all Speed, Agility and Quickness (SAQs) drills. I am proud to play an active part within ADS and develop the stars of tomorrow.