John Herdman, head coach of the Canadian senior women’s soccer team, shared his coaching philosophies at the University of the Fraser Valley athletic department’s first annual breakfast fundraiser on Wednesday.
Herdman, a 37-year-old Englishman, guided Team Canada – featuring Abbotsford midfielder Sophie Schmidt – to a breakthrough bronze medal performance at the London Olympics.
On Wednesday, he outlined his journey from coaching in his homeland, to helming the New Zealand women’s national team, to taking on the top job with the Canadian women in 2011.
Herdman emphasized the importance of coaching the person, not just the player, noting that an athlete’s physical, mental, emotional and social spheres must be in harmony in order for them to execute at peak efficiency.
He also challenged the crowd of 150-plus to step outside their comfort zones – which is “where the magic happens.”
“Passion is the key,” he said. “You have to help people fall in love with what they do.”
The breakfast raised just over $9,000.