Life In The FAST Lane – Personal And Professional Football Development
I’ve always seen myself as a kind of lucky person, easy-going, helpful (I hope!), curious about the world and happy to listen to others and the stories of their lives. About six years ago a friend of mine had had enough of being a teacher. He called me asking for advice on setting himself up as an education and sports consultant. I'd been an education consultant (ex-headteacher) since 2002 and we talked for quite a while about our shared interests and skill sets.
We both still played football, though he was in the semi-pros and I played at a senior amateur level, and were passionate about sports of all kinds. We both specialised in ‘pastoral care’ in schools with students and parents, and were concerned about the increasing over-emphasis on achievement targets at the expense of the more humanistic aspects of schooling: self-esteem, confidence and communication skills.
We were both aware of a system of developing positive attitudes in schools based on an assessment tool called ‘P.A.S.S. (Pupil Attitudes to Self and School) (Ref). We wondered if we could develop something like PASS in a sporting context. The new FA Coaching template stressed the importance of social and psychological factors for developing players, and we soon found out that there was a gap in the sporting world in assessing and developing positive attitudes towards the self and others.
After researching survey design for a while it became patently obvious that there was a need for an effective standardised measure for talented boys and girls heading towards a professional sporting life. It seemed that the best tool out there was PASS, and rather than compete with it we decided to clone it, with the permission of the owners. What emerged became a promising business opportunity and an incredible learning journey into the world of professional football.