In The Technical Area with Labinot Haliti

In the Technical Area with Labi Title Image

Labinot Haliti is currently Head Coach and Technical Director at Sydney Olympic.

Can you give us a an overview of your coaching journey thus far?

I started coaching after my playing career finished here in Australia. During that time I have worked across different roles be it in youth development or in senior football at the Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers.

Outside of football I always make time for a coffee and like to try my luck as a tennis player!

When did you first start coaching and why?

As my playing career was coming to an end I always had intentions of wanting to coach. Like all coaches I started taking my licences and worked up from my C Licence through to my A Licence and I am currently in the final stages of my Pro Diploma. My passion for coaching was to try and support young players on their journey to achieve their dreams. I was lucky enough to have a professional playing career and if I can pass on some of my experiences to the next generation and help them on their journey in some way then that would be fantastic.

What do you think are the 3 main characteristics of a successful coach?

  1. Passion, all successful coaches I have worked under have passion for the game and are able to pass this passion onto their players.
  2. Hard working, I am yet to meet a successful person in life that doesn’t have the mentality to work hard, there are no shortcuts to being a successful coach, you need to work hard at your craft and fully invest in yourself.
  3. Adaptable, coaching will throw many things at you no matter the level! Here at NPL level I have had to think on my feet many a time be it due to facility challenges or player numbers due to workloads so it is important to be adaptable.

How do you keep developing yourself as a coach to be the best you can be for your players?

Watching games, I try to watch as much football as I can to see different patterns, trends or styles of play and then see how I can apply this to my teams. Its important to watch different types of football be it European, International or local NPL level to keep developing your football knowledge

Not being afraid to try new ideas, in order to develop sometimes you need to make mistakes. We always say this to our players but do we apply this to ourselves as coaches? Try a new session design, intervention style or even a formation to learn. Regardless of success or failure of the new idea you will learn something for the future

Never Be comfortable, you should always be looking to challenge yourself, surround yourself will people who will challenge your ideas and not just say yes and stay in the comfort zone.

If you could turn back the clock, what advice would you now give to yourself when you first started coaching based on the experiences you have had?

Keep enjoying the journey, The journey will be long and you will never reach the final destination as there isn’t one! Enjoy every second of coaching as you never know when your final session or game may be.