Football Coach James Rowe: “Coaching is at first about trusting yourself”

James Rowe studied the Master in Coaching at the Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam

‘You can only coach others if you know how to coach yourself’. That quote from Johan Cruyff is one of the key course lines of the Master in Coaching at Johan Cruyff Institute in Amsterdam, where football coach James Rowe, together with other coaches from various backgrounds, engaged in a challenging program with enriching personal experiences.

James Rowe is currently manager at Chesterfield FC (UK). In March 2021, he became the ‘Manager of the Month’ by the National League, and he is a graduate from the 2016 edition of the Master in Coaching: “The program raised my awareness of controlling my own ego, especially when emotions rise, and not giving the players all the answers right away. It’s important to approach them openly and to let them also come to you, rather than you always bringing something to them. It was like a ‘guided discovery’ of my personal coaching style.”

The Master in Coaching gave James the tools to keep developing himself: “I love my job, working in professional football, but you need to continue challenging yourself on your career. My awareness levels have increased both in my communication to them, as well as between the players. It’s all about trusting yourself! So I believe that it is very true that you have to be able to coach yourself, before you coach others.”


The Master in Coaching from Johan Cruyff Institute in Amsterdam offers an original and pragmatic learning experience. Two weeks of the program are delivered at Sport Center & Hotel Papendal, the Dutch Olympic training center, located near Arnhem in the eastern part of the Netherlands, and another week of intense studies takes place in and around Amsterdam, at sport venues and at Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam. “Studying at sport venues enables the theory we learn to come to life in a real setting and creates a balance between theoretical and practical development, a crucial combination in any growth pathway,” thus James.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the program from start to finish,” James concludes. “I felt that being part of a small group with fellow students from various sports worked really well, because of the individual attention we received from the tutors and my exceptional personal coach Maarten van Heeswijk. I cannot begin to explain the massive impact the program has had on my development as a human being, and what I have learnt about myself will truly impact the rest of my life.”

credits cover photo James Rowe: Ian Morsman


Leadership in Coaching

The Leadership in Coaching Program in Amsterdam is developed for everybody (in or outside sports) who seeks self-knowledge and self-development with the aim to improve oneself as a (sport) coach and/or manager. This 10-month program is delivered in Dutch and based on the vision of Johan Cruyff in which sport coaching is more than using tactical and technical knowledge. It is about knowing yourself and developing your own unique coaching style, and to apply that to the players / staff, the team and the environment. We believe that you can only coach others, if you know how to coach yourself.

Learn more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *