Coaching at AFC Ajax enhanced with the vision of Johan Cruyff

On Friday, June 10th the trainers and coaches from AFC Ajax received their Master in Coaching diploma from Johan Cruyff Institute at the Amsterdam ArenA. Among the 19 graduates are the coaches/trainers Casimir Westerveld, Regillio Simons, Guillame Elmont and Saïd Ouaali

The program of the Master in Coaching is based on the vision of Johan Cruyff whereby “you can only coach others if you know how to coach yourself.” According to this vision, coaching is not merely about the development of tactical and technical skills, but is above all about knowing how to coach (and manage) yourself, the individual players and staff members, the team as a whole, and the social environment. The coaches of AFC Ajax started the study program in January 2015.

Marco van Galen, trainer/coach U11-U12 at AFC Ajax says about the program: “I learned to present myself more professionally, to listen better to others, and I am more aware of how others perceive my communications. Now I enter more into a dialogue, to find out what the other person is experiencing.” “Coaching is taught in a different, more creative way“, says Regillio Simons, trainer/coach U14, “The teachers adapt their methods to each individual. That gives you a lot of confidence. Nothing is imposed on you, and you can immediately apply everything into practice.”

Marco van Galen - AFC Ajax - Master in Coaching - Johan Cruyff Institute

Marco van Galen (last line, right side) with his team

Regillio Simons - AFC Ajax - Master in Coaching - Johan Cruyff Institute

Regillio Simons coaching from the sideline

Casimir Westerveld, coordinator at Ajax Coaching Academy, adds: “In this Master, you work on self-improvement; you get to know yourself better! Subsequently, you are more aware of your strengths, which you can apply in a better way, and your weaknesses which you can avoid. You discover your personal coaching style and everybody wins: you, the players, the team as a whole and the organization.”

Casimir Westerveld AFC Ajax - Master in Coaching Johan Cruyff Institute

Casimir Westerveld (crouched in the middle) giving instructions to the kids

Johan Cruyff Institute in Amsterdam has previously educated coaches and team leaders of two cycling teams: Team LottoNL-Jumbo and Team Giant-Alpecin. Henk Verschuur, manager Johan Cruyff Institute: “Sport organizations like Ajax and the cycling teams share the same vision in which it is important for athletes, sport managers and coaches to continuously develop themselves. Shared values, such as working in teams, setting goals and continuously improving yourself, are not only important for individual athletes and coaches, but are equally important to be successful in leading projects in and beyond the sports industry.”

A total of 78 graduates (including the 19 AFC Ajax coaches) received their diploma on June 10th from Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam, comprising the graduates of the Dutch edition of the Master in Coaching, the Master in Sport Management and the Module Sport & Facility/Event Management. Amongst them were the South African hockey player Justin Reid-Ross, and former Olympian athletes Nelli Cooman (sprint) and Deborah Gravenstijn (judo).

We wish everyone the best of luck with their next career step.

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