Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman

Matt Jones interviews Chris Coleman who believes motivation has to come from within the individual first.

Matt Jones: Looking back over your playing days, or even before that, who inspired you to play?

Chris Coleman: I think when I was growing up obviously the biggest influence on my career has been my father, but my favourite player was Zico, at the time, for Brazil, and obviously anybody that saw me play would know that we're two completely different players! But I loved watching the great Brazilian teams of the 70s and early 80s.


Christopher Coleman

10 June 1970

Swansea, Wales


14st 6lb

Played for:
Fulham, Blackburn, Crystal Palace, Swansea City, Manchester City (junior)

Last game played:
1 January 2001 (Stockport 2-0 Fulham)

Manages: Coventry City FC (February 2008 - present)

Previously managed:
Fulham (April 2003 - April 2007)
Real Sociedad (June 2007 - January 2008)

MJ: What motivated you, as a player, to play to the best of your ability?

CC: Since I was five or six-years-old I just wanted to be a professional football player. I wanted to play against the best players. I wanted to play in big stadiums in front of big crowds, and I was desperate to play for my country one day, and thankfully I was lucky enough that happened. But for me it was just playing on the big stage and testing myself against the best players, that's what motivated me.

MJ: You captained your country, captained many sides, and you've been a manager as well - how do you motivate others?

CC: People talk about great motivators, but I think motivation has to come from within the individual first, because if you haven't got that inner strength yourself, and belief and you want to do well, it doesn't matter what anybody else says. You have to have that, it has to be inbuilt.

Of course people can say things that can trigger it, but you have to make sure that the individual you're dealing with they've got that inner motivation and inner strength, and they want to succeed. People are different, and you have to know the different buttons to press, but I think the motivation has to come from within the individual.

MJ: What do you actually say to your players before they go out on that pitch?

CC: First and foremost it's a game of football and if you can't enjoy playing football then you shouldn't be on the pitch. There's a lot of pressure on them but they get used to that. As long as they do their best, they give 100% and they stick to what we've worked on during the week, then I haven't got a problem. Some games you win, some games you lose.

As long as my guys are out there and doing what I'm asking and they're giving their best, I don't think anybody can ask for much more than that.

MJ: Do you think that sometimes attitude is just as important as ability?

Did you know?

Chris earned his 32nd international cap for Wales when he came on as a substitute in the 1-0 win over Germany.

CC: If you haven't got the right attitude you can have all the ability you like, but you'll fall down in the end. I've seen it many times.

Even when I was growing up as a young boy, when I was playing schoolboy football, there were other guys who were as good as I was, maybe some even better technically. But I was prepared to stick to what was going to make me become a professional football player when I left school, and that was a lot of sacrifice and because my attitude was right.

If your attitude is wrong you'll get found out in the end, so attitude is a massive part of it.

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