Sam Osborne on the science of switching your sports career focus

by frank-stuart

Samuel Osborne’s week is full of work and study, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. With a professional coaching career in mind, Sam is determined to succeed. He’s also the first to admit his career path wasn’t always clear-cut.

When Sam finished school, he studied secondary teaching in Wollongong. During his first year at university, he realised it was the coaching aspect of teaching that he really enjoyed.

“Once I’d discovered this, it just clicked and I started absorbing as much information about sports coaching as I could,” Sam said. “I’ve always played football, not at an elite level, but enough to appreciate the skills you need as a coach.”

Sam enrolled in ACPE’s Sports Coaching (Administration) but when the Bachelor of Sports Coaching (Strength and Conditioning) became available, he switched straight away.

“I find the science so interesting,” he said. “I didn’t do science during the HSC, so I’ve had to put in some extra work, but I don’t mind because I enjoy it so much.”

As well as studying coaching theory, Sam has volunteered to gain real-world experience. Through ACPE, he completed an internship with the Greater Western Sydney Giants. While the Giants asked him to return the next season, Sam had already found an opportunity with the Sydney University’s Women’s National Premier League 1.

“I started shadowing the head coach, Alex Epakis, working with the First and Reserve teams and helping with junior team gala days,” Sam explained. “The experience has been full-on and from the start, Alex threw me in the deep end. It’s been the best way to learn. I’m not sitting on the sidelines, I’m being tested all the time.”

One of ACPE’s career advisors recommended Sam to the Sydney Football Club Academy, where he now does video analysis most recently for U13 and U14 games. “Most Saturdays, I’m at the field with a camera and iPad to film or code the game,” Sam said. “I tried it out to see how far I could go and the more I learnt, the more I realised how beneficial it is for coaching.”

While he’s not studying, working or commuting, Sam has paid employment in disability support. “It has taught me a lot about people and helped me to talk more, which is also useful in coaching. Everything I’m doing right now is beneficial to coaching in some way.”

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