Becoming a leader

Ryan Giggs believes the 18 month-long UEFA Pro Licence course has already had a huge effect on his coaching abilities, making him a better leader, with greater organisational skills and more confidence when speaking in front of players. 

And although the Old Trafford legend has sat through thousands of team meetings in his glittering 24-year playing career, Manchester United’s new assistant manager revealed that standing up to deliver a presentation himself was a real challenge.

Ryan Giggs is at St. George

Ryan Giggs has enjoyed studying on the Pro Licence course at SGP

“Just speaking within a group [was a challenge]. Having to go up and to speak and present, from a year ago to now I’ve improved so much and become more confident. I’m really pleased with how that turned out.”

The 40 year-old had an opportunity to put into practice his studies in professional communication during his four-game spell as United’s caretaker manager at the end of last season and feels the work done on the course will benefit him greatly as he starts the next chapter of his career as a coach.

“In the last part of last season, just addressing the players and addressing the group, I took things I learned on this course: body language and tone of voice. It’s certainly helped me and will continue to help me.”

Throughout the course, the 21 Pro Licence candidates have had to deliver numerous presentations to their peers covering game and training strategies, opposition scouting as well as an individual study visit report to a business or organisation outside of football. 

Giggs also stressed the value of learning from the vast list of expert speakers who have delivered modules on the course. Presenters have included former SAS soldier Floyd Woodrow, Rugby World Cup Winner Sir Clive Woodward and former Australian cricket coach John Buchanan. 

“We’ve got to hear great speakers, motivational speakers, and [learned about] leadership skills,” added Giggs.

“The take-away messages and the things I’ve learned on the course are how to be a better leader and how to organise and structure things a lot better

“Whether you’re a coach or a manager, or even if you’ve just finished playing, I’d definitely recommend the course.”

UEFA Pro Licence graduates: Richard Barker, Keith Bertschin, Wayne Burnett, Keith Downing, Alex Dyer, Lois Fidler, Ryan Giggs, Stephane Henchoz, Paul Ince, Nathan Jones, Graham Kavanagh, Ian Kerr, Runar Kristinsson, Mike Marsh, Nick Marshall, Micky Mellon, Dennis Mortimer, Gary Neville, Shaun North, Chris Powell, Mark Yates.