AFC Ajax added Troy Douglas to its technical team just over a year ago and they are seeing the benefits of the addition. Douglas is a Bermuda Olympic sprinter who was studying the Master in Coaching at the Johan Cruyff Institute, and whose style of coaching conforms to the principles of performance coaching.
We coaches really need this program”. With this conviction, Troy Douglas defines his experience on the Master in Coaching at the Johan Cruyff Institute. The charismatic sprinter from Bermuda, which he represented at three Olympic Games before acquiring Dutch nationality and representing The Netherlands at his fourth Games, is part of the AFC Ajax staff. He works there as a performance coach, a new challenging role for him.
“When I came back to the Netherlands after being a sprint coach in Bermuda, I really couldn’t say no to this incredible opportunity. I was also curious what this position would mean for my personal development and what I could learn from Ajax, because I always want to keep developing myself, even though I’m 54 years old. My goal is that Ajax brings out the best in me, so that I can bring out the best in Ajax. At the moment, I think I’ve really found my dream job”, Troy says.
He is convinced that track and field is the mother of all sports. “That’s why I can see the whole athlete”, he explains. “Where people only see speed, I can see technique and a stiffness in the hips. I understand what speed means and how more speed can be brought into football. That’s why Ajax thought I was the right man for this position”.
At the beginning, Troy had not only to adapt to a sport that is practiced as a team, but also to one that is completely different to the one that was his specialty. And the Master in Coaching is helping him to make that change. “I had to get used to the tough football culture and the pressure of performing every week. People really underestimate how rough the football world is. As a famous athlete, I also have a certain responsibility, which adds an extra pressure. But I like it though, because it helps me to improve my performance”.
“At the moment, I’m studying the Master in Coaching at the Johan Cruyff Institute, and since starting the program I have begun to see everything differently. Now I see things in a wider and bigger perspective, which makes me more capable of taking bigger risks”, says Troy. “The content of the program is completely new in the world of coaching. We are preparing to lead a new coaching generation, and I am convinced that this kind of program will become compulsory for every coach in the next 20 years. The confrontations and the challenges it offers you is beautiful. I’m a better coach if I know who I am and what I am capable of”.