Christophe Berra: The Path Ahead
At the age of 37, Football Careers client Christophe Berra stands at the crossroads that will decide the direction he takes in the next part of his career.
His boots are hung up and now the former Hearts, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Ipswich Town central defender must find the right pathway to continue progressing in the game he loves. In a fascinating episode of our exclusive series, Christophe writes about his thoughts on what you should do when you quit playing, his thirst for knowledge and what he would do differently given his time again.
By Christophe Berra
Burst the Player Bubble.
What do I mean by that? Well, when you are playing you have more time to develop as a football person than you think and many of us don’t use it wisely enough. There were times for sure in my life when I lived in that Player Bubble.
I was at Ipswich Town for four years, staying there on my own, and I remember sitting some afternoons when I was done training and thinking that I should be involved with the youth teams. Yet I didn’t push myself forward, I just eased back into the Player Bubble and thought only about that.
Looking back that was a missed opportunity to make better use of the time I had on my hands. So now that my playing days are behind me and I am ready to make my mark as a coach, I value every minute I can spend on improving the package I can offer employers: from education to learning the vital skill of networking.
Knowledge, leadership, and networking
I did a diploma in Applied Football Management at Napier University in Edinburgh and I am also studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Enterprise in Sport.
I’ve looked at areas like leadership and how to cope with pressure and I have enjoyed testing myself like that. I have thought about a future in America one day and I know that many clubs, universities or franchises there look for a degree in your background.
I have taken advice from those I respect within the game too because it is easy to be scattergun in your approach to applying for jobs. I’ve got different skill sets now but if I’m going to go down another route away from coaching then I feel I have to fully commit to that route.