Why Rotherham United striker Jamie Proctor hopes his new coaching academy will boost his playing career

Rotherham striker Jamie Proctor hopes setting up a new coaching academy will help him rebuild his career on the pitch.

Thursday, 17th September 2020, 10:59 am

Proctor is only 28 but is keen to have plans in place for when his career ends and has supplemented degrees in sports journalism and business by offering tailored coaching sessions to kids.

He has had plenty of time to consider what life after football may have in store for him after spending much of the last three years battling serious knee and hip injuries.

And now that his coaching academy is up and running – offering sessions in Rotherham and Preston – Proctor thinks that will benefit him at the Millers.

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“This is the best I have felt in terms of my knee for three years,” he told the Star after setting up JP Pro Coaching.

“I definitely think because the pressure is off with the football because I have got other things going on elsewhere I think that has definitely helped with my football so as long as I can keep on the right track then it will all be positive.

“The coaching has taken a little bit of pressure off in terms of enjoying something else away from football.

“We can get so wrapped up in it and it does take over your life and if you're not careful you can end up in a hole with nothing else to focus on.

Rotherham striker Jamie Proctor hopes setting up a new coaching academy will help him rebuild his career on the pitch. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

“If you have a bad week or a bad result it takes over your life. I think you have to have the balance of things off the field to take your mind off things.

“It was important for me to do something with my time.”

Proctor also has a unique selling point, offering kids the chance to be coached by him one day and see him scoring the next.

“With my profile as a professional footballer, there isn't a lot of that out there,” he added.

“There are a lot of ex-players doing it, all the club academies, but there aren't many current professional footballers coaching kids.

“They are always asking me about games and training. It's not like they know who I am, but it's the fact they know I am a footballer, they respect your advice and they have that relationship with you because they are looking to get where you are.

“My coaching is different to a lot of others, I like to think it's a lot more professional, private and more technical really.”

He has played only 23 times for the Millers since a terrible knee injury in 2017, but he has not set his academy up because he is thinking of retirement.

“It is getting things in line. I don't believe in finishing your football career and then saying, 'What's next'. I don't believe in that,” he said.

“I had managers who have told me to forget everything else and concentrate on my football and I don't believe in that one bit. That is where a lot of problems come from.”