Daniel Sherman graduated from Caulfield Grammar in 2018 after beginning his journey at just 3 years old at Malvern Campus. Sport was pivotal in shaping Daniel’s time at school; many of the key moments he still reminisces about today stem from his joy of playing sports and the friendships he formed while doing so.
Life after school:
Post high school life was nothing short of surprising for Dan as his eighteen-year-old understanding of what people do next was completely mistaken. I thought “people take a year off, travel, work full-time, study part-time, change degrees, study for a certification, and study abroad”. “All of those pathways are respected… myself and others thought it would be a more straight forward path following school.”
After graduating, Daniel went straight to Deakin University to complete an Exercise and Sport Science degree. His time at Deakin was nothing short of incredible as it gave him exposure to environments and situations that he had never experienced before.
Daniel completed work placements at the Caulfield Grammarians Football Club, ACE Performance and the Hawthorn Football Club. Opportunities at each of these unique workspaces allowed Dan to understand more about career pathways and how to navigate the sporting world. “I’ve also had to make sacrifices, moving away from playing football to coaching was challenging but the education and experience side is unmatched. This opens up more opportunities within coaching.”
The real world:
Stepping into the real world after school is always challenging as the expectation to complete study and secure a full-time job looms over many young adults. There were critical steps that allowed Dan to not only find exposure in his field, but also to develop more as a person and analyst. “I can be very introverted and enjoy allowing others to speak and happily stand at the back, but I’ve found that those people at the front speaking, are the ones continually exposing themselves, speaking to the right people, getting to know them, and pushing forward in their career.”
Whilst being front and centre during his time playing for Caulfield Grammar at school, Dan now finds some of the most interesting parts being behind-the-scenes. “To the naked eye sport and certainly, game day, can seem very straightforward as it’s repeated each week, but there is so much work under the surface. Coordinating roles, preparing what to say, preparing visuals for players, understanding conditions, navigating stipulations with umpires, developing a training plan, setting up drills etc. As a player, it is very easy to turn up and listen to the coach and execute their ideas. But the ideas themselves are very intricate and are developed in advance, with a deeper meaning that is sometimes straightforward yet planned and thought out in advance.”
Working with the Caulfield Grammarians:
Being able to coach and develop relationships with players and support staff is Dan’s favourite thing about coaching at Caulfield Grammar. Although he wishes the season would run longer, Dan hopes to spread his wings further and gain a year-round role in football. In 5-10 years’ time Dan sees himself coaching or working in an analyst role, although he currently does not picture himself wanting to work anywhere else!
Coaching is very much a competitive environment and in future Dan would like to see the industry step away reducing the ability of a coach purely to the number of years spent coaching and the overall age of a coach. He believes if you have a true passion and a drive to succeed, you can be successful at anything. Having a pathway for younger coaches would create an amazing pool of unstoppable upcoming leaders.
Over the next few years, Dan hopes to build his own skills as a coach, learning more in order to progress further along the pathway. Practising addressing adverse situations like losing a game or the ability to connect with a particular group will be integral for his development. “I want to be exposed beyond my comfort zone as a coach in order to expand it, uncovering different scenarios and understanding how to traverse them and better handle them for next time. From a coaching standpoint and a life standpoint also.”
If there was any advice Dan would give to his younger self, it would be to give everything a go! Whether something is uncool or not in your desired area of work or study, it is so important to grasp any experience.
“School life is incredibly short; you’d be kidding yourself for not appreciating the opportunities around you.”.