Songmi Kim moved from South Korea to England to pursue a career in football
- Monday 8 March is International Women’s Day
- Find out more about Songmi Kim and her role in Town’s Academy
- Advice for all women who want a career in football
On International Women’s Day, we thought we’d shine a light on Academy Physical Performance Coach Songmi Kim and discuss her role at Huddersfield Town.
Originally from South Korea, Songmi (Song) moved to England to pursue a career in football. Currently doing her PhD at the same time, Song’s role sees her focus on the use of GPS data to ensure that the Young Terriers can continue their physical development in the best possible way.
“I’m doing a PhD about the peak demands of football matches and training.
“This links with my role at Huddersfield, which is analysing and interpreting GPS data we gain daily from training and matches, so I can inform coaches and other performance staff about how we can prepare players and maximise players’ development from a physical perspective, at the same time, reduce the injury risks.”
Song switched to the Physical Performance side of football having worked in the rehab side in Korea.
“I have worked with a lot of injured players while working as a rehab coach, and I saw most of players got injured on the pitch, not from elsewhere. I wanted to help them more proactively, rather than helping players after they get injured.
“There are a number of factors to it, but one of the biggest things is their training load on the pitch. So, I thought understanding the training load is important and GPS data could be the one which can provide such information. If that information is interpreted properly, then it can contribute to design training practice and to optimise player development.”
Song’s role sees her work with a range of people at Canalside, so what does her average day look like?
“In the morning we have a meeting amongst all Academy Physical and Medical staff to go through all the players and we then communicate with the coaches about the training session elements. It varies day by day, on a regular day, I lead the pre-activation in the gym before we go out, and warm up on the pitch to get the lads ready for the session. After training, I provide a training report and go through it with the coaches and other performance staff.”
Song was also quick to highlight her favourite part of the job as Academy Physical Performance Coach!
“When I see that the players are really developing. Especially with young lads, we can already see how far they’ve developed in terms of physicality and match performance.
“I also like that all staff really want to develop players, to improve our practice and to give what players need. There’s no right or wrong, we always try to give the best as a team to develop our lads.”
It’s still quite rare to find women working in Song’s particular role. She went on to discuss how if it’s what you want to do, you shouldn’t hold back.
“I don’t think gender really matters.”
“Sometimes I have difficulties to work in this environment, but I think everyone has difficulties and challenges throughout their career. The only thing that matters is what you want to do. If you love football and want to work in football, all you need to do is just go for it. There shouldn’t be any reason to put yourself down as you’re a female.”
If you’re aspiring to get into a similar industry, Song has some words of advice for you!
“Keep trying! If you know that it’s what you want to do, then keep going for it and believe in yourself. Encourage yourself and be positive!”
Town’s U17s side will be back in action on Tuesday 9 March 2021 as they take on Mansfield Town at Canalside! The behind-closed-doors Youth Alliance fixture will kick-off at 11am.