If anyone is qualified to comment on Mark Crossley's coaching credentials, it's Chesterfield legend and Sheffield Wednesday academy goalkeeping coach Tommy Lee.
The pair worked together for years, at Saltergate and the Proact.
Writing for the Derbyshire Times, Lee reveals what he took from the experience and how it's now impacting young keepers at Hillsborough.
Since retiring from the playing side of the game, crossing the white line and donning the initialled training kit I constantly ponder the question ‘what makes a good coach?’
It’s a question that can be answered a thousand different ways depending on who you are asking (and whereabouts their team sits in the table) but in my experience the best coaches I have worked with all shared the same qualities.
Experience of the game, knowledge of the position they are coaching and an understanding of the rigours of professional football, are right at the top of that list.
Not to mention the ability to put on a session.
But perhaps the most important quality a good coach needs is the ability to communicate that experience and knowledge and plant the seed to implement change, that might make a good player that little bit better.
There is no doubt Mark Crossley has all those qualities but his biggest strength in my opinion was the way he conveyed his vast experience to me and the other goalkeepers at Chesterfield and how he impressed his opinions on the lads he coached.
Over the years, working with Norm at the Proact, I don’t think he ever told me how I should be doing something, instead he would plant the seed and allow me to find the answers.
He created the perfect environment to learn and I never finished a training session with Norm feeling short changed or under cooked.
Through the sessions he planned and the information he gave he undoubtedly made me and plenty of other goalkeepers that little bit better, without us even knowing he was doing it at times.
I use plenty of the sessions that Norm developed with the players under my tutelage at SWFC and I try to impart my knowledge and experience in much the same way, wherever appropriate.
He knows what he was talking about, he knows what you needed to do to get better and crucially, he knows how to tell you.
If you weren’t learning and improving under Mark Crossley you were laughing and that’s why we enjoyed so much success together.