- Kuba Machowina: How did You start Your adventure with football?
Tim Bishop: My coaching career started about 10 years ago. I played in high school football in New Jersey, planned on playing in college but was stopped by injuries. So I’ve contacted a bunch of high schools and one coach gave me a chance. I trained O-Line, D-Line, and other formations. After this I found a school in New York and joined one in The Bronx. I was an offensive coordinator there for four years.
It was a good source of knowledge for me, because i trained various kids, some of them were speaking only spanish, not English, so it was a bit like Europe (laugh).
My next step was to make research about football in the world. I created a profile on Europlayers and they helped me make some contacts. That is how i joined a team in Italy. It was 3rd division, nine-man football. It was rough experience, sometimes we trained on sand fields (laugh).
Then i came back to USA for a few months, but later went to Spain. Everything was ok, but suddenly one week before season start they’ve told me: „We got no money” so i had to find another job (laugh). I made a few calls to friends of mine and eventually I got connected with a team in Poland, Opole.
- KM: Why did You choose football?
TB: When i was kid, i was watching football on tv. Football was always present in my home. I started playing when i was 4 or 5 years old, tackle football since i was 8 or 9. I played every position (laugh). When i was young i was bigger than everybody, but in high school everyone got tall, except… me (laugh). I played O-Line, D-Line, Receiver, Tight End, everywhere…
- KM: How can You describe the difference between Italian, Spanish and polish football? What about players?
TB: I think there are similarities and differences between all players in Europe. In Italy, my experience was at the 3rd division so the level of play was very low, Spain was a bit more „pass happy” football. Poland is much more balanced. It is a much more physical game then in Italy or Spain.
About players – in Italy and Spain they have problems with O-Line and D-Line, it’s hard to find quality guys for these positions. But in Poland and northern European countries, we have more big guys than in southern Europe. In Spain we had maybe 5 O-Line players on the whole team… (laugh).
- KM: What did You think about Poland when You decided to come here? Did You know anything about our country?
TB: I was already in Europe, at the time I was looking for a job anywhere in Europe, after Spain. I took the opportunity and come here. My grandmother was Polish from Kraków, so i’m a quarter Polish. But my parents were born in the USA, so i didn’t know much about Polish culture.
- KM: You are a Head Coach of a new club that is trying to build the franchise and it will be club’s 2nd season in the league. What does it mean for You? What are the goals?
TB: Goals are always the same – make players better than they were before you came. Focus on how to improve our team week by week. Of course in the big picture you want to win every game, but you have to focus on the details – how to make every guy better after every practice and find ways to keep your team hungry and motivated.
- KM: Do You plan to bring more new players? Maybe imports?
TB: Definitely. We want to bring in as many good many players as we can. It’s natural you want to improve Your team all the time.
- KM: Is it hard to be the head coach of a football team?
TB: There are many things to manage. The most important one is people – You have to manage people and personalities. To find ways for everybody to coexist together. You have a lot of aspects which have nothing to do with the field. My main objective is to always keep everyone motivated and focused on working together for one common goal.
- KM: Dragons joined newly formed Związek Futbolu Amerykańskiego w Polsce. What do You think about the new association because those polish football associations change practically every year or two?
TB: That’s the problem (laugh), I really like Dawid Biały, he has an unbiased approach and thinks primarily about what is best for every team rather than investors who control teams. He’s a proper person as a commissioner. He loves football in general and he wants all the best for football in Poland.
- KM: What are Your coaching role models, that You try to follow? What’s your favourite NFL team?
TB: I’m from New Jersey so my favorite guy is Bill Parcells, former Giants HC. His style is similar to mine – tell the truth, don’t beat around the bush, very upfront. Tell Your team what it takes to win and exactly what you want out of each individual player.
I was born 20 minutes’ drive away from Giants stadium so that’s my team! My favorite players were Lawrence Taylor, Phil Simms. Actually, i met Phil Simms, so maybe that’s why i like him (laugh).
- KM: Do You plan to stay in Poland for a longer period?
TB: I’m really committed to the Dragons project. I want to build a solid foundation here and if i feel we can keep building a program that gets progressively better year by year, there will be no reason for me to leave.
- KM: What are the goals for Your career?
TB: I am realistic. I am incredibly happy that i can work and do what i really love. There are not many jobs in the world and in the USA where You can be only a full-time football coach. I am happy and thankful I can coach football full-time. And i want to build a winning team in Wieliczka.
- KM: What is Your coaching philosophy?
TB: I believe in keeping all schematics, fundamentals, and techniques that we teach very simple and concise. Put players in positions where they can be successful. I think it is important to study every single player, figure out what they do well, what they don’t do well. It is not about the positions, it’s about certain tasks on the field. It is like a puzzle – put every piece in the right place.
During practices we work on the same kind of drills over and over. You don’t have to teach 30 different drills/techniques – You need only a few, but well trained which translates on the field during games. Everything comes down to keeping simple what we teach and execute during the game. That’s the recipe for the success.
Some players might not like it, but everyone must understand his role and understand that we do this only because we want to win football games. It’s a coaches job to convince players to accept their roles and explain to them how that role is important to team success.
- KM: What do you like to do in Your free time?
TB: My wife and I like to explore new places, visit museums, try different cuisine. We enjoy travelling, taking pictures etc.