Watch: The Practical Application of Essential Skills on the Road to Qatar

As the Socceroos continue their journey to the World Cup in 2026, FCA President, Podcaster and Socceroo #243, Gary Cole, caught up with Mike Conway for the Football Victoria Coaching Conference, held in December 2023. 

Watch the short 20- minute session titled “The Practical Application of Essential Skills on the Road to Qatar” to hear Mike Conway share his insights into what’s needed at any level of the game to create an environment where individuals and the team can thrive.

BPI - a new measure in elite athlete team selection

by Mike Conway

BPI Recruiting new team members is critical in a mission to achieve the highest levels of performance.  Whether you’re starting from scratch or adding to an existing team or in some cases having to redesign a current team, it’s the sweet spot. Yet, despite organisation leaders acknowledging this, and many technical directors of sports team’s claiming they have their recruitment processes “nailed”, choosing new team members is still left wanting.  Until now!   Over recent months, work has been undertaken in one sports code which may set the tone for helping choose athletes for the “draft.” A big-ticket item in many codes around the World.

Read the full article HERE

United, Sir Alex and Me - My life in Football

By Mike Conway

A look at Rene Meulensteen’s reflections on life and world class coaching. 

Read the article HERE

In the Media - FCA XV Essential Skills Author

Check out a collection of insights from EQ and Mind Coach Mike Conway

Mike played a key role as part of the Socceroos coaching team in the 2023 World Cup Campaign. We recognise that only a small percentage of coaches are employed on a full time basis and most have a professional or trade vocation. Mike’s work genuinely provides the opportunity for people from all walks of life to benefit and see improvement when applied. Rather than try to summarise key points, we’re sharing a few of the links to articles and radio interviews....

Attitudes, Behaviours, Beliefs and Values

We know the impact that Attitudes, Behaviours, Beliefs & Values can have on performance. Today is a great day to reflect on these and take action for improvement.

 Watch the engaging mini lecture from EQ and Mind Coach, Mike Conway HERE

Also - check out our current OFFERS for FCA XV Essential Skills - 4 Modules for only $140 (normally $149 EACH)


“I’ve spent some time reflecting on my experience in working with Graham Arnold, players and all the other staff involved in the 2022 World Cup Campaign and why we were successful.  From my point of view, the answer lies in the deep connection, cohesion, trust, and commitment of those involved together with the incredible energy of support which we felt throughout the campaign. It was the same during my tenure at Sydney FC with 5 trophies won in 3 years,” says Conway.  

“I’m now even more convinced that when we’re all on the same page regarding emotional intelligence, communication, culture, roles and relationships, amazing things can happen. So, we’re offering this new initiative, at a cost- effective price for coaches and no additional charge for players,” adds Conway of his FIFA World Cup 2022 experience.

A new initiative, available from today at the FCA XV College provides discounted access to the “Winning Minds Team Package” where coaches and their players will be able to learn, grow, develop, and apply the principles of Essential Skills for individual and team success. 

For only $140 any community or accredited coach who signs up to the “Winning Minds Package” at Football Coaches Australia and XVenture College, will get access to modules in emotional intelligence, leadership, culture, and communication. Then 16 players (or parents) from their team, will be provided free access to the Foundation program of 20 subjects.  The complete package is valued at $2890. 


For each completed Module, coaches will also receive 30 CPD points towards license re-validation, that’s up to 120 CPD in total.


Read the full announcement HERE or sign up HERE today

Read: Dealing with the Young Mind

By Mike Conway

“….As a coach, can you help to build the idea that there are significant steps that will lead to improvement, which if built into habit will lead to greater growth and more improvement?

Some will get it quicker than others of course but if we’re not careful the Craig Johnstons, the Robbie Slaters and the Nobby Stiles’ will be missed. They were in the pack but were encouraged on their journeys and grabbed the idea of the 3 Ds -Direction; decision; dedication (as referenced in activity 1.11). 

Can you, coach, do this? Can you encourage your players to try out new things? Encourage them to explore? Can you give them fresh things to look at which can help them on their path, so their hardware is fit and ready to grab all the opportunities that come their way? 

Young people can and will respond to important people in their life. Communicating, listening, sharing, sacrificing. They can and will learn this from you if you commit and give them the time….”


Graham Arnold: Australia's Most Successful Coach (Part 1, 2, 3 and 4)

a biography by Mike Conway, written 7 days prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup

A powerful, honest and raw insight to the man who led the Socceroos to a 5th consecutive World Cup and culminated in the most successful World Cup result Australia has ever seen. 

Meet the man who against all odds and often against strong opposition, prevailed under the toughest of circumstances. Also included - stats that will blow your mind. Love him or loathe him - this story inspires so have a read. 

Written by our CEO Mike Conway who’s been part of the 7 year journey.





Podcast: Pre AUS vs DEN World Cup Match

Gary Cole is with Mike Conway who shares his insights from within the Socceroos Qatar Camp ahead of their final group stage match.Ck k

Click HERE to tune in....

Podcast: AUS vs Tunisia Pre Match Podcast from "Creating Winning Minds in Qatar"

Gary Gole with Mike Conway - Pre Match Exclusive

Check out the Podcast HERE

Podcast: Creating Winning Minds in Qatar

Gary Cole with Mike Conway. Pre-Match Exclusive.

Check out the Podcast HERE

FCA XV Essential Skills modules pave way to Master's Degree with Global Institute of Sport

As part of XVenture’s new three-way alliance with GIS and Football Coaches Australia, anyone that has completed at least one of the Essential Skills modules will receive consideration onto a GIS master’s degree .

Read the full story HERE

It's Not WHAT You Communicate - It's HOW

by Mike Conway

This week we’ve pulled an excerpt from Mike Conway’s article “The Class of ’92 – Great Teamwork Applied” which is included in the FCA XV Essential Skills Program.

“My interest in Benjamin and Gabe Turner’s documentary “The Class of 92" (Doyen Group 2013) is not just a one eyed single dimensional fanaticism, glowing over the sense of pride and belonging in seeing and hearing the extraordinary story of a group of young lads that Sir Alex Ferguson and his head of youth coaching, Eric Harrison had masterly pulled together. My interest and curiosity has also to do with the lessons we can take, if any, on how to foster and build a great team culture. Having now watched the movie some ten times, all my analysis confirms there are many. The documentary is a rich lesson for any organisation attempting to foster great teamwork…..”

Read the full excerpt HERE

Watch: Attitudes, Behaviours, Beliefs and Rituals

Straight from Module 4 of the FCA XV Essential Skills Program, we bring you a video providing case studies and contemporary research on both the positive, and negative yet very significant impact of attitudes, behaviours, beliefs and rituals.

Watch the video written and directed by Mike Conway, emotional agility and mind coach, HERE

Watch: Love of the Game

Reflections from those who've helped shape the Australian Footballing landscape

Why did you become a coach? What has been your journey? 

This week, we wanted to share a video with you where some of Australia’s most influential coaches, players and media personalities share their reflections and how the love of football shaped their lives.

“For the Love of the Game” may provide you, or others with inspiration to continue your journey and look for opportunities to become even better on and off the pitch.

Watch it HERE

Improve Team Performance On the Pitch and Give Your Team a Healthier Life

With focus and attention, your team will perform at higher levels. So, what protocols can you (and will you) put in place to achieve this and as a by-product help your team lead a healthier life?

 Perhaps you can apply some of the same principles in your team, that the most ‘tuned in’ organisations are using with their people in the quest to defining: ‘Good mobile phone etiquette’.

Click HERE to check out some of these principles and perhaps integrate them, or a variation of your own into your team’s culture. 


Podcast: Creating a Winning Culture

A case study from outside of football

As the countdown is on to the World Cup, this week we’re putting a spotlight on one of the subjects from the Culture Module in the FCA XV Essential’s Skills Program.

Mike Conway, (who is currently in camp with the Socceroos) shares his observations of Winning Culture’s from outside of Football. As a coach, we encourage you to take inspiration both from within, and from outside of the game.

Mike recounts a personal experience of meeting one of America’s most successful individuals, Mark Cuban and other stories.

Tune in here.....

Announcement: Three-way global alliance set to take Australian football coaches and analysts to a new level

Thursday 8th September 2022

A new global partnership designed to take Australian football coaches and analysts to a new level of excellence was jointly announced today.

Read the media release HERE

Podcast: 3 Key Areas to Work on for 10% Improvement

This week we’re delighted to provide you access to a session Mike Conway originally delivered live to an elite football team, and subsequently recorded as a podcast.

We think you’ll find the 3 key areas of focus he references valuable, and ones you could share with your own team for up to 10% improvement across all areas of life.

Click HERE to listen to the Podcast 

Visualisation for High Performance

by Mike Conway, Emotional Agility and Mind Coach, Socceroos

Visualization is spoken of often in elite sport. However, few know how it works and how to get the best out of the technique. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines visualisation as:

“The formation of mental visual images and the act or process of interpreting in visual terms or of putting into visible form”

I like to think of it as creating an experience so rich it feels real.

Mike’s article titled “Visualisation for High Performance” will provide you with five steps of visualisation and provide research and examples of elite sports people using this powerful process.

Read it here....

Watch: Socceroos Mind Coach on Emotional Agility, Resilience & Leadership

There’s a simple tool the Socceroos Emotional and Mind Coach, Mike Conway, uses in his work with elite athletes (including Socceroos), teams, coaches and business leaders that provides a significant step towards Performance Improvement and success.

In a short 3 minute clip, Mike shares the key aspects of the EARL Measure and invites anyone who is interested, free access to complete the Measure and get their results immediately with simple tips to make improvements.

Watch the video HERE

Watch: Focus & Attention

Perspectives from outside of Football

This week, from the team that created the FCA XV Essential Skills Program comes a 3 minute video featuring leaders from outside of football sharing their insights on the importance of “Focus and Attention”. 

Given many of you are also leaders outside of your coaching role, we thought you might find this valuable, and likely to also provide additional inspiration for your game.

Watch HERE

Podcast: From Sydney FC to the Socceroos

From the FCA XV Essential Skills Program Module 2: Leadership. Mike Conway on working with Graham Arnold and key leadership moments.

This week we thought it would be fitting to share access to a podcast from the FCA XV Essential Skills Leadership Module titled “Case Study: From Sydney FC to the Socceroos”. The emotional agility and mind coach of the Socceroos, Mike Conway, provides his insights and shares his experiences from working with Graham Arnold.

“A key question that is often asked of me is: how did Sydney FC be so successful in 2016/17 and continued so for 4 years and at the time of writing, still going strong?  In a salary cap environment, the team has been a dominating force in the professional game in Australia.  There are many reasons connected to this but for this podcast, we will concentrate on one: leadership.”

Click HERE to listen to the podcast

Podcast: Mike Conway - Socceroos EQ & Mental Agility Coach

Four years in the making....Look at Australian Head Coach Graham Arnold and EQ & Mental Agility Mike Conway on the 14th of June 2022 - celebrating Australia's Qualification for the FIFA 2022 World Cup.

Find out how it all started... Tune in to the podcast from 2019 with Michael Zappone and Ben O’Neill ahead of the Asian Cup Quarter Final where Mike Conway shares his journey of working with Graham Arnold, since their time together at Sydney FC, and find out what the Socceroos Emotional Agility and Mind Coach actually does.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO LISTEN ON FACEBOOK (skip to 12:10 minutes for Mike's piece)

Many of the subjects, tools and techniques included in the FCA XV Essential Skills Program Mike puts into practice in his work. So, if you’re reading this, as an FCA XV Essential Skills coach, you’re on a great path!

Haven't signed up yet - go for it - you'll become more successful on and off the pitch.

Tools used by an Emotional Agility and Mind Coach

Emotional agility and mind coach, Mike Conway, shares some tools he has used in football.  

“Over the years, I have employed a huge number of techniques and approaches at different times when working with individuals and teams in elite sport and business.. Basket one are those that have been formally studied and learned over many years. A second basket are those that have been obtained through knowledge sharing with some wonderful like-minded people. A third basket are personal techniques that have emerged over many years’ experience. 

Whilst not exhaustive, tools include:

anchoring; attitude and belief strategies; body language analytics; communication patterns and modalities; cbt; counselling; EQ and resilience improvement strategies; experiential team and learning programs ; hypnotherapy; language management assessments and development; leadership models and principles; mindfulness; negative emotion reframing neuro leadership principles of goal setting; neurolinguistics; parralaxology; past regression; positive psychology programs; relationship strategies; risk management and decision making; strategic psychotherapy, thankful and grateful programs.”

Click HERE to read the full excerpt from the article "The Application and Results of EQ and Mental Coaching Techniques"

Read: Trust & Oxytocin – the secret ingredient in successful teams

By Mike Conway

This week, we’ve published an excerpt of an article Mike Conway wrote in 2018 (The Application and Results of EQ & Mental Coaching Techniques) about how a focus on increasing the hormone Oxytocin can increase levels of Trust in individuals and teams. Ultimately this increase leads to improved individual and team performance.

Check out the excerpt here...

Watch: Gain insight on how to develop your mind for greater success on an off the pitch

We’re proud to provide all coaches with access to an exclusive 3- minute mini-lecture from Mike Conway, Founder & CEO of XVenture and the emotional agility and Mind coach of the Socceroos.

Click below, sit back, relax and prepare to gain unique insight on how you can develop your own mind for greater success, on and off the pitch. 

(Below the video is a link to the referenced EARL Measure which you can complete yourself for a personal snapshot.)


Read: Creating a Caring Environment

In any team or organisation, culture is the fundamental building block which can lead to success, or become the biggest hurdle in obtaining greatness.

This interactive ebook is valuable for anyone committed to creating a caring culture for their team and their organisation, from grassroots to elite – both in sport and in business.

This subject comes from the "Culture" module in the FCA XV Essential Skills Program and we're making it accessible for free for a limited time.

Simply sign up for free access HERE.

Watch: How reframing failure can lead to success

One of the realities of life is whilst there are plenty of triumphs, there are just as many times when things do go as planned. It’s in those times when coaches are looked to for leadership by their players, their colleagues and the wider club community.

So, how do you deal with failure? What are some of the ways you can overcome failure quickly and turn failure into learning for future success?

Click here to watch emotional agility and mind coach Mike Conway share his insights....

Club and Coach Sponsorship

During March and April, Football Coaches Australia and XVenture are providing a $100 discount to any coach who signs up to the FCA XV Essential Skills Program AND their club also receives a $100 cash sponsorship.

Click here to get the discount code and details...

Watch: Oberservations on People with a Winning Mind

Ever wondered what it means to have a Winning Mind? What is that people with a Winning Mind have in common.

Click HERE to watch the video featuring Mike Conway providing his observations.

Podcast: How emotional agility helps boost our physical performance

Sports teams are perhaps the epitome of high performance. Athletes who perform at the highest level are synonymous with superior physical skills and prowess, but how much of this is also down to the brain?

Click here to listen to a podcast on the topic.

Listen: A Major Opportunity for Improvement

Deal with Sleep Deprivation by Achieving Rest Excellence

Listen in to Mike Conway, Founder and CEO of XVenture as he shares his insights and experience in working with elite individuals, with a focus on rest excellence. Getting into the habit of good rest, will lead to better performance in all areas of your life.

Click here to listen in...

Inspire FC Conference: New Speaker Announcement: Mike Conway

Tune in and access world class coach development opportunities.

The INSPIRE FC Coaching Conference 2022 aims to provide grassroots coaches access to world-class coach development opportunities, centred around the theme of ‘coaching to inspire a love of football’.

Mike Conway is one of the headlining speakers. 

Watch the clip to find out what Mike will be sharing in his session and then register below to join the full conference.


Revolutionary new partnership provides sports focused young people with credit towards bachelor’s degree

Sydney, Thursday 10th February 2022

In a landmark partnership between Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE), Football Coaches Australia (FCA) and XVenture, young people can now access and gain a credit towards a selection of ACPE Undergraduate Bachelors’ Degrees with the completion of a unique and immersive new virtual reality- based program.

Read the full article here

Read: Achieving 5-10% improvement is easier than you think

As pre-season is about to kick off (or already has) with many of our community clubs around the country, we asked championship winning emotional agility and mind coach, Mike Conway the question “Is it possible to improve individual and team performance by 5-10% from one week to another?”

This was a leading question as we know that Mike has been able to achieve this with two A-League teams he has worked with. Mike’s remedy is certainly not just for the elite, in fact, it’s one which would bring many parents of teens and young people much joy.

Check out Mike’s tips here.....

Read: Fast Track Mindfulness & Other Techniques

Click here to keep reading....

Article: The Class of '92

This week, check out an article inspired by the documentary of the same name which explores the factors which make teams successful. Mike combines contemporary thinking on teams, science and cleverly connects it to some of the most successful teams of all time. 

There is something to learn from this piece for a coach of any level.

Read the article

Watch: Healthy Mind Platter - a tool for optimising the mind

Welcome to 2022!

To help you kick off a more successful 2022, we thought you may find this short video from emotional agility and mind coach, Mike Conway, helpful. He shares a simple model on how we can use time and manage time in our day to optimise the mind and achieve high levels of wellbeing.  

“The Healthy Mind Platter” developed by Dr Dan Siegel and Dr David Rock suggests seven essential mental activities to optimise the mind and create well-being.  Guess what? They all relate to time and like all good models - simple to understand but often harder to implement. 

Sit back, relax and enjoy this short video....

Watch: The Love of the Game

December 2021

For many people, this time of year is a time for reflection, possibly more so this year than others. For all of us, the game we love has been impacted in so many ways… and for those at national and international levels, this continues on. We wish all those in the A-League, W-League and playing for national sides all the best in navigating the ongoing challenges.

We thought it an appropriate time to share this little clip – some of Australia’s most recognised football coaches, administrators and media personalities share their reflections on how they got into the world game and what they love about it. Perhaps this will encourage your own reflection and inspire you for the future.

Tune in, sit back and relax whilst watching “The love of the Game” featuring Phil Moss, Graham Arnold, Rene Meulensteen, Tom Smithies, Mike Conway, Heather Garriock and more. 

Article: The application and results of EQ & Mental Coaching Techniques

By Mike Conway, Emotional Agility & Mind Coach, Socceroos

In the last five years I have enjoyed working with some wonderful individuals and high performing teams from many walks of life: CEOs; executives from many industries both here and overseas; students; families; athletes from cricket; track and field; netball; rugby and soccer. On each occasion I have one goal: how do I help them lift the ceiling on their own performance.

I have been asked many times how do I decide what techniques to use and how do I apply them. After creating the XVenture Family Challenge TV Show in New Zealand where we worked with 16 families to help grow their emotional intelligence and resilience, it seemed a poignant moment to put a few thoughts together on this. 

Read the article here....

Article: New Research Finds Football Coaches are above average on leadership, empathy and social skills

By Mike Conway, Emotional Agility & Mind Coach, Socceroos

This week, Mike Conway, Creator of FCA XV Essential Skills, Emotional Agility and Mind Coach of the Socceroos has written an article based on on-going research connected to how high levels of emotional agility, resilience and leadership impact overall individual and team performance. The article “New Research finds Football Coaches are above average on leadership, empathy and social skills” focuses on a group of 60 coaches participating in the FCA XV Essential Skills Program.

Click here to read the article....

Article: The Healthy Mind Platter - a tool for Optimising the Mind

by Mike Conway, Emotional Agility & Mind Coach, Socceroos

I originally wrote this into my 10th week of lockdown and truthfully it was a challenge to keep my mind in a flexible, adaptable, energised and stable state throughout.

For those of you who’ve had the challenge of lockdown or quarantine or both, no doubt like me it may have affected your normal fitness regime and your overall wellbeing. That’s a given. But what about your fitness regime of the mind?

Sometimes I even lost coherence too and I slipped in and out of chaos and rigid thinking a number of times.  However, I do have a few tricks and tools to help me move forward as quick as possible in these moments.

Click to read the article

Content Spotlight: Dealing with Uncertainty

Featured in Module 5. Resilience

With millions of people around the Globe impacted by renewed waves of this pandemic, we wanted to contribute by sharing this content which you, or someone you know, may find helpful during this time.

The 14- minute video straight from the Resilience module features Mike Conway, sharing a mix of his own professional stories, coloured with contemporary theories and examples of how individuals and teams deal with (and sometimes thrive on) uncertainty. He encourages the viewer to reflect on how they can find ways to deal with uncertainty and help others do so too.

The Rolling Stones: By any measure, A truly great team

By Mike Conway. Published: 27th August 2021

This week my focus turned to another truly great team. The Rolling Stones. They have lost a key member, Charlie Watts who metaphorically and actively kept the beat of the team. I had the great fortune of playing guitar for their support act in a major festival in Hong Kong in 2005. A landmark memory for me.

How does your EARL compare to our Olympic athletes?

By Mike Conway. Published: 23rd July 2021

How do you think you compare to some of our Australian Olympians in some of the key areas of mental strength?