Dacia Vienna Vikings OC Max Kössler set to speak at European Coaches Convention

The European Coaches Convention is only a couple of days away, November 6-7 in Berlin, Germany, and the list of speakers includes record-setting assistant head coach and offensive coordinator of the Dacia Vienna Vikings, Max Kössler.

The 35-year-old Kössler just finished his fifth year running the offense for the Vikings and under him, Vienna led the Austrian Football League in scoring, rushing and total offense in 2021. He was also the offensive coordinator for the Vikings during their record setting 2017 national championship season when the team averaged 512.2 yards and 50 points per game, leading the country in every statistical category. He is also Team Austria’s wide receivers coach and video coordinator.

In 2016, he served as an offensive assistant and wide receivers coach at Los Angeles Valley College and the following year he worked as a quality control and assistant tight ends coach at UC Davis. The versatile Kössler is the athletic director and coach with the Vienna Vikings Football Academy while also coaching the offense and wide receivers for the Vienna Vikings B team as well as a multitude of Vikings youth teams. Under his tutelage, tight end Bernard Raimann (now left tackle) received a full scholarship at Central Michigan while wide receiver Bernhard Seikovits was eventually picked up by the Arizona Cardinals of the NFL after being selected for the NFL International Player Pathway program.

Kössler played for the Vienna Vikings from 2006 until 2013 winning four national championships including the 2013 unbeaten season when the team went 15-0 and captured both the Austrian Bowl as well as the Euro Bowl titles.

We asked Max about his views on building a successful team and developing talent.

AFI: What are the keys to building a winning team?

Kössler: There are a lot of factors that play a major role in building a winning team, but one of the biggest is getting everybody aligned – players, coaches, staff everyone has to be on the same page. It’s not only about football, but also about getting the best out of the people around you, by giving your best. Every person has their role and responsibility and has to meet a common standard of performance. Once this is understood and everyone is working on becoming the best version of themselves – success becomes a matter of time.

AFI: How can teams best develop young talent?

Kössler: I believe in the proper development of fundamentals on the field as, well as in the gym and classroom. The Vikings Football Academy and Youth program is built on a culture that is focused on these core fundamentals, as well as having a positive influence on the development of our players character and personality. When adversity hits you either raise or fall to the level of your training, that’s why we give extra effort to ensure that our players can thrive in situations, where others might crumble.

AFI: Why did you choose to take part in the convention?

Kössler: I chose to be part of the convention, because it’s a great opportunity to connect with other likeminded coaches to support the growth of the game in Europe. I’m looking forward to exchange knowledge gained over the years and to picking the brain of fellow coaches. There’s always room for improvement.

AFI: What is the one thing you would tell young coaches?

Kössler: Always keep learning, there’s always room for improvement and there are plenty opportunities to learn new things and new or different ways to teach stuff you already know. The moment you think you know it all, is the moment you stop progressing.  Ask the questions you have, even if that means you have to get out of your comfort zone. Instead of trying to be like somebody else develop your own way of coaching and be your own best version of yourself.

AFI: What does coaching mean to you?

Kössler: Coaching is a huge part of my life. It has taught and still teaches me many valuable lessons. Besides all the competition, the X’s and O’s, techniques etc. what really sticks out to me are the relationships that are formed. The trust that is built through countless hours of working together to reach a common goal, pushing someone past their limits and showing them a version of themselves they didn’t know existed. I have always loved to work with people and support them in the pursuit of their goals. It’s very satisfying to see when them put the tools you taught them to use and are finding success doing so, no matter if it’s on or off the field.

Max Kössler is scheduled to speak on Saturday, November 6 at 11 am.

For more information on the European Coaches Convention click here.

You can also check out the ECC Facebook page.

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