Back in March, former Bayern Munich midfielder Lena Lotzen announced that she was ending her playing career after suffering numerous leg injuries. Now, the once-promising player has decided the next step in her career is to enter the coaching ranks. Lotzen has been named as an assistant coach for Germany’s U-16 women’s national team.
Lotzen received her first coaching license during her playing career, according to national team sporting director Joti Chatzialexiou.
On dealing with the end of her playing career, Lotzen said, “I was able to use the past year quite well for this. Little by little, I had to accept that my body no longer allows football at this level.”
Lotzen experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows as a player. She believes that experience will help her as she moves into coaching.
“My experience as a player can be very important in this context. I noticed everything that an athlete’s life can consist of. I was at the top. I am European champion, German champion, DFB Cup winner. I took everything positive with me. But I also had to experience the negative side of sport because of my injuries. I fought for a long time to be able to access 100 percent again. Unfortunately, my body no longer allowed this to happen. That was a bitter realization. I will definitely be able to tell the young players that things don’t always go uphill, but that things can go in the wrong direction from time to time. The key is to stay on track and not give up too early.”
Lotzen was playing with the boys in her hometown of Würzburg all the way through the ages of 15 and 16. It wasn’t until she switched to Bayern that she was able to train with girls her own age. Lotzen knows the importance of training girls from the same age that boys get training.
“When I was 17 I switched to FC Bayern and played there with players my age. That was very important because otherwise I might have lost the fun. That was the first time I was confronted with topics such as healthy eating, psychological support or structured strength training. That could certainly have started three or four years earlier. And that’s exactly where we’re already starting by closely looking after the players.”
She also remembers the exact moment that she came to realize that football could not only be her favorite hobby, but it could become her profession if she worked hard enough.
“Extremely important. It was then that I developed the feeling for the first time that football might not just be a hobby, but that it could become my profession. Just one example: In my home club I had exactly one set of shirts. At the DFB we were fully equipped from top to bottom. I was already thinking: “Oh, amazing. This is a different world here.” That was an additional motivation for me and an extremely formative time. I wish every girl this experience. I would give these memories away for nothing.”
Lotzen is currently planning on being with Germany’s U-16 team for the next cycle of two years.