Almost a year after retiring from football, former England defender Anita Asante said transitioning into coaching has been an "eye-opening" experience.
The 37-year-old called time on her playing career last spring after 19-years at the top of women's football.
She then joined Women's Championship side Bristol City as a first-team coach last summer.
The team are top of the second tier as they aim to win promotion back to the Women's Super League.
"It's easy as a player to turn up, drills are set up for you, coaches tell you what to do, everything is prepared in a way for you," Asante told BBC Sport.
"Now to see on the other side of it what it takes, all the energy and time and commitment that all the staff put in to try and support the players in their personal goals, as well as their collective goals, has been really eye-opening as well for me."
Asante won 71 England caps and also represented Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympic Games. At Arsenal she was part of the side that won a historic quadruple in 2007, winning five league titles and four FA Cups in all before spending time playing in the United States and Sweden.
Despite all her experience as a player, working on the other side of the pitch has been a challenge Asante said has pushed her out of her comfort zone.
"There's so many decisions that go into deciding the way we play, the personnel that play," she said.
"It takes a lot of brainpower, it's a lot of time commitment because there's a lot of video analysis that goes in the game today - as well as the sports science side where you're having to incorporate training plans with the team, as well to make sure the players are getting the right amount of time on the pitch and loading, and all those sorts of things.
"But really you're working towards making individuals better within a group environment, so that's the other challenge - making sure everyone can get what they need in terms of their personal development while also focusing on the team.
"That's been the part that's really been the biggest learning curve, it's how to put all these pieces together and make sure that they sing and they sing in the right way.
"It's also the fun bit, to see it come together and see us work collectively - as well as we have done across this season."
Football Focus: Anita Asante on starting her coaching career at Bristol City
Many footballers struggle with retirement, having known nothing but the structure and routine being a professional sportsperson offers.
For Asante, who joined Arsenal as a youth player and made her international debut aged 19, having plans to go into coaching helped ease the uncertainty of the transition.
"If you're someone that's been in the game as long as I have, when you have that structure in your life from the early ages - from 14 through to my 30s - then you really understand why transition can be so hard because that's really made up so much of my identity," Asante said.
"That's the difficult thing to separate yourself from you the player.
"But once I knew that this was something I was going to step into, as well as all the media stuff I was doing, it helped me to see myself outside of the playing environment to work in other spaces with other people, in a different world and different work capacity."
Asante completed her UEFA B coaching licence with the Football Association of Wales and it was there that she met Robins head coach Lauren Smith, who acted as her mentor on the programme.
It helped make Bristol City an obvious fit for her first role on the touchline.
As a former centre-back Asante predominantly works with the Robins defenders, but on the flipside also helps the strikers.
"We have a very young team, I think we have the second youngest team in the Championship, but now it's also developing that leadership side of it where they can take initiative, they can be proactive, they can read danger earlier and organise the players in front of them," she said.
"That's been the part that I've enjoyed because that's what I've experienced across the game as well."
Asante's dream is to coach at her beloved former club Arsenal, where she won a historic quadruple in 2007
There are only four games left of the season, with Bristol City six points clear at the top of the Championship after their win at Southampton on Saturday.
Having finished second in the table last season, securing top spot and a return to the WSL two years after relegation would cap an impressive first coaching season for Asante.
"It would be fantastic, that would be the icing on the cake for everyone in the club because I've seen how hard everyone from the top of the club, through every tier of the club, has worked to try and put Bristol on the map again, especially in the women's game," she said.
"It would just be great to get a club in the West Country in the top division."
Asante laughs when asked whether coaching at former club Arsenal is still her ultimate dream.
"You've always got to have big goals," she said with a smile.
"At the moment I'm completely invested and focused on Bristol, and what we can achieve this season."