There is always a big discussion about the development age of players and the difficulty for smaller players in their age groups. Smaller players are often the ones left sitting on the subs bench, not because they weren’t skilful enough but because the other kid was much bigger and so the coach preferred him. MORE
Coaching the future
I was speaking to a dad who used to be a coach last week. He was saying he really missed the Saturday morning buzz, the one that gives us all a reason for getting up early at the weekends.
He was one of those dads who helped put the nets up and was always very keen to coach the ‘right way’. I always found it surprising that he would never go on a coach education course. But he would always say that he got all the information he needed through me and got all the support he needed from the club.
At the time the club had qualified for Charter Standard with the Football Association and it was keen to have all its coaches gain the basic qualification. However, I could understand why he wasn’t interested in coaching badges.
Learning by observation
He only planned to coach for the years his son was playing and could see no reason in spending time on a course that he felt would be of little use him. One of the ways he learnt was by watching other coaches and their different intervention methods and ways of encouraging players and dealing with problems.
He also benefited from an impressive club coaching syllabus, where he only needed to look up the date to see the relevant topic and a session that he could use. He also benefited from Soccer Coach Weekly, which gave him lots of ideas – interestingly, I looked back at some of those early issues and the advice I gave back then.
It was all very relevant but having advanced my coaching education to Level 3, the information now goes a lot deeper and is more targeted at technique, skills and tactics.
Developing the individual
One element of those early issues was having fun, and as I have become more focused on coaching and developing the individual, I have tried to retain that fun element. I’ve learnt the importance of repetition, which at one time I would have seen as the antithesis of fun, but now I have managed to make it fun.
There is a need for every level of coach and I am often picked up by my editor for making some sessions too complicated. That is to the benefit of every coach using the sessions.
I love going on courses and go on as many as I can. I use what I have learnt to expand my coaching influence – and meeting up with that coach and hearing how the team he had worked with had gone on to become successful on the back of using my knowledge rather than a coaching course was one of the best compliments I could receive.