EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Take a coaching course or learn on the job?

It is at this time of the year as the fixtures begin to run out that I find a lot of clubs are taking a look at which coaches are available and which coaches need to do courses and of course take a look at any new coach that has put his/her name forward to coach one of the new teams.

Coach CPD in Brighton

Educating coaches at Brighton’s training ground

I like to see coaches going on courses especially courses that deal with coach behaviour and how coaches deal with the children they are coaching. Often well meaning coaches will get lots of things wrong when dealing with their team for the first few weeks.

Match days as well present a whole list of things to do and ways to behave for coaches as well as players.

Saturday morning buzz

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 always one of those dads who helped put the nets up and was always very keen to coach the ‘right way’.

I found it surprising that he would never go on a coach education course. But he would always say he got all the information he needed through sessions from me and got all the support he needed from the club.

Of course when a club is Charter Standard with the FA it is good practice to have all coaches gain the basic qualification. However, I could understand why he wasn’t interested in coaching badges. He only planned to be a coach for the years his son was playing and could see little 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 a good club coaching syllabus whereby he only needed to look up the date and next to that was the topic and a session he could use.

I am obviously going to say that he 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.

Keeping it fun

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 I have managed to make it fun.

There is a need for every level of coach and I often have to check that some of the session are not too complicated for coaches that haven’t been coaching that long. That is to the benefit of every coach that uses the sessions.

I love going on courses and go on as many as I can and use what I have learnt to expand my coaching influence – and this week meeting up with that coach and hearing how his team had become successful on the back of using my knowledge rather than a coaching course, was one of the best compliments I could receive.

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