After a 35-hour course and assessment at the end, I can now officially announce that I am a certified FA Level 1 Football Coach. That basically means I am now qualified and equipped to teach children up to 16 years old everything they need to know about the beautiful game. I’m quite ambitious and have mentioned before that I would like to climb the management ladder in the adult leagues with my realistic aim being Conference level eventually. However before I can even think about doing Level 2 and progressing further, I want to gain some coaching experience by developing those who are the future.
The main issue I’m currently wrestling with in my head is how I would be able to overcome adverse weather conditions and get across a muddy field for example. One solution would be to coach a Futsal team (basically an indoor version of the game with 5 players on each side) so I’ve contacted the Herts FA to see what their advice is and I’m currently waiting for their response. Also, I’m not sure what age group to begin with. Under 8’s won’t listen or want to learn whereas most teenagers are moody know it all’s so 9/10/11 year olds might be best.
People who know me and have heard me speak will be curious as to how I am able to give out clear instructions. I didn’t actually think it would be an issue until the course. To be honest, I thought people might pay attention more as they’d have to concentrate on my voice to hear. It was okay when the group were in a close semi circle but it became difficult for them to hear me out on the pitch. I realised that I would need a whistle to start/stop the drill and maintain a level of control. It also became apparent that I would need an assistant coach to set up, do any shouting that may be required and perform demonstrations to illustrate training exercises.
It soon became clear from the course that the FA is doing everything in it’s power to improve player development in grassroots football. The common misconception is that old school defensive tactics are still being used but I’m pleased to say they are not encouraged (unfortunately some managers think negative football works). Both Spain and Germany have proved that if the children are taught the correct methods from an early age, the National Team will bear the fruits in the future. Germany began a similar overhaul in 2001 and won the World Cup 13 years later so maybe England will be successful in 2026.
Anyway, I’m just eager to begin and put what I’ve learnt into practice. It’s one thing reading about how to be a coach, answering questions in a workbook, watching a couple of DVD’s and completing an assessed session but none of it feels real. I’m desperate to get a team and get them playing how I think football should be played (none of this Jose Mourinho rubbish). I also want to learn off other coaches so now watch Arsenal warming up before the match with added interest.
Bye for now!