Whether you are a parent, a player or someone who is involved in football coaching already on an informal basis, taking a course to obtain your FA coaching badge is among the best steps you can possibly do to help make a contribution to the club that your child belongs to.
The grassroots game has a big need for coaches who have been formally qualified. The FA in recent years has invested a significant amount of expertise, money and time in order to extend and improve the quality of coaching training that is available at every level of the game. There are literally hundreds of local courses that are reasonably priced all across the UK, so there hasn’t ever been a better time for getting into coaching than right now.
There are currently an incredible 47 FA coaching qualifications that are available that are part of FA Coaching Pathway. They include the core qualifications, beginning at Level 1, along with youth qualifications as well as specialist options, including the junior football organisers’ course and futsal coaching.
Out all of the vast array of choices that are available, the most popular course by far is Level 1, or 1st4Sport Level 1 Award in Coaching Football. Just about every coach gets started with this course. It is open entry, which means you do not have to have any prior experience in order to take the course. So it’s a great starting point for anybody wanting to get into coaching.
Level 2, or the 1st4Sport Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Football, is the second most popular course. It is open entry as well, however it is expected and also advised that you take Level 1, unless you happen to have a great deal of previous playing or coaching experience.
Over the past 10 years a slow, yet significant, change has taken place in the coaching style that the FA has promoted, especially towards younger players. There is also a great emphasis on understanding now, as well as accepting and making use of the psychology of football in order to help players develop. In the past there was a large bias on the game’s physical side. However, it is balanced now with other factors as well as integrated into the FA 4 Corner player development model.
It covers the physical, social, psychological and technical issues that need to be considered as the young players develop and mature. The basic idea behind this is that each player develops at his own place in various aspect as he is progressing through football. A one size fits all type of coaching philosophy will not be as productive as when every player’s individual and changing needs are considered.
If you have concerns that it may take too much away from the pitch, don’t worry. The opposite is in fact true. The 4 Corner Models works to help players reach their individual needs by getting them involved more directly in the coaching sessions. They are encouraged to adapt, challenge and explore new skills and techniques in an interactive way. That builds confidence in the younger players and helps them stay engaged, while the older ones are able to get whatever they need from these coaching sessions as they are developing.