Level 1 – complete

The Level 1 course has a 96% pass rate and I believe it’s widely recognised that you’d have to go majorly wrong not to pass it but I’m still pleased that I passed the course yesterday and can now hold the FA Level 1 in Coaching qualification to my name.

The course itself was really enjoyable, the people who joined me on the course were great – all very enthusiastic and keen to ensure we all passed together and I feel that I’ve learnt a lot. What I’ve learnt varies – from simple things such as needing to get CRB clearance (I have CRB for education, but also need it for sport), to the new games that the course covers but also on to children, and how they learn and develop and different pace.

I’d thoroughly recommend the course to anyone who’s currently thinking of taking it. The two assessors have recommended I take the FA Youth Award Module (Level 1) within the next three months and the Level 2 coaching course within the next 12 months and that’s exactly what I shall aim to do, whilst working with my local club to start gaining experience in coaching and working with young footballers.


Half way through the Level 1 course

I’m currently half way through the FA Level 1 Coaching course so I thought I’d update this blog with my thoughts on the course so far and how I’m feeling ahead of part two.

I understand that this course can be run in various different formats, so it’s worth pointing out that this course is running over two weekends , 9-4pm on both the Saturday & Sunday.

The first weekend was fascinating for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was interesting to see the various people attending the course – a real variety of ages, sexes and levels of experience. On the experience front I was one of four on the course who hadn’t coached before and weren’t actively coaching at the time, the remaining 14/15 were all actively coaching at local clubs in the area and had been doing so for anything between 1 year and 5 years.

The other reason it was interesting was down to some of the discussion which the teacher (for want of a better term) provoked, especially around the “do you tell, or do you ask?” question. As someone new to coaching I found that sometimes I had input but other times I didn’t, purely because I don’t have that experience. However, I listened carefully throughout.

The first morning was largely based around discussions and activities and I wrote down plenty of notes to take away with me, the kind of information where you know that little nugget of information would surely be lost given the large amount of information you’re taking on board.

The afternoon saw us out on the pitch and I didn’t realise we were going to be playing as much football as we did, which was nice. However, it was key to keep remembering that we were on a coaching course and therefore I found myself consciously trying to keep focussed on what the coach was doing and what he was saying.

The games (note to self: not drills!) that we covered were good fun and the way we warmed up was also more enjoyable than the standard jog around the pitch. The way in which the coach prepared the session, organised the session and talked us through the detail was excellent and you had to listen actively because you had nothing to write notes on!

The second day was spent covering safeguarding children and first aid. Safeguarding children can be a little daunting, especially for someone who isn’t a parent. However, it’s ultimately all down to common sense and ensuring that you’re keeping the children safe whilst also making sure you’re looking out for their welfare.

The weekend ahead is exciting but I’m also a little nervous – I think the 96% pass rate puts an added pressure on to you to pass but it also gives you confidence that providing you’ve listened, digested and you’re enthusiastic, you’ll be ok. I’m doing the Robin Hood game tomorrow with another guy on the course and then I’ll find out tomorrow what I’ll be doing on Sunday, so I’m now going away to familiarise myself with all the other games!

An exciting week ahead

I’ve just received confirmation of the details for the FA Level 1 coaching course which starts next Saturday (14th) and runs for two weekends. I’m really looking forward to taking the course and hoping it leaves me feeling inspired and ready to make my first endeavours in to youth coaching.

I’ve also got a meeting with my local youth side on Thursday night to talk about helping out with their coaching setup and that should give me something to get straight in to having taken the course. I’m not sure if I’ll end up helping with one age group or whether they’ll want/need me to move around and work with different coaches and different age groups, who knows…

An exciting week indeed, I’ll keep you all updated with progress.