Youth Award Module Level 1 – Day 1


I’m just back from attending the first day of the FA’s Youth Award Module Level 1 course, a 4-day course which is without assessment and aims to provide coaches working at the grassroots level with a qualification which recognises what they do. That is, some of the other qualifications are, in the words of our mentor, aimed at senior football.

Firstly, it was great to meet fellow coaching-blogger Chris Gooch today. The remainder of coaches on the course were a mixture of coaches working at the grassroots and coaches who’re working for academies (reps from MK Dons, Wycombe & Oxford there today). Therefore, there were a few of us who’d only done our level 1 and other coaches who were qualified to a Uefa B standard and so we had a good mixture of experience and age-groups.

The layout of the day was as follows:

  • Course introduction and the importance of the Social corner
  • How players learn
  • Physical corner – FUNdamentals
  • Physical corner – Pre-course work
  • Managing difference in the physical corner

We spent the first half of the day in the classroom where we split the time between listening to our mentor, watching videos (I love these) and taking part in group-work with others on the course. We then spent around 2 hours out in the howling wind looking at some games which can assist with the FUNdamentals (Agility, Balance & Co-Ordination) before returning to the classroom for a final half-hour looking at managing physical differences.

One thing that stood out today was that this course was a different experience to that of my Level 1. Why? Because today I found I had numerous occasions where my mind had wandered off because I’m relating the content of the course to the players I work with. When I attended the Level 1 in August 2010 I’d had no previous experience and therefore the course was largely theoretical.

The plan for this course is that each day covers one of the four corners of Long Term Player Development. We started with the Social corner today and therefore we’ve looked at both factors which contribute to a players Social maturity & development and also how football can help improve a players Social skills (amongst other areas, such as the influence of role models & parents).

I mentioned above that we cover the detail via a number of mechanisms and what I find especially interesting, and I referenced it previously, is the short videos you get shown as part of the course. A 2-minute snippet of a top coach working with young players is incredibly powerful and you can really start to compare how they coach with how you coach.

Anyway, I’m not going to go in to the content in too much detail as I’ll probably summarise the course when completed. Day 1’s been interesting, if not a little theory-heavy, but the outlook for tomorrow is sunshine and more practical which is always good to hear!

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About Simon
Grassroots Football Coach

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