I was sat in my office this week wondering where the year had gone. 2013 has been a fantastic and yet somewhat frustrating year on my coaching journey. There have been some incredible highs:
- Joining Bristol City
- Going through EPPP successfully with the team
- Being awarded GFA Coach of the Year for 2013
and of course some sad moments to
- Saying goodbye to the CTLFC girls
- Waving goodbye as colleagues move on to pastures new
- Fighting the FA for YAM3 assessment in a professional environment
Regardless of the outcome though I feel that every experience and every moment has contributed positively in some way to my development as a coach and I feel like I’m finally, actually, moving once more along the pathway to a full time career in coaching.
Long term followers of this blog will remember that it’s about this time every year that besides reflecting on the last 12 months I try to set myself targets for the next. Undoubtedly the priority still (and my main source of frustration of 2013) is to try to get assessed for the Youth Award. Rather than let this curtail my progress; which if I’m truthful I let happen part way through this year, I have decided to put the FA’s inadequacies to one side and continue down the path that I want to try to follow as a coach. That means A license. I’m fortunate enough to still have some budget left over from my bursary awarded back in 2007 that I’ve been saving for this and I’ve sent off my application for Part 1. Whether I will be successful or not I don’t know but it felt good just submitting the application and this more than anything else stoked the embers of desire once more.
I’ve also set myself a few other secondary targets I feel will supplement my learning and should I be unsuccessful in my application I can focus wholly on instead. My lack of a plan B in 2013 was something I’m keen to rectify next year. These include
PTLLS – Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector
If you speak to @RealJoeSutton and @CoachDanWright more and more experienced coaches are looking at this formal teaching qualification. I’m fortunate that it applies to my role as an IT Trainer as well as a coach. It’s also something to consider if you’re contemplating pursuing a Tutor Role in sport. For me, as a coach wanting to work with older age groups I think it will help compliment the skills and experience I already have and will hopefully gain by pursuing other specific sport related qualifications.
FA Futsal Level 1
Finally the qualification is out there, unfortunately it’s only at St Georges Park at present. I have expressed an interest via FA Learning for the South based Regional Course, no date as yet. I absolutely love this game and I’ve been trying to get involved with the FAs regional development centres and also the mighty @glosfutsal. Watch this space, this is something I really want to get my teeth into.
FA Goalkeeping Level 2
Er…why you ask? Well for whatever reason, I love the position of the Goalkeeper. I’ve never played there but I want to understand this unique position more. After all, the role of the modern goalkeeper is no longer just a defensive one. Not the easiest course to find out there truth be told but there’s one with the Devon FA I’ve got my eye on.
Finally, the most single important way to learn and improve myself as a coach.
Coach as many sessions across as many different age groups as possible
There really is no substitute for experience. If you look at my blog and look at the way I pursue badges and qualifications it’s very easy for me to be labelled a badge chaser. I admit it I am. So what? I’m proud of the qualifications I’ve obtained so far and will continue to try to get as high as I possible can on the qualification ladder. Do I believe they are the be all and end all? No. I don’t. Coaching courses and badges provide a platform for you as a coach. They give you the tools and “some” information to help set you on your way. Your learning journey however is how you use that knowledge, how you supplement it with experiences gained by further reading, game based study, debate with colleagues and above all coaching in the field.
I hope you have had a rewarding 2013 and have learnt as much as I have from it. It’d be fantastic to hear what your plans are for your development? What’s gone well and what hasn’t? I’m always keen to hear what others have planned for their own journey. I might even steal a few ideas
Most of all have a fantastic time with your families and friends over Xmas, the break will be well deserved I’m sure and you’ll be re-invigorated come January when you’re back out in the cold #stillinshorts (well if you’re as mad as @Hodgaa anyway).
Speak to you soon!
PS Many thanks to all those who regularly post comments and questions, apologies if I’m sometimes a little late in replying but I will get there eventually!