I had registered for the course 6 months earlier. Unfortunately, by the time I arrived in Australia, the next “C’ course in the Brisbane area was already full, so I had to either travel, which would dramatically increase the costs, or wait for the next one. So I did wait and concluded it last week.
About two months before the course starts, we are sent all the material and several tasks to be done in advance. The tasks are to make sure everyone reads “The Coaching Process” the Bible of the australian coach. It’s a fantastic book with all the guidelines a coach needs to do his job, explained in detail and very well fundamented. You might dispute some of the ideas and practices cointained there, but you will need very good arguments to do so.
The conference room where the course would take place was organized in tables with 6 or 7 seats each. Obviously that was the group I would interact the most with and I was lucky to have very nice lads in mine, along with a girl. Luckily, we got one of the two females of a group of 65. It’s never too bad to have a touch of female sensitivity. The other great thing I found out upon arrival was that we would have free instant coffee, and the past few weekends contributed to my current addiction, I could say.
The first part of the course consisted of 3 contact days. It was the common part of the course, where both the group that would take the senior and the youth course would stay together, only to be separated in the next four contact days. It was conducted by the brilliant David Abela, head of coach training at Football Queensland. I think three things make a good teacher: Obviously the knowledge, the ability to transmit the knowledge and maybe the most important and most contagious one: the passion. It’s delightful and inspiring to be taught be people who love what they do and David is one of them.
He organized the course in a way that everyone would eventually break the ice and be comfortable to speak in front of others. I never felt like I was being lectured, but always incited to think, which is exactly what they want the coaches to do with their players.
More importantly, the course was predominantly practical. In this first part, students would run sessions of the “Game Training” phase, which encompasses all age groups from 13-17, and be reviewed by the teachers and their peers. There would be improvements after every session.
I could come up with huge list, but I think the above mentioned are the most crucial ones. The first part of the course not only inspired everyone to get back to their clubs and do an amazing job, but also introduced valuable coaching skills, who would serve as a foundation for the second part one week later.