grassroots football tagged posts

How To Obtain Your FA Coaching Badge

Whether you are a parent, a player or someone who is involved in football coaching already on an informal basis, taking a course so that you can obtain your FA coaching badge is among the best steps you can possibly take 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.

FA Licensed CoachesThere 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 1st4 sport 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.

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Why The 11 v 11 Is Being Replaced By The 9 v 9 Game In Junior Football

9v9 Junior FootballWhen the 7th and 8th field players are added, the lines can be varied for attack, midfield or defence.

More flexibility has been added into the system now. The players are now able to “interchange” with one another and also share responsibilities throughout the different thirds of the field. The coach can and should devise a formation that suits the capabilities of his players the best.

The easiest and most common system for transferring from 6 field players is probably the 3-3-2. The third midfield player is added, while the three defenders development is continued.

It is possible for the central midfield player to take on the added responsibility of moving into the defensive line when the need is recognized. Tracking the forward runs of the opponent is the additional midfield player’s role that will become very apparent.

When the defenders regain possession, which will be the case quite often, they should play out starting from the back. Just two attackers will probably be facing them, so they should learn to combine with their midfield players in order to advance forward through good shape and with good possession.

The addition of another forward player provides an opportunity to teach the two central striker roles. There will be numerous opportunities for creating space for midfield player forward runs, playing back to the goal (or posting up) and combining with one another. The timing of releasing passes to supporting midfield players will become apparent as well.

Another possible option would be adding one of the two extra players to be a defender to play 4-3-1. That encourages the “passing on” or “zonal” methodology among the back four. For example, sliding across the field in order to cover certain areas in order to prevent penetration by either a pass or by runs. It also allows for forward runs from the outside backs in order to offer both width as well as number up opportunities at midfield.

The same is true for the central defender, who should also recognize when to step into midfield in order to create the number up opportunities. This in turn enables one or two midfield players to push forward in order to support the one striker.

At that stage in a player’s and team’s development, a game plan can be introduced. Simple and easy to understand methods like:

  • Affecting the shooting attitude
  • Effective execution of restarts and set pieces
  • First look needs to be forward, then sideways and then backwards- Low or high pressure defending
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