The FIFA Soccer World Cup watched by millions, the hopes of millions rest on the shoulders of the very best practitioners of this beautiful game. Most of us could never hope to reach the levels of skill and performance that these players do, but the path to greatness is also tread by the coach who often shares in the spoils and the spotlight of victory with his superstars.
Watching live coverage and we note that the coach has now been elevated to “The Manager” which now seems to be the pinnacle of coaching success. However, even the greats of the game seldom forget their humble roots and often it is the coach who is identified as the one who gave a young player his first chance at stardom. It is the coach who identifies that special talent, nurtures it and then instils the desire to flourish and succeed.
The successful coach is a rare breed of individual who is always a football enthusiast but may never have played the game at the highest level. There is an ability to identify talent, isolate weakness, inject enjoyment and be emotionally intelligent enough to manage the personalities they are surrounded by.
The interesting thing is that these qualities are essential to every coach, whether at community level or in the upper echelons of the professional ranks. But it is in the community that the game of football thrives and delivers the stars of the future. It is in the troubled neighbourhoods where our youth find an escape and an opportunity to express their talents. It is here that the coach is needed more than anywhere else to ensure that a love for the game is developed and used to build strong characters with respect for fair play and a desire to do better.
Football is more than just a game and the coach is so much more than an instructor. The skill set is complex and requires one to study not only the technical aspects of the game but also the complexity of the human being regardless of the level at which the coach practices. The basic fundamentals of human physiology, the science of movement, the skills required, layered with motivational skills, values and ethics, mental toughness and the introduction to high performance through conditioning.
This is the domain of the football coach and it is a journey which requires constant learning and self-development. Here are a few easy pointers to get going:
- Get involved in community coaching. This is where volunteers are most welcome and needed.
- Become a student of coaching. Read up as much as you can on the game.
- Get a coaching qualification. If you want to progress in the field, this is essential (On campus or Online).
- Supplement your qualification with improvement courses from the football federation.
- Learn the rules of the game and consider a referee course.
Visit the course page for the Diploma in Sport and Exercise, and to apply now you can register here to get yourself on the road to get qualified and learn how to become a soccer coach.