For a while now I’ve been helping coach youth football at a local club and also at my kids’ primary school.

I enjoy doing it. I’ve played football for years, managed an adult team and have a well-developed personal philosophy of how the game should be played! All in all, I think I know a bit about what I’m doing…but I’ve never had any professional training to be a coach.

It’s similar to the situation an awful lot of managers & leaders find themselves in at work. Various reports I’ve read in recent years seem to agree that somewhere between 55% and 70% of those who manage people as part of their job have never had any formal training to do so, even though many have been doing it for years, picking up some good ideas, as well as plenty of bad habits.

Time for some training!

The club my two sons play for needed an extra qualified FA coach in order to maintain their status as an FA Charter Club. I was asked. I said yes.

I am now two Sundays and two Wednesday evenings into my FA Level 1 coaching course. At the back of my mind I thought there was a good chance it would be a bit of a box-ticking exercise in order to meet some arbitrary criteria to get some funding. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

I feel slightly ashamed of my attitude, seeing as my profession is training and I know how valuable it can be.

The long and the short of it is this: the FA coaching course has been excellent. I’ve learnt so many new ideas in the classroom and, just like the training I’m involved with delivering for leaders and managers, it’s also been highly practical. We’ve spent lots of time on the delivery of these skills out on the pitch. It’s been interesting, fun, structured, interactive and relevant.

I am coming away with loads of new stuff in my tool kit that will make every subsequent coaching session I deliver better…

  • Better for me
  • Better for the kids
  • Better for the club

One of the things you get on the FA Level 1 course is 14 planned out skills sessions that you learn, deliver and can replicate (as well as adapt and develop) in any coaching situation. Priceless.

The same kind of resources are available for those managing and leading people. There are many simple, practical ideas and tools available to you that you can learn, practice, refine and adapt to your particular situation and style that will help you consistently get better results, resolve difficult issues, feel more confident, have a happier and more productive team and increase your own job satisfaction.

Yes, it costs money and requires some time investment, but you’re likely to come out the other end feeling like I do right now…

“This is the best training ever!”