1/ How did the course go from your point of view ?
This course has been very successful embracing every aspect of modern coaching and learning how the various aspects link together. With so many changes in the game, coaches understand that they have to evolve – they have realized that their work has to stretch from the game to the practice field, right to the mind of their players.
The days of coaches relying solely on authoritarian methods are gone. We must look deeper at the game and not only see where the changes are occurring, but also find solutions and ways to adapt our methods accordingly. Anyway, the players don’t buy into these training methods any more. Nowadays coaches have to reduce ‘practice boredom’ during sessions as well as challenging and pushing all players. If coaches are not careful, the players recognize that they are using outdated methods because they have been with other clubs and have used different methods. So coaches lose credibility amongst their players
2/ What understanding did the participants have of the content (understanding player development, developing a game model and the key elements of coaching) prior to the course?
Training programs were often one dimensional – it means one aspect of the game was worked on at any one time, or over any one session. For example, if a coach wants to improve a technical aspect of the game, we see players passing and working on controlling the ball five meters apart in a stationary position.
The average player today changes direction hundreds of times per game. Many of those changes involve the ball and other stimuli on the field for the player to process and make decisions upon. And they have to do those actions at full speed with pressure from coaches, fans, and themselves.
Now, how does running laps and standing stationary across from a partner for long periods of time prepare the player for these challenges? Quite simply, it doesn’t. After performing an action or skill in a game, the player usually is unsure of the next move and consequently stands still. It may work on technique and concentration but It does not stimulate players, it is unrealistic to the game, and it does not prepare players for the physical demands of a game
3/ What opinion does this course give you of the state of coaching in Fiji currently?
The challenge of Fiji coaches is to have practice sessions that incorporate the demands required for each player and their respective positions.
You cannot train all players to have the exact same skills set when the game will demand the opposite. This means that having defenders, midfielders, and forwards, all working on the same principles for each session can’t help your players….and your team. This is why training has to be functional and specialized. Players need to be working on whatever skills set they will have to perform in a game instead of utilizing the coach’s session plan.Players have different needs and practical sessions must recognize this.
Coaches improved a lot throughout the week. At the end of the course, the majority of coaches were able to replicate game stimuli and help players to recognize the correct stimuli when it is demanded in a game.
4/ Do you have any other comments you wish to make about the course?
The days of the ‘old school’ coach whose sole responsibility was to pick the team and give a speech before the match and during half time is over.
If it takes around ten years of practice for players to learn how to play, mastering one or two positions in the team, it doesn’t take less for coaches to know everyone’s role, to make the whole team better, to observe and analyse whole team performance.
It requires a combination of planning, communication and leadership skills. The coach is on the frontline of players’ development.
Attending a coaching course is a key part of coach’s development but there must also be a period of practice and reflection to ensure improvement. The better the coaching, the faster players will improve.
Fiji FA MEDIA