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!”
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I write this as a dad to three kids aged 7, 6 and 4. They constantly amaze me with their desire to do new things, and their capacity to learn new skills really quickly. There is, however, always a temptation when one of them comes and wants to join in some activity or other that I’m doing. They want to understand what’s happening and to play a meaningful part in it whereas I’m usually thinking that I want to get it done as quick as possible and move onto the next thing.
What I’m beginning to realise though is that there are more and more things that, if I’m prepared to take a bit of extra time and show one of my kids how to do it, and then be patient with them as they learn it and practice it, they will then very happily carry on doing so I don’t have to – result! Cutting the grass may be a thing of the past for me by next summer the way its going!
The same can be true in work – its always easy to think it’ll be quicker to just do it yourself BUT if you take a bit of extra time, maybe there’s a load of things that you could delegate to others and with a bit of initial pain in terms of things taking a little longer to train and coach them up to speed, you’ll find a stack of your time freed up for other things….and maybe end up with more motivated, empowered team members to boot!