Grassroots coach and football writer, Glenn Moore, provides an insight into his matchday coaching experience and some important lessons learned on the FA Youth Award courses.
Looking at a neighbouring pitch last week, as my U12s prepared to kick-off, I saw a fellow manager struggling to erect a portable goal.
Goal construction is like putting together IKEA furniture, either you have the type of brain that gets it, or you don’t. This guy didn’t. As one of my parents went over to help I thought, ‘if only it had been on the FA youth module courses’.
Putting up goals, collecting subs, wondering how many players will turn up, finding a spare set of shinpads, negotiating rates with five-a-side centres, trying to find away grounds. There are a lot of things grassroots youth team coaches do that Jose Mourinho never has to worry about. Most of these aspects of the parks game come under common sense, but maybe potential coaches should be educated in such matters.
That said, FA courses already have a busy syllabus, and in an ideal world every youth coach would have to do them. Actually, in an ideal world parents would have to take a course too, to learn how to support their child in the literal sense of the word.
I first took my badges to improve my understanding of the game to assist my work as a football reporter. Then, when my eldest son began playing, I realised his coach was so fixated on winning he barely allowed his own son on the pitch and discouraged any initiative. Instead of simmering on the touchline I began coaching the team myself, and extended my learning to the FA Youth Awards.