FA coach mentor, Nik Strizovic, points towards the pitch and smiles during a Guru Nanak F.C coaching session led by Parm Gill.

How to keep the learning going

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A lot of focus is on players' learning, but don't forget that better coaches means better player experiences.
Across the England DNA in both the Foundation Phase and Youth Development Phase, the focus is on the children: their stage of development, their relationship with sport and physical activity and some considerations for coaches in order to appropriately meet each developing player’s needs.It’s important to recognise that in order to maximise players’ learning through providing a range of high-quality experiences – coaches also need to learn and improve. Check out what England Men's manager Gareth Southgate has to say in the video below:

Coaches need to keep learning too

Coaches can get better in lots of different ways: it might be by going on a course; by seeking a mentor; by observing others coach; reading articles; engaging in social media; or indeed engaging with The Boot Room website and continually revisiting our England DNA. There is no replacement for time on the grass though – coaches need to get out there and coach in order to improve. Add effective reflection to this and they will learn through their experiences. This might involve stepping out of the comfort zone to try new or different methods and being creative to find solutions that best meet players’ needs.

FA coach development opportunities

The good news is that there's more on-the-ground-support for coaches available than ever before. Depending on what environment you work within, there are offers of coaching support including:

  • The FA Coach Mentor Programme providing support to grassroots coaches
  • FA youth coach developers supporting coaches in the boys’ academy programme
  • FA coach development officers providing support to coaches in the girls’ high performance centres
  • a range of FA courses and CPD available through The Boot Room website, county FAs and FA county coach developers.

To find out more, explore our Youth Development Phase DNA playlist.

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