Coaches4Coaches is a group of coaches who get together to discuss football, coaching and how we can improve the experience for the players.
The group, facilitated by FA Coach Mentor, Phil Rochford Smith, rotates around different football clubs in North Somerset with the coaches leading the content.
Our most recent session was hosted at Fry Club in Keynsham on 14th March 2018 with 17 coaches from multiple clubs including Fry Club, Keynsham Town FC, Bath City Youth, BWB03, Larkhall Athletic FC and Bristol City Academy FC.
On the night coaches Ray Kelsey of Bath City Youth and Dani Rodriguez Aparicio of BWB03, delivered a training session focused on topics decided by the attending coaches; ‘Pressing’ and ‘Playing out from the back.’ We had the Somerset version of Liverpool (pressing) versus Real Madrid (playing out from the back) right here in Keynsham!
Initially the coaches delivered technical practices to U11 players, representing Larkhall Athletic FC and Keynsham Town FC. The players were then challenged to try to put the practice into a 9v9 game. Our team of FA Coach Mentors, Phil Rochford Smith, Connor Sidley Adams and Geoff Stevens supported the observing coaches through questioning and conversations which aimed to improve their observational and analytical skills.
Whilst the players participated in the 9v9 game the observing coaches were invited to try the practices for themselves to help reinforce understanding and learning ‘by doing.’
At half time, the FA Coach Mentors introduced the ‘Flip’. The U11 players assumed the role of ‘coach’ and the coaches became ‘the players.’ The young players took responsibility and clearly relished the empowerment, demonstrating how well they had listened and understood the two practices.
The coaches closed the evening by trading observations in a lively and competitive ‘drop-the-mic’ style battle, each siding with and supporting their coach. The coaches scored goals by sharing some of the positive elemtns that the coaches had included in their practice. At Liverpool 6 - 6 Real Madrid, Bernie Grimes of Fry Club concluded that ‘all had won.
It was a fantastic event, a great opportunity for coaches to come together and talk football. Its important to remember that shared practice is best practice and provides gains for both players and coaches alike.
- Phil Rochford Smith, FA Coach Mentor