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 Phil Rochford Smith an FA Coach Mentor 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! 

Kick off
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.’

Half time 
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. 

Second half
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. 

Post-Match Analysis
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

What the coaches thought and said:

“I don’t like to blow bugles etc.  However Last night I felt was ground breaking and I have got to say that was something really different and I believe rewarding for the coaches and players alike in getting something, which is really positive that they can take away with them. I thought Danni and Ray’s deliveries were spot on, and I thought Danni made a great point in reflection; “… as coaches we often look at the ball and the player on it and neglect what is going on elsewhere in the game, and how that can or cannot affect the outcome of what happens.” This definitely echoes comments made at the development side - when trigger points affect other players and the game, this comes across strongly within the UEFA B Course. A much bigger picture!

The feedback and the ‘Flip Players to Coaches’ must have been a first, and I felt that this really reinforces how we all learn and understand, ensuring that things are not lost in translation. Lastly I really felt that this had a lot of psycho-analytical educational content for the coaches.” 

- Bernie Grimes, Fry Club FC.

“I would like to add to what Bernie wrote and to say it is such a great feeling knowing you and the FA are supporting us as coaches (you as well Bernie). This stuff isn’t our day jobs and it can be a little daunting at times, we just want to provide the children with the best possible experiences and outcomes and this massively helps with the tools to do that. Thanks again for your support and enthusiasm I really appreciate everything you do for us.” 

- James Cook, Fry Club FC.

“Great night thanks to all that arranged it, myself Mark Burge Tez Frost and the under 11s had a great evening, can’t wait for the next one - Looking forward to hosting the next one thanks again, great job.”

- James, Larkhall Athletic FC.

“Brilliant work tonight, it was amazing for me to see how you engage with every single one of the coaches there! The relationships you have with them all is a credit to the amount of hard work you put into the scheme and into the development of those coaches! Sarah hit the nail on the head saying that those types of evening don’t work without the right people leading the way and that’s you!! Well done!”

“Well done last night. Great evening which the players and coaches loved. Loads of good work going on!”

“Thanks for another amazing football coaching event. I think we all agree here, that events and day like this there is nothing but amazing experiences that improve the knowledge and the learning for all of as a coach and as lovers of football as a game. The understanding of it. I will be always up to anything related to football and even more, with the coaching of such a brilliant sport. Being supported by the F.A. is very important for us and gives all the reason to keep on progressing and arranging events like this.” 

- Dani A Rodriguez, BWB03.

Extra Time
Additional Coaches4Coaches collaborations are scheduled throughout 2018. New clubs across the region are invited to join the hub in order to share knowledge and practice. 

For further information on the FA Coach Mentor programme or to access support either as an individual or as a club please visit:

Special Thanks goes to:

Sarah Nickless of Somerset FA for capturing the evening through pictures and videos

Ray Kelsey & Dani Rodriguez Aparicio for delivering two fantastic sessions

All of the coaches who attended for engaging and sharing throughout the evening