I had the pleasure of teaching on the Irish FA Pro License Course at the weekend. The Pro License is the highest coaching award offered by UEFA and takes coaches somewhere between 12-24 months to complete. Places tend to be quite limited on these courses as it’s intended for those working at the very top of the game. This is the 5th year I have been involved in the IFA course and it’s been a great experience teaching ex-pro’s and future managers the ins and outs of Performance Analysis.
The reality is, for a large majority on the course, they will return to clubs that have full or part-time analysts. However Nigel Best, coach education manager, is keen for these coaches to at least have an understanding of the process an analyst goes through to prepare the clips & presentations. In general the coaches love doing it. It’s practical, something that is useful to them immediately and is very football related. The feedback is always positive.
One thing that is more & more apparent is the general IT skills of the coaches now compared to 5 years ago has significantly improved. That first year there was a heap of technical issues. There were a handful of coaches that first year that were buying their first computer to get through the Pro License. In truth I spoke mostly with the Wives or Girlfriends of coaches as they tried to install software and course material prior to meeting up that first year. This year, I only had to speak to one spouse!! The coaches arrived prepared and in general were well capable of learning some software and preparing a presentation. This is something I wrote about before, about all coaches being analysts. I really do believe that is becoming truer everyday.
The task the coaches have is to analyse a game and prepare a presentation. In 1 month we meet back in Belfast where the role play a presentation either to a set of players or their own backroom team. They can analyse the last game or scout an opponent. The presentation is recorded and reviewed so they can see their own style or any improvement they would like to make. I like the fact that the end result is not to show that you could use technology but rather using technology to help you teach/coach.
Maybe I can report back in October and let you know how the presentations went!