Longfleet YFC’s newest coaches

This guest article is by Rob Amey, Inclusion Officer and DSActive coach at Longfleet Youth FC in Dorset. Two of their DSActive Lions have just qualified as FA Level 1 coaches, completing a similar course to the one previously run by the DSActive team. A huge congratulations to both of the newly qualified coaches from the DSActive team!

Longfleet are delighted to announce that two more of their DSActive Lions have recently successfully completed their Level 1 qualification in football coaching.

We are a fully inclusive grassroots football club and are always keen to promote opportunities for all of our players & staff.  Offering our more experienced DSActive players, who have been with the club for over a year and are ready to improve their football knowledge, the opportunity to participate in the Level 1 coaching course is an obvious step for us.

The course, termed an ‘Inclusion’ Level 1, is run by Dorset County FA (DCFA) and is now in its second year. Another of our DS Lions also completed his Level 1 last year.

It is a standard Level 1 course, but football coaches act as mentors or ‘Buddies’ for the duration of the course. It enables participants with a disability the chance to gain their qualifications in a comfortable and appropriate environment, with assistance where necessary, including ‘signers’, when required, for those who have hearing impairments.

The course is run by a national FA county coach developer/mentor and is spread over a period of approximately a month and totals around 30 hours of study. The original concept for an Inclusion Level 1 in Dorset was devised and delivered by Rosie Eggleston, inclusion & welfare officer at the DCFA.

The DSActive Lions settled into the course very quickly and were never afraid to add their insightful observations. Everyone is nervous before meeting new people and attempting new tasks and challenges, regardless of their confidence levels or previous experience, but both Lions set about and completed the course with great aplomb.

To gain a coaching qualification you MUST have an up-to-date DBS (CRC), emergency first aid and safeguarding children qualifications. All of these were completed as part of the course.

Participants learn the key aspects of coaching. As well as all the technically-based information there are other important things to learn. To be a good coach you must always remember elements like fun, safety and also the four-cornered approach – ensuring that when coaching players, you try to encompass the social, psychological, technical & physical aspects of their development.

Participants also have to have hands-on experience of coaching to complete the course. This year our trainees got to coach a couple of the Longfleet youth teams, as well as the Dexter Sports Adult Ability Counts Team. These training sessions were run in groups of three so that they could all discuss the ‘plan, do, review’ style of coaching and could bounce ideas and suggestions off of each other and modify sessions as required.

Now that they have completed their qualification, their coaching journey really begins.

They will be introduced to the different styles of coaching we use at Longfleet YFC. We have over 30 teams, from juniors/mini-soccer, through to the various game formats of youth football (5v5, 7v7, 9v9 & 1v11), girls teams & the adult men’s & ladies teams. They will be able to observe how different methods of coaching are needed to ensure optimum development of players for the different ages and football formats. They have already, of course, dipped their toes into the coaching for our DSActive players.

Everyone at Longfleet YFC are extremely proud of both these guys for committing to and completing the course. It is no mean feat and we would like to congratulate them wholeheartedly on their achievements. We would also like to thank the coaches who mentored them throughout the duration of the course.