Lancashire FA hit the ground running in 2015, when the first weekend of January saw the delivery of the innovative ‘League Managers Event’ for Under Eleven coaches and managers from the Central Lancs Junior Football League (CLJFL).
Having a strong working relationship with the CLJFL was the key behind the event that had been three months in the pipeline. Discussions for the event started when the CLJFL suggested it wanted to give something back to the coaches who are starting on their (hopefully) long and enjoyable involvement in grassroots football. The league committee funded the event, providing lunch/refreshments for the managers and the booking of the County Ground 3G football turf facility.
For Lancashire FA it was a chance to ‘open the doors’ to the County FA and show the dedicated volunteers how much support we can offer. As important partners of the Lancashire FA it is hugely beneficial to spend time working with a full group of managers, sharing ideas and offering advice.
A number of different departments from Lancashire FA got the wheels in motion and put together the event that would hopefully offer something different and worthwhile. Between the Lancashire FA Football Development Team, The Referee Development Department & The FA Skills Team three very different, but relevant, one hour workshops were created.
Referee Development: Referee, Friend or Foe?
Lancashire FA Referee Development Manager Steve Stewart planned and delivered this interactive and highly engaging workshop that put the managers in the shoes of the referee:
- To look at 18 scenarios and debate/decide on the correct refereeing decision using red, yellow & blue (play on) cards.
- To identify 4 key areas that develops the performance of ‘Good to Great’ referees, players, and coaches.
- Look at the concept of SPAM: Self Control, Personality, Aspirations, Mental toughness
I think it’s safe to say that all the managers involved in the workshop now have a much more positive view of how difficult the job of being a referee really is!!!
Welfare Workshop: The Coach as a Role Model
Lancashire FA County Welfare Officer Neil Yates facilitated a workshop that required coaches and managers to reflect on their potential as a role model to children and young people but also how a good example can also influence adults in behaving appropriately during football matches. The session explored why children play football and how their agendas differed from adults’ expected outcomes. The coaches then examined the life skills they help to develop in young people through football, acknowledging their powerful influence but also considering how easy it is to set a poor example. The workshop also examined inclusive practise, making the club friendlier, how children learn and how that affects coaching, and giving children a much louder voice in their teams and clubs. It is hoped that all attendees had the opportunity to consider their own approach to coaching and how they can ensure they set a positive example at all times.
FA Skills Team: Coaches: Tips, Techniques & Ideas
Zuber Patel & Chris Hurst of the Lancashire FA Skills Team delivered a practical workshop that would offer the managers the chance to see a few different games in practice and introduce different ways of engaging with young players. This gave Chris & Zuber the chance to demonstrate concepts that are relevant to the Youth Module Courses; feedback from the sessions suggests that a number of the managers are open to accessing the Youth Module Courses.
The practical element was really well received. Chris was able to offer plenty of different ideas on how to develop the basic Level One games, likewise Zuber was able to introduce a couple of different practices that are part of the Youth Module One Course.
As well as having the chance to take part in the various workshops, the managers got a rare chance to chat with equivalent coaches from their age group, swap numbers and plan some friendlies for the future. This element of the day was really important as it helped to break down barriers between managers/clubs that may have previously considered each other as rivals.
Both Lancashire FA and the CLJFL are delighted with the success of the event and are already looking at the possibility of providing this service for different age groups and leagues across the County.
Having originally wondered how receptive the managers would be to the event, it was excellent to see a turnout of over 35 coaches with everyone getting involved in the workshops and really taking some valuable information away with them to help with their future practice.
For further information on the event and to discuss how your club/league could get involved in a similar event please contact the Lancashire FA Football Development Team.