The English Football Association has launched The FA Licensed Coaches' Club, a scheme that aims to raise the standards of coaching from the grassroots upwards by ensuring that coaches get the latest training, qualifications and advice.
The scheme, a key part of the FA's youth development review and coaching strategy, is supported by UEFA through the integration of TactX – the tactical planning and communication tool available on the UEFA Training Ground and now in use by clubs such as Aston Villa FC and Manchester City FC.
By employing TactX, coaches at all levels are able to create training drills with high quality 3D animations, which can be viewed from a number of different angles. The tool makes it easy to communicate training drills and in-game match ideas, breaking down potential communication barriers. UEFA's support of The FA Licensed Coaches' Club means that members will be able to subscribe to TactX at a special price exclusive to the FA.
"A challenge for all coaches is to embrace the medium of modern technology to support their coaching," acting head of FA learning, Jamie Houchen, told UEFA.com. "The additional option for licensed coaches to purchase the UEFA TactX tool is further demonstration of the identification of tools for the modern game that will support coaches at all levels in their delivery, on and off the field."
To become part of the FA initiative, coaches must satisfy certain criteria including having the minimum of a Level One coaching qualification and committing to a level of training every year such as taking additional qualifications, completing an online course or attending a local Continuing Professional Development (CPD) event.
"The FA wishes to recognise and value coaches at all levels by issuing a seasonal licence to coach," said Houchen. "All licensed coaches will have access to a bespoke website, which will become the hub of coach interaction and enable the FA to cascade support to coaches. In maintaining a 'licence to coach', UEFA qualification holders will also be able to demonstrate completion of the required CPD hours for UEFA award retention."
Member coaches will also receive discounts on FA learning courses and access to accredited local training events. "The FA recognises the importance of engaging with coaches at all levels on an annual basis in its drive to develop coaches to deliver coaching sessions utilising the recently introduced FA coaching philosophy, published through its technical document, The Future Game," added Houchen. "It is vital that coaches build on coaching qualifications if we are to develop better coaches."
For more information on The FA Licensed Coaches' Club and details on how to join visit www.TheFA.com/LicensedCoachesClub.
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