FA Youth Module – Review

By Sam Wilkinson

I recently completed the FA Youth Module 1. Prior to the course I had heard mixed reviews about it – some saying it was a step in the right direction while others said it was more of the same from the FA. With this is in mind I wanted to go into the course with a completely open mind. The following article will share my thoughts and observations from the course.

The course opened with the tutors explaining the layout of the 4 day course – it was to be a mix of theory based tutorials (60%) and practical sessions (40%). Before we began the first tutorial it was explained to us where the FA YM1 fitted into the coaching pathway. I was told that the FA were aware that the regular Level 1 and 2 courses did not “sufficiently prepare” coaches to work at grassroots level and that the Youth Modules had been brought in to help fill that development void. One of the tutor`s made a comment that a lot of the content on this course will directly contradict the content he taught on a regular FA Level 2 last week! What struck me immediately was why are the regular FA L1 and L2 courses still in existence if they are known to be flawed? I questioned whether or not they felt the current coaching pathway was disjointed and needed to be in a more progressive and logical pathway? The tutors replied that the FA were working to get more “synergy” on the coaching pathway.

We then progressed onto the first 2 tutorials. In general the tutorials were informative and logical – they covered the different learning styles of young players and the need to cater for those different learning styles when coaching. The information was particularly relevant to novice coaches that would not have any experience communicating with or managing group of young players.   The tutors talked about the need for realism and decision making in practices which seemed to be a refreshing change from the regular level 2 course. In general the tutors were very approachable throughout the tutorials and encouraged questions and discussions on the topics.

Having listened to the tutorials and heard talk of “realism” and “decision making” I was looking forward to the first practical sessions as I always feel that the proof is always in the practical application of the theory or philosophy…..what followed was a massive disappointment! The first 3 sessions were about developing movement fundamentals (these are basic movements such as running, turning and jumping). Session 1 involved a game were players guarded gates while other players attempted to run, jump or hop through the gates without being tug. Session 2 involved players running around a grid in groups of 4 and copying the movement of a designated player e.g jumping, hoping or balancing. Session 3 involved a game where players had to place cones on top of other cones as quickly as possible while opposing players grabbed cones from one side of the pitch and brought them across to the other side. At times a ball was incorporated into parts of the sessions but they were mainly delivered without the use of footballs.  We were told the idea of these sessions was to develop the key movement fundamentals that young children require. I queried why these movements needed to be taught in sessions that were unrelated to football as all fundamental movements that are relevant to the game can surely be developed in football specific sessions –  the tutors agreed with this but also pointed out that it would be hard to incorporate hopping into a football specific session! I pointed out that hopping was rarely seen in a football game!  Much of the movement fundamental theory and practical work would have been better suited to an early years Physical Education course then to a football coaching one.

The course continued with more tutorial sessions that covered dealing with mistakes, motivation and building self esteem. As with the earlier tutorials they were all very informative and gave some good insight into how to communicate and deal with young players.

The next practical session started with a “self practice” exercise that players could engage in while waiting for session to start. The practices were juggling routines that varied in difficulty. While the idea of “self practice” is a good one surely the pre-session  practices should have relevance to the theme of the session itself?  This then prepares the young player and gives them the necessary skills for the upcoming session.  The juggling routines came across as a way of merely keeping players occupied before a session. From there, over the course of the next 2 days we were shown half a dozen more games that ranged from Pass and Move to Score First and Win to Risky Business. While all the games were entertaining what was apparent throughout them all was that they lacked the realism and decision making that the tutors had spoken about inside the classroom. Many of the games involved players waiting for turns or serving from stationary positions, the possession type games lacked any direction, the finishing games required the defenders to run out from the side of the goal when it was their turn while none of the games had any relationship to each other or progression from one to the next. This is where it became clear that the course did not transfer the theory from the classroom onto the grass! There was clearly a lack of real understanding of how to use and develop realism, decision making and awareness when actually coaching.

At this point I would like to point out that on the whole both of my tutors were very approachable about these queries and were happy to be questioned or challenged during the course. On some occasions they were in agreement about the limitations of the practices.

We concluded the course by delivering in groups one of the practices we had seen during the course. This was not a pass or fail assessment but one that designed to gain feedback from the tutors and other coaches.  All the coaches showed fantastic eagerness to deliver the sessions – and it highlighted to me how strong the commitment to learn is from many grassroots coaches – not only do they give up their time to work as volunteer coaches but they also spend their own money (and a lot of it!) completing coaching qualifications. I can’t help but feel passionate and enthusiastic coaches are being let down by a coach education system that over charges and on the evidence of this course still under delivers!

My final observation from the course is a massive one! Never at any stage of the course (or any other FA course for that matter) was there mention of a Game Style or Playing Philosophy!  They mentioned very briefly that the Future Game document was available for purchase but not once did they explain or bring up what the Youth Modules were working towards or trying to achieve. Because of this I felt that all the work covered in the course was completely random, disjointed and lacked progression. As John Cartwright often alludes how can you put in place a Coach Education program when you do not know what it is trying to achieve???

In conclusion I would like to point out that I am a Premier Skills coach and a complete believer in the Practice Play methodology but as a young coach I pride myself on having an open mind and being prepared to take new ideas on board regardless of where they come from. I was determined to go into this course with no pre-judgement as I had heard many good things about the Youth Modules and was hoping that they would be the step in right direction that we have all been hoping for. I found some of the classroom tutorials were logical and supported many of the ideas we at Premier Skills have been advocating for over 10 years now. I found the tutors to be very approachable and open to discussion and debate, but unfortunately when it came to the practical application of the coaching theory I found the same limitations as the previous FA courses I have attended – no vision, game style or playing philosophy, no continuity or progression through the work and a lack of understanding of how to apply realism to the actual sessions.  I know some people will disagree with my observations and will have a different view of the course but in my opinion if the Youth Modules are the future of the game in this country then we still have a long way to go!

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32 thoughts on “FA Youth Module – Review

  1. Thank you for sharing your views of the YAM1. I’ve done the FA level 2 course and was wondering whether to go on the YAMs 1 and 2. One thing that has been putting me off is the cost and availability of the courses, as I would have to pay myself and they seem to be quite rare in my local area, and whether there was enough “new learning” to get out of them. I do a lot of self-development – researching, reading of current thinking, watching other coaches and challenging myself and it doesn’t sound like the YAMs offer very good value for money unless you haven’t already done the FA level 2.

  2. I have heard negative
    also about the first and second youth modules.The only positive comments I have heard relate to the final module.

  3. I enjoyed both the YAM1 and the YAM2, remember that the sub-title is ‘Developing the Environment’ and so opportunities to develop a game style or playing philosophy would be really out of context. That comes more into it’s own on Module 2.

    My beef with them is where do they kit into the structure of coach education, the gap between L1 and L2 is hug and the YAM’s would seem to sit perfectly in that gap, then you find out that to complete the set you need to have a Level 2 qualification.

  4. I have completed YM 1&2 as well as L2 and can honestly say that the YM have been a fantastic learning experience for me especially as I coach x3 team at U9 level.
    The YM are all about how you as a coach approach the game with a different mindset and how you can geT the best out of your players. the technical examples they provide are ok but like anything in life you need to take what you learn as the very basics and set yourself goals to learn more technically that can be created in the right environment that keeps young kids motivated and challenged and helps them all to realise their potential

    The end game must be to produce better technically gifted players and I am afraid no one course can give you this, you will need to continually learn and self evaluate ur own performance

    In my opinion this is where grassroots football is let down by lack of mentors who are prepared to advise coaches to become technically better plus a severe lack of adequate facilities

    Create a framework where we can share ideas and seek help is what is required and in some respects social media fills some of these gaps

    • Wayne,
      I feel you have nailed this perfectly. It is almost a double edged sword – there are not mentors who are prepared to support coaches (even though it is in the game they claim to be so passionate about) and then the coaches do not, or cannot afford to, or cannot commit to further coach education, or even read about it themselves.
      There are some media aspects out there, but it is so sparse and people join different sites – business idea there.
      Thanks,

  5. As with all courses you will get a different experience with a different teacher. You could do the same course with 5 different tutors and have 5 different experiences. It would be naive to judge the course based one experience. I would argue that the yam 1 is a massive leap in the right direction compared to the previous courses on offer. Maybe the new technical director at the FA will bring the premier skills method in seeing as West Brom have embraced it so fully. May have an issue though with kids wanting a bit of variety in sessions to remain engaged rather that working with the same session layout week in week out.

    • Hi Dan, Thanks for your response to the article. you are right in saying that courses can vary depending on the tutor – but as i mention in the article I was writing about my own observations from the course and I can only do that from the course that I attended. When delivering the Practice play work I have never found an issue with kids not being engaged because all of our work is game related – and I don`t ever come across kids that get sick of playing the game! You are spot on that it is important to progress the work in order to add variety but that is a key factor that we talk about on the Practice Play courses. There is little point playing random games every week like the ones shown on the Youth Module just to add variety because they lack the continuity needed for young players to develop skill and game understanding.

    • Hi Dan. With regards to your points about practice variety and area lay-outs, i would like to stress the points that — all football pitches have the same shape with size adjusted according to age requirements. Coaching variety is NOT about a change of development emphasis from day to day, but about the introduction of careful progression using alternative ‘achievements’ for young players to attain. By building a football foundation the coach can progress forward in a systemmatic way gradually EXPANDING the work, and in so doing, create a ‘picture’ of the game to his/her players of the playing qualities that are necessary for real, not ‘hyped’ playing ability.

  6. Dan, premier skills methodology evolves through the levels. Level 1 for example is delivered on the 15 x 24 pitch but that does not mean that every session has to be like this. When working with teams, adults etc this can change!

    One thing we do focus on is playing in tight areas because we believe that this is very important as I think any thinking coach would agree!

    West Brom have not embraced our work to the extent you think, Birmingham city are the club that have really take on the work and our coaches are also taking age groups there and some have higher ranking positions.

    Our level 1 introduces the participants to our methodology but it by no means covers the lot that would be impossible in a one day course!

  7. Good blog Sam.

    Im currently doing my level 2 & find that what is said in the classroom, doesnt relate to what we did on the practice ground!

    I was encouraged to hear some of the changes that the FA had identified & was looking forward to going out onto the practice field to see some of these changes but was really disappointed when I saw some of the things that were delivered.

    I think there is always something good in everyones sessions that we can all learn from. You just need to take the points you find good & use them to your own advantage.

    Lets hope Mrd Ashworth has the opportunity & powers to make the drastic changes that are required!!!!

  8. I loved the description of the actual football on Sam’s course…Perhaps the FA could patent it for other sporting codes….due to its generic nature!!! 🙂

  9. the sad fact of the matter is that learners are being led up a blind alley as these courses are being billed as the education of the future but in reality are merely an after thought, they do not slot into any strategy long or short term or were pre thought out as they stuck into the coach education framework to fill a gap between level 1, level 2, level 3, every course you go on sends out a completely different message.they are pushing these courses as after the level of criticism aimed at the level of coach education in this country they have no choice but to go with it or look like yet again they have failed.
    the level 2 in my opinion is not for grassroots coaches it is for 11 v 11 u/13 plus, you will find that the better coaches on a youth module 2 will have already completed a level 2 and have better understanding of the game, so instead of sitting in between level.
    1 and 2 it is in danger of sitting after the level 2 which is not what the objective was.
    what has not been realised is that by pushing learners towards the youth modules it is detracting from the next level of coaches going onto the next level ie: the level 2 and numbers are actually dwindling from the number of courses through to the assessments.

    the whole thing needs ripping up and starting again and having a proper strategy in place from the start in line with germany, and the other countries, rather than courses for courses sake merely for fiscal reasons to keep mediocre coaches in a job and learners on a merry go round of paying out and forever learning

  10. My feeling is that the FA have introduced the FA Youth Award Modules for the same reason that they introduced FACA (FA Coaches Association) 15 years ago. In 1997 FACA muscled in because there was an extremely popular coaching organisation called AFCAT, (Association of Football Coaches and Teachers), which was independant of the FA and put on some superb coaching sessions, particularly those done by John Cartwright which i recall being rapturously received at various venues around the country. Because FACA had the considerable backing of the National Association it saw off the ‘threat’ of AFCAT and sadly, within a few months of FACA’s formation, that association went to the wall.
    Fast forward to today and my suspicion is that the FA have introduced their modules as a response to the Premier Skills coaching scheme. Having done all three modules I would say that they have made a complete hash of it. Module 3 is the only one with some good coaching work but Modules 1 and 2 are largely a waste of time. No playing vision,no philosophy, hardly any technical detail. The only good bits which occasionally spring up have the ring of Premier Skills about them and have clearly been ‘lifted’!
    In the same way that FACA, (now FA Licensed Coaches Club), gave the boot to AFCAT in 1997, i believe that the same thing would happen to Premier Skills in the last few years with their introduction of the Youth Modules. Thankfully, Premier Skills roots have been growing stronger and so this has not happened.
    I recall in about 2005 John Cartwright, Roger Wilkinson and a number of other Premier Skills coaching staff of the time, put on a

    demonstration of the Premier Skills methodology in the gym at the old Highbury
    Stadium.The place was packed with coaches from all levels and afterwards we all went into a meeting room for general discussion and questions. John Cartwright gave a detailed discussion of the work which he had done and answered questions. Then Trevor Brooking, who had been invited to the event, got up and talked for quite some time but never once did he refer to the Premier Skills coaching

    which had just been demonstrated.He just talked in general terms about
    the challenges facing English football and young player development but
    did not give any views or observations on the work which he had just
    seen.
    Instead of embracing or giving due consideration to the Premier Skills coaching approach, the FA have gone ahead with their FA Youth Award Modules and those hefty Future Game coaching manules which, although there is some good work in them, in my opinion promote the ‘random’ approach to coaching which i finsd so prevalent in this country.
    I am inclined to think that the FA hoped to see the back of Premier Skills in the same way as they saw the back of AFCAT 15 years ago.But Premier skills has more solid foundations and most of the coaches I have spoken to who have done both the Youth Modules and Premier Skills courses are in no doubt that Premier Skills has far superior content, from both a technical and practical viewpoint.

    Stadium. the work was done in the gym and the place was packed with coaches of all levels. afterwards

  11. Error in sentence construction at beginning of 3rd paragraph.It should read……..
    In the same way that FACA, (now FA Licensed Coaches Club), gave the boot to AFCAT in 1997, I believe that the FA hoped that the same thing would happen to Premier Skills…..

    • Hi Steve. Once again i have to both thank and congratulate you on the deep insight you have on coaching and the game. You are correct when you say that The FA have tended to block rival coaching bodies. There seems to be desperation and fear exhibited by the coaching dept. to integrate with other coaching bodies and individuals. I have become quite accustomed to be ‘sent to Coventry’ for saying what i think and not accepting their coaching methods that have failed so disasterously. The problem for the FA is , i’m being joined in ‘Coventry ‘ by more and more coaches who have become disillusioned like myself with the lack of forward thinkig from those in the FA coaching structure. WELCOME TO YOU ALL!!

  12. I have reviewed Sam’s original post and offer below some counter balance views including abbreviations of Sam’s original points for relevance:

    “ Having listened to the tutorials and heard talk of “realism” and “decision making” I was looking forward to the first practical sessions as I always feel that the proof is always in the practical application of the theory or philosophy…..what followed was a massive disappointment!……..”

    I think you make some valid points here and the game you describe really does have little to do with football.
    However, the key point you make is that this is also an Early Years physical dexterity exercise.
    Some of the key fundamentals of movement may not be obvious to novice coaches most of whom will be volunteer parents with an interest/passion in football, but not, yet, necessarily be “coaches”.
    Additionally, for a lot of children, club football may be the most exercise they get out of school these days. I believe there is an element of trying to help the physical well being of the nation’s youth. (Although it could be argued that that isn’t our remit, teaching football is !)
    So the FA are trying (in my view) to provide a broad base of understanding as to young players’ overall development needs in the same way as the Level 1 is an introduction to coaching but also looks at Equity & Diversity issues, how to set up a club and organise an end of season tournament, the vast majority of which, whilst it impacts what you do, is not about coaching the game specifically.

    “… The juggling routines came across as a way of merely keeping players occupied before a session….”

    In some ways I would agree. However, at grassroots, players will turn up at different times (some early some late) for a variety of relevant (to the family) reasons and over which the coach cannot control. I remain convinced of the value of ball juggling for a variety of reasons – dexterity, proprioception, warm up benefits and, probably most important, to fuel the desire to self-practice and get better.

    For my part I operate a series of different arrival activities. 1v1 keep away sometimes developing into a 2v2 as players arrive, individual ball juggling, football tennis, and simple pass and move in a small grid. I also organise group warm ups to incorporate dynamic stretching, communication hand ball games or simply throw catch move etc when the group are together.

    All of which will, occupy, ready for the practice and be some fun with or without specific game learning (e.g. football tennis is great for assessing the flight/spin/velocity of the ball for control and volleying skills but isn’t directly related to the game. However. commonly used at all levels of Dutch football and they do OK in developing players).

    As with technical skills, (i.e. Dutch style ball manipulation exercises) they are useful as one part of an overall toolkit rather than being used in isolation as the “one right way” to develop players.

    “..There was clearly a lack of real understanding of how to use and develop realism, decision making and awareness when actually coaching….”

    There is some validity to this criticism. However, I would observe that this course is at least as much about educating the developing coaches into what is possible other than a line style drill and how, with imagination, different games can be devised that are both entertaining (not all grass roots players aspire to be “a player”) and can start to teach some elements of the game (risk/reward in the case of Risky Business)

    “.. I can’t help but feel passionate and enthusiastic coaches are being let down by a coach education system that over charges and on the evidence of this course still under delivers!…”

    To pick up your point of the cost of courses – I have researched this and can say, categorically, that the hourly cost of FA football coaching courses is extremely competitive with the hourly cost of other adult / young adult education courses; Spanish for beginners, car maintenance and cookery to name but three. So, in my humble opinion, individuals are not overcharged, as you indicate.

    However, I am impressed with the relative cost of Premier Skills courses and will be interested to talk to you on the basis and strategy for that !

    “My final observation from the course is a massive one! Never at any stage of the course (or any other FA course for that matter) was there mention of a Game Style or Playing Philosophy!…”

    “…As John Cartwright often alludes how can you put in place a Coach Education program when you do not know what it is trying to achieve? “

    This is a fair point but, I would suggest, indicative of the nature of our society. We try to suggest and encourage rather than dictate what we think is the right way but, ultimately, leave people to make up their own minds.

    This is one area where I think Premier Skills does have an advantage.

    So long as it can promote its “way” because it is what is believed is effective and realistic and which can be demonstrated is game relevant, I think it can make even more of an impact.

    I still feel (and have posted before) that the constant swiping at the NGB will do little to persuade that NGB to be more receptive to the Premier Skills approach. I am sure if someone was to swipe at Premier Skills it would make the leaders of the company:

    a) at least somewhat defensive;
    b) probably suspicious of any attempt the individual or body criticising then made to affect or impact its philosophy
    c) resistant to any form of integration

    I would again mention Coerver Coaching and Brazilian Soccer Schools as two bodies which promote “their way” without necessarily trying to denigrate anyone else’s approach.

    Whilst no-one is above criticism, I feel Premier Skills’ philosophy and approach would be better served by promoting its views rather than comparing it to another groups.

    So far as Game Style and Vision is concerned, I will again state that, in The Future Game document, a vision and philosophy of how the game should be played and coached is clearly stated.

    You may rationally take a standpoint that says you disagree with what is stated or even argue that it is not well formed, but I disagree quite forcefully that there is no FA vision or game style (but that may be because I have interpreted the message / information in the manner that suits how I would like the game to be played).

    Previously, I have also interpreted what Charles Hughes wrote in a particular way that is at odds with a lot of other people’s views, including John’s but, again, that may be because as well as some specific references in “The Winning Formula” and the” FA Coaching Tactics and Skills (FACTS)” books, I have viewed the content in a way that coincides with my views.

    Finally, on this point, I have read in detail the ‘Kick in the Right Direction’ report which, amongst other things, set a desire that the FA should not try control player development programmes ( and presumably therefore game styles) as clubs had the personnel with qualifications and experience to do so themselves.

    That being the case, it could be argued, that the FA has concerned itself in the past with showing people how to coach, to understand the principles of play(which are constant no matter which style one plays) and to recognise when those principles are not being applied and some methods for correction.

    The organisation has not, in my direct experience, (until the FA Youth Awards) tried to influence what I should coach or how I should get my teams to play in over 20 years of attending their courses.

    So, damned if they do, damned if they don’t !

    Whilst I don’t entirely disagree with some of the observations, I hope my comments provide an alternative view to consider.

  13. Hi Steve The Seagull.
    You make some good points in your post.
    Not everything emanating from the FA is bad, far from it. I have seen some good work in the last few years and incorporated it into my own coaching. I am pretty sure that some ideas and methods have been taken from Premier Skills but, leaving that aside, some of it is good.
    But the whole FA Coaching Scheme is too much of a mish-mash. I feel that, from my experience, the FA Youth Award has introduced some interesting coaching concepts but it has also created some confusion.
    By this I mean that when you get to Module 3 you then come on to the real coaching. Suddenly you are introduced to a whole different coaching approach than what you have previously experienced on the other coaching courses from Level 2 upwards. On the established FA Coaching Courses you are trained and tested on your ability to recognise what is going wrong, have the abiilty to explain to the players what is at fault and show and explain the correct procedure to do it correctly. Finally, you must show that you are able to improve the players’ performance accordingly and progress the practice.
    This is all performed by interventions in the coaching practice. Correct interventions at the correct times. Failure to do so will result in failure in the Final Assessment requiring further training and assessments.
    Module 3 of the FA Youth Award, however, comes in from a different angle. Now, you are not to make more than just a few interventions. Players, of all ages and abilities, do not like being stopped continuously and having faults and their correction explained. Everyone in the ‘real world’ knew this years ago but the FA have suddenly made a big play of this with their Module 3. So when i was being assessed on my topic I intervened very early when there was what i saw as a glaring error which would have been suicidal not to have pointed out in a normal FA Course, but was a mark against me in the Module 3 assessment because I intervened too early in the session.
    This confusion and mish-mash of ideas occurs because of tinkering with the system instead of a complete overhaul of the whole coaching scheme. It’s what you get when new ideas, some good, some indifferent,are introduced within fundamentally the same structure.
    Because Premier Skills is a totally new approach , not clinging on to any form of an old structure, that it has inspired and motivated many ‘converts’ and helps them to see ‘the wood from the trees’.

  14. Hi Steve, as usual, a considered and balanced view. I would agree with a lot of what you say and, perhaps, the key here is an evolution in coaching structure, application and philosophy taking place gradually, rather than revolution.
    As you say, where Premier Skills has constructed, more recently, from the ground up, that has clearly been a strength.

  15. PS Steve, you mentioned being marked for an ‘AP’ on your Mod 3 assessment. How did it go and how did you find it personally? I have mine in a few weeks

  16. Hi steve The Seagull.
    The AP which i got for the Module 3 Assessment was the session which you do on the actual 4 day course, designed to give you guidance for if/when you apply for an assessment during the 2 year period in your club environment.
    I have not yet applied for an assessment and the practicalities involved may preclude me from doing so. As i see it, the qualification is really aimed at those coaching in pro clubs’ academies and at my time in life i do not expect to find myself in that environment. I found much of Module 3 very useful, but since i coach very much within the the Premier Skills methodology i do not think that this would quite tally with what the assessor would be looking for should i go forward for Module 3 Assessment.

  17. Loving the blog mate,
    1 or 2 issues though.
    For players under 7, what the point in teaching them how to dribble if they cant run properly?
    If the physical literacy aint there, we cant coach them how to pass.
    My opinion is that we use football as the vehicle to develop the physical literacy, once they reach 7v7 at under 9s. Thats when they start being taught Ball Mastery.
    I see sessions, every week where coaches try to tell their players to dribble with the ball when they dont have a clue how to run.
    In Scotland, we have no coaching structure. Local council runs a physical literacy programme for primary 1&2, while the the sports council runs the football section with primary 3 to 7. The clubs though, run classes from 4 up to teenagers and their sessions annoy the bejesus out of me.

  18. Hi, i have recently paid for and awaiting the start of the YM1, also applying for the YM2 straight away. I am currently a volunteer community coach wanting to develop youth participation, and i was just wondering if these courses are going to benefit me. what do you guys think

    cheers
    Callum

  19. I’ve done my YM1 and start my YM2 tomorrow. I found the YM1 superb and I’m really looking forward to YM2.

    I found I took a lot from the course. Although these are “football” coaching courses, one of the main things that was stressed during the pre-work for both is that it’s really important to encourage younger kids to play a variety of sports. I incorporate lots more “fun” types of games, many not using a football at all, as a warm up. Anything that gets the kids moving in different ways and also things that they find fun and get them engaged are all used. I have also changed the way I coach, in particular the way I praise and correct the kids during a session. I now very rarely have practices where kids are lined up for more than a few seconds, but in particularly intense sessions it can actually do the kids good to get a chance for a breather!

    The second point is that although the sessions on the course can seem a bit dis-jointed, they are only samples of what you can do. I often go back to the FA Level 1 course that I did a few years ago to get some practices and then mix and match according to what I’m trying to coach in a particular session.

    I for one like the way the coaching philosophy is changing in the FA and a recent trip to St Georges Park, where I met and chatted with some of the top people, has only enthused me even more.

  20. I think the Youth Award is excellent (I’ve only completed the first stage at the moment). I found it to be a big step forward from the more traditional methods I see employed on the coaching field and thank goodness for that! It does require coaches to take a leave from the way they were likely trained growing up and this I suspect is where some coaches will find it difficult and may not ‘buy in’ to the concept. We’re all entitled to our opinion of course but I would urge youth coaches to get along to this and leave your old/out of date thinking at the door! (the same thinking that has prevented us winning anything since ’66).

    • We only had to create a session and get the other candidates to participate. Im guessing the YAM2 will be similar but with more emphasis on development / progression / observation.

  21. Ive did the YAM 1 in April and im at present half way through the YAM2, im finding these courses very informative not just in football terms but in development of the player and all the factors involved in that i.e. the 4 corners, the practice spectrum.

    My biggest problem is the pathways, in the 2014/2015 books from the FA their is a route from YAM2 to YAM3 as well as Level 2, but in the 2015-2016 pathway its now directed through the Level 2 only. WHY ??? Surely if your just going to develop grassroots and children between say 5 and 16 is a Level 2 really required if you wanted to get all the YAM’s???

    Anyway looking forward to last two days this coming weekend.

    • Thanks for the reply. I believe changes are going to be taking place again next year with the coaching pathway!
      I am now going to do FAYM1 anyway as the club needs quite a few coaches to do so to meet new charter club guidelines.
      Hope the rest of the course goes well.

  22. just done my first day of youth module 3- I have a positive impression of what the course entails from what I know so far-that said one or two of my fellow attendees have had less then glowing reports from friends who have completed mod 3.

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