UEFA with iCoachKids online football coach


Are you interested in taking your first steps as a grassroots football coach?

To help people thinking of getting involved with coaching, as well as existing coaches, teachers, volunteers and parents, UEFA has teamed up with iCoachKids, a not-for-profit global coaching movement, to provide a free learning tool to help deliver the best sessions possible.

UEFA- with- iCoachKids- online -football- coach

The UEFA iCoachKids e-learning courses have been launched to help all UEFA member national associations to offer those working with children a comprehensive online coach education resource.

A football coach can inspire a child for life, and the modules provide ideas for how coaches can engage children in an effective and positive environment, fulfil their needs and deliver developmentally appropriate and progressive sessions.

The free courses, which are open to everyone, supplement the new UEFA C Diploma and incorporate a mixture of content in videos, interactive activities and practical work where the coach engages in real-life tasks related to the content covered in the courses.

The online courses provide a great entry-level step before coaches start formal coach education, or as a top-up to the UEFA C Diploma. Upon completion, participants will receive a certificate of attendance which is recognised as further education, in accordance with the 2020 UEFA Coaching Convention.

Course content is based on the latest scientific research and best practice in youth sport, and in European football associations in particular. Courses are available in English, French and Spanish, with German and Russian coming soon.

The three online courses cover the following topics:

iCoachKids has developed 10 top tips for working with children

iCoachKids has developed 10 top tips for working with children

1 Developing effective environments for children in sport

2 Child and youth-centred coaching

3 Coaching children: planning, doing and reviewing

Top tips for coaching kids

To further help those working with children, iCoachKids has developed a set of golden rules for working with children and providing them with a positive experience.

Be child-centered

Always have the best interests of children at heart, and listen to them. It’s all about what children want and need. Take the adult glasses off - and see the sport through the eyes of the child.

Be holistic

Try to see and develop children in your sessions as people first and foremost, and not only as athletes. Challenge them to think, as well as to move.

Be inclusive

Be prepared to cater for all levels of activities and motivations. Pay attention to every child, not only the better ones. Get to know the kids you coach, dare to coach them differently – and remove all barriers to participation.

Make it fun and safe

Children want to learn and have fun doing it, and they want to feel safe. Coaches must create caring and enjoyable climates – an atmosphere that allows children to thrive…and that keeps them coming back for more.

Prioritise the love for sport above learning sport

Only a small proportion of kids want to be elite athletes, and of those who do, only a few succeed. Yet all of them have the potential to become healthy, active adults. Creating that fantastic legacy is part of a coach’s job.

Focus on foundational skills

During childhood, coaches shouldn’t worry too much about the sport’s specific skills. At a young age, kids need to gain essential motor skills, and learn the basics of how to play a game. This focus on fundamental skills leads to lifelong participation, as well as a higher level of performance.

Engage parents positively

Parents aren’t the enemy – they’re the biggest resource at a coach’s disposal. They want the best for their kids – and so does the coach. Partnership is the key word…talk to parents. It’s the coach’s responsibility to help them understand the best ways that they can help their children make the most out of sport.

Plan progressive programmes

A coach is taking children on a learning journey. Any plan needs to take into account their age and stage of development, and the best ways to help them make progress. Children aren’t mini-adults. Coaches have to make the game fit the kids – not the other way around!

Use different methods to enhance learning

There is not one single best way to coach. Different strategies are better suited for different stages of learning. The art of coaching is to know when a child needs to be exposed to one type of practice or another.

Use competition in a developmental way

Competition isn’t the devil! It all depends on how it is organised, presented and managed. When done properly, competitions are an amazing motivator – and a lot of fun. Competitions can also teach children good skills and attitudes such as fairness, sportsmanship, respect and teamwork. Make sure that the format, atmosphere and competitions are appropriate for the kids.

"The main ingredient for a coach," said Kris Van Der Haegen, a UEFA coaching expert and head of coach educatio

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