Becoming a football coach has never been easier. The Football Association provide courses each year to help develop new coaches and have recently launched their Licensed Coaches’ Club, which provides ongoing training and development for coaches, to keep their qualifications up to date. We are also starting to see the emergence of football coaching companies, as well as professional football clubs reaching out to local schools to help develop the next generation of footballers.
Yet despite so many opportunities to become a football coach, figures for grassroots football coaching are down. In fact, numbers across the whole of the amateur game are significantly falling.
In March of this year it was announced that The Football Association is to lose £1.6m of public funding for the amateur game after failing to reverse a sharp decline in the number of people regularly playing the sport.
Figures published last December showed there had been a significant drop in the number of people playing football for at least 30 minutes each week. According to Sport England, there are 1.84 million people playing regularly – a fall of 100,000 since April last year.
It comes as no surprise that during a time where participation and funding among the lower ranks of the game are falling – and have been for many years – our national team is in a state of disarray.
During this year’s World Cup, England were knocked out in the group stages having failed to win a single match, scoring just two goals in the process and conceding four. It was the first time that the England football team failed to make it through the group stages since 1958 and they now sit 20th in the FIFA World Rankings, their lowest position since 1996.
Build for the future
What the UK needs is more ‘grassroots’ football coaches otherwise there is a danger that our national game will fall further into the quagmire.
Not only will England continue to fail in major tournaments but, more importantly, local football clubs up and down the country will be forced to close down, offering even less opportunities for children to play football.
It’s down to us to take some responsibility and help build for the future. Being a football coach is an extremely fulfilling experience. Yes it takes time, effort, passion, patience and a whole lot of dedication, but it’s also wonderfully rewarding. There are few better feelings than coaching children the basic concepts of football – or any sport or skill for that matter – and watching them grow as a player and person.
And it’s not just the kids who develop either. As a football coach, you will grow as a person too: building self-confidence and maturity as well as taking on responsibilities.
Responsibility is a huge word when coaching children; in fact it’s probably the most important element when taking charge of a group and is a factor that influences many people’s decision to become a coach.
As with many sports, football poses risks to those who play it. On a football field there are many potential dangers, from broken glass or stones on the pitch, to unavoidable collisions between players. It is important that, should an accident occur, both you and your equipment are insured.
Our insurance policy covers everything from equipment to legal responsibility for all coaches each time that they step onto the football pitch.
Become a part of the solution and help make football the thriving sport it once was. Could you be the next Jose Mourinho? Is there a Brendan Rodgers residing from within? Is there a Pep Guardiola bursting to get out? You’ll never know until you try football coaching for yourself.
For more information on becoming a coach go to: http://www.thefa.com/