Coaches from across the region carry new knowledge home with them today after the conclusion of Part One of the OFC B Licence coaching course in Auckland last night.
The course saw two women and 17 men commit to eight intensive days of training to progress closer to the next level in coaching qualification.
“We learnt a lot of new things, and I believe those were the missing elements to us reaching a higher level of coaching,” Vanuatu coach Joel Rurua said.
“We’ve learnt a lot about personality and leadership and how to integrate them into improving football.”
OFC Head of Education and Training Giovani Fernandes was amazed at the dedication shown by the coaches throughout the course.
“Their commitment is unbelievable. The coaches were eager to learn and gave their best at everything. I couldn’t ask for more,” he said.
“Their attitude wasn’t ‘oh there’s a test’, they just wanted to learn. It was quite cool.”
Fernandes was also impressed with all the instructors and their ability to adapt the content of the course to meet the unique needs of the 19 coaches, something they hope the coaches will now apply to their own players when they return home.
“At the start of the course we learned a lot about the participants so that we were able to grasp their level of understanding of the concepts – leadership, game understanding, coaching process, and player development – and then adapt the course to be specific to their needs,” Fernandes said.
“I was quite surprised with the progress we made in terms of leadership, which in fact was the initial focus for us.”
“We wanted to engage with them at a personal level to empower them so that they believed they could do it for themselves.
“If you can manage yourself you can really manage other people, or in this case, the players.”
The OFC Technical Department made full use of the resources available to them during the course, inviting the student-athletes in the OFC Education Centre to meet the coaches and participate in the practical sessions.
“We’re fortunate that the OFC President has driven this initiative and our Technical Director Patrick Jacquemet has fully engaged with the establishment of the programme,” Fernandes said.
“On the first day when we were discussing creating a vision, the student-athletes had already created their visions, so we brought them in to share it with the coaches,” he added.
“It was quite inspiring, and I think that had a big impact on the coaches who had to think of ways they would meet these players’ needs to help them achieve their vision.
“Being able to interact and work with the kids whom they’ve helped develop brings an extra amount of motivation.”
On their return to their home countries, the coaches will participate in post-course tasks while receiving mentoring before returning to New Zealand for the OFC B Licence Part 2 in 2017.
“Their first task is about their personal development plan, creating or elaborating more on their vision, their mission and actually detailing how they’re going to get there and where the B Licence comes within their personal plan,” Gio explained.
“It then becomes our job as mentors to support them to achieve their goals,” he added.
“The B Licence shouldn’t be the ultimate goal, the B Licence should be a step in them achieving what they want to achieve.”
Participating Fiji FA coaches will feel at an advantage with the experience of their technical director and mentor, Ravinesh Kumar, who is currently completing his A Licence and joined the coaches in New Zealand as a course observer.
“The idea is for him to gain more experience to deliver courses so that ideally in the future, he could become an OFC instructor and help us develop coaches across the Pacific,” Fernandes said.
“He will play a leading role with the Fiji coaches and, through his leadership and knowledge, he will be able to bring them together and align their individual visions with what Fiji FA is trying to achieve,” he added.
With the collaboration of instructors completing their A Licence, course observers, student-athletes and coaches across the region gaining mutual benefit from their shared learning, Fernandes is confident to say the course was a huge success.
“We related to the coaches in terms of our experiences, learned from their experiences, and shared knowledge. It was by far the most interesting and rewarding aspect of this course.”