Day 1 of the UEFA B course in Eerikkila, Finland, a fantastic national facility for futsal and football.
Today was an opportunity to meet the other course candidates from Finland, Sweden, Spain, Russia, the Czech Republic and Serbia and to discuss our futsal backgrounds prior to some group discussions on coaching methods. I found it really refreshing to see that the Finnish FA and UEFA are actively promoting game related exercises where the player problem solves themselves and not to have every move directed by the coaches. An exception to this is is the cognitive/beginner phase where players are starting out and learning the fundamentals of the game.
The highly experienced Finland coach Mico Martic stated "With the right training conditions the level of your players will improve" and reemphasised that it is ok for players to make mistakes but a good coach helps the players learn from those mistakes. He also spoke about the importance of intensity in sessions, something our coaches are always going on about. As a coach this is a great reminder that your role is to improve your players individually and collectively as a team.
In the afternoon we were on the court coaching the fundamentals of the game with passing, control, dribbling, feints and shooting exercises with part 1 unopposed exercises and part 2 progressing to game related practices that focus on each topic. This was coach participation and I am feeling it now, although I did fire one right in the top bins in the feint exercise that good a clap around the hall.
Tonight it is catching up on what is happening at home, responding to parents and ensuring that everything is in place with the coaches for tomorrow's sessions and youth team matches in the evening.
The next 3 days are pretty intense on the court with Finland u19s providing the players for the content. Tomorrow morning the focus is on defence and the afternoon is on attack. As someone who is passionate about futsal and our Futsal Escocia kids it will be good to see how our kids compare.
I will hopefully get and opportunity to update you all with a blog from day 2 as I think it is important for parents and players to understand that I am here to develop myself as a coach but also to share my experience to help develop other coaches and most importantly the players in our academy and teams.
Good luck to everyone at the sessions and games tomorrow!!