> News > 2016 NZF Youth Level 1 Coach Course > Coaches Gain NZF Youth Level 1 Qualification

Coaches Gain NZF Youth Level 1 Qualification

As part of Cook Islands Football Association’s new Coach Education partnership with New Zealand Football, OFC and FIFA, the course is the first of its kind with the Cook Islands being the first island nation in Oceania to deliver its own bespoke courses and without the need of FIFA to do so for them. This opens a door for coaches who can now gain internationally recognised qualifications without having to travel overseas.
Last week’s course was the very first of six new modules CIFA will deliver each year for coaches working with Junior (5-11yrs), Youth (11-16yrs) and Senior (17+yrs) players. The new Coach Education pathway has two levels of qualification at each age group, with the next stage of this one to be conducted later in the year.
The training programme was delivered by Instructor and CIFA’s Technical Director Drew Sherman, who got underway with Day One last Thursday afternoon.
“We had coaches from every Club involved in the course, and the candidates are all currently actively coaching in their Clubs with the U14 Girls, U14 Boys or U17 Boys grades.”
Sherman is certain there is a huge interest shown from the Cook Islands community towards football and coaching in its own respect. He said with the ability to conduct in-country courses such as these assists with CIFA’s Academy objectives to expand and cover the youth age groups in their entirety, for better performance at future U17 and U20 World Cup meets.
“One of the key principles of the course was understanding social and emotional impacts on young players and how we deal with them at this age group.
“The cross-over into teaching adolescents is fundamental and I believe that the course content can be applied not only to football, but any sport and even teaching in general.”
The workshop ran over two evenings, one classroom based theory session and one pitch based practical session on Thursday and Friday respectively. The theory aspect consisted largely of group based work where participants drew from their experiences as examples, which was then exercised in a ten minute practical coaching session with the CIFA’s U17 Boys Academy.
“The outcomes will be to better understand the needs of players participating in this age bracket and to ensure that our coaches can continue to provide a positive football experience in their respective Clubs.”
The course has also been a learning experience for Sherman who said he gained a better insight into the issues that Club coaches face on a weekly basis, as well as being a foreigner, gaining further insight into the Cook Islands culture and how this plays together with football in creating a unique environment here.
“The course provides me with first-hand experience of these,” he says.
Critical to developing Football in the Cook Islands, the course has gained 16 coaches with revalidated and fresh qualifications who hopefully have been inspired and prepared to be better at creating positive experiences for young players on the island.