The Introduction of Computer Coaching Software to the NVQ Level 2 & 3 Football Coaching Courses
It is my belief that the introduction of coaching software to the football coaching courses, which are currently running at Bournville College, would be beneficial to the students in many ways.
We currently expect students to design and develop their own coaching session template, as stated in the guidelines of the NVQ curriculum. Although this is an important part of the students learning and understanding, I believe it is introduced far too early into the programme to have any immediate impact on the student. Most students enter the world of Football Coaching quite ignorant to the requirements of such a document, so to expect them to design their own with very little knowledge of its contents is a tall order.
The current format for producing such documents can be done in one of two ways . The standard pen and paper production, which if done properly looks nice, however, mistakes made whilst using this method can lead to an untidy piece or have the student starting all over again. Either way, the paper and pen method can be very time consuming. The other requires a knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel programs to design on. Once again this can take time to learn and formulate. I used both methods during my time as a student and preferred the latter.
For several years now I have been using a piece of computer software called ‘Soccer Tutor’. This state of the art program enables the user to create and design sessions with relative ease and in different formats (2D, 3D, full, half, third or quarter pitch, side, end or birds eye view) It has helped me no end over the years and I believe that the introduction of this software within the education of the subject would give the students an added edge when taking the course. It has been a great influence in the planning of my sessions both in and out of college.
With the introduction of Soccer Tutor Software, all students would have access to an ‘interactive template’ that they could experiment with and play with any ideas they may have. Also with the increasing use of Smartboards within classrooms, the software can be used to demonstrate, teach and brainstorm ideas utilizing the whole class, who at the same time could replicate and create sessions by using the software in front of them. Many different scenarios can be produced in very little time compared to the current method of hand writing sessions that can take time to complete when presentation is paramount.
These sessions are automatically transferred to a coaching session template whereby the student will need to fill in the details of the drill which can then be saved, printed off, emailed and edited at anytime. Over the course of the year a portfolio of work can be produced quickly by using the software, which when shared with other students, would build up a sizable manual of coaching drills by the end of the course, which would be beneficial in the early years of the students coaching life.
The introduction of the software has many educational advantages too. It encourages problem solving and improves student development and understanding by presenting their sessions and tactics in a visual manner. It incorporates the basic Skills for Life within every lesson as it embeds literacy, language, numeracy and ICT. This has many benefits as stated on the Skills for Life Development Centre website who put:
‘For those who adopt the embedding approach, the benefits are tangible, even conclusive. The argument is simple: embed Skills for Life and you raise the functional skills levels of your learners; raise the functional skills levels and you raise retention, achievement rates in vocational qualifications and progression to higher-level programmes.’
Surely a good argument to introduce the software as this would definitely be in the college’s interest....