Archive for July, 2013

Just returned from my first residential course assignment as Associate Staff for the NSCAA.  It was a great experience and I’m excited to be on this journey of developing myself as a coach of coaches.  I’ve been on state staff for Federation courses now for five years, but it’s been a great experience to see the other side of the NSCAA.

For the my first course as staff I “apprenticed” with the senior staff.  Basically shadowed a few  instructors in the National Diploma and Advanced National Diploma courses, watched how they conducted model sessions, and I was a part of the candidate evaluation process too.

The differences in the philosophy and mentality of coaching education is drastically different in my mind between the NSCAA and the Federation.  Maybe it’s more fresh in my mind since I only completed my “A” license this past January, but the emphasis on development versus evaluation is very apparent, and I even experienced it as an instructor in training.  It’s always been something I’ve really enjoyed about the NSCAA, they want you to go home a better coach because you’ve been at their course, no matter what grade you end up with.

During the National Diploma course the four instructors were always available to the candidates for help.  We ate in the cafeteria, we stayed in the same dorm, the staff were regularly walking through the lounges to make themselves available to the candidates, and even the course social the second evening sets the tone for the remainder of the course.  It’s a community of coaches, and the more experienced ones are trying to share knowledge with the less experienced, and one another.  It’s a coaching fraternity, and once you’re in, you’re in, and you have just as much right to the information and feedback as anyone else.

I felt all of this as an apprentice this past week as well.  Senior staff were asking for my input on model sessions they were running, asked for insight on candidate training sessions to make sure they were evaluating properly, and treated me as a member of the instruction staff from the get-go.  It reaffirmed the reason why I feel passionate about educating coaches, especially with the NSCAA.

Just returned Sunday evening from the 2013 ODP Region 2 Camp.  I had the privilege of coaching the ’98 Dakota Boy’s team again this year.  As I mentioned last year, it’s always hard being a Dakotas team and showing up at Region Camp with only half the team ever even meeting one another.  This year we had eight players from the Dakotas, and we picked up seven composite players from Wisconsin and Illinois.  The boys enjoyed playing with each other, and it was a positive experience for the most part, but the soccer was lacking.

Fortunately we had two players that made the holdover pool of 36!  Very proud of these two guys, especially since I’ve been coaching them for a couple of years and it’s nice to see them reaping some rewards for their efforts.  And most importantly, I hope the experience of training with the best 36 players from Region Camp makes them a better player and shows them what the next level will be like.

Proud of the effort the whole team gave at camp, and for coming together and having moments of quality soccer.