If you thought today’s elite coaching courses were centered on cutting-edge tactics, session plans, and the latest formation fads, you’d only be scratching the surface, as FTBL found out.
In 2019, 16 successful men and women are taking the AFC/FFA Pro Diploma in this country.
Four modules across four cities across Australia, the course looks at what it means to lead as a coach in 2019.
Rather than a pure 'on the grass' coaching focus, the group is discovering insights into the application of a more nuanced, broader and thoughtful leadership mindset.
Yes, some of the traditional on the grass elements are part of the course. But it’s the focus on a growth mindset towards more effective leadership that is the biggest take out of this course for this next group of leaders in football.
Huss Skenderovic, the former Adelaide United W-League head coach and technical director at Ajman in the UAE is one of the 16 Australian coaches on the course led by the respected coach educator Sean Douglas.
“The ideology, based on feedback from past experiences, was that when you’re an ‘A’ licensed coach, you’re expected now to be competent on the grass with the process of coaching,” Skenderovic, now a technical director in the Victorian NPL with Dandenong Thunder, told FTBL.
“The rest is on the leadership concepts. Very little is done out on the park.
“Understanding your values was a huge part of the course. How you understand your values, how you impart them and do players know your values? And do you as a coach know the values of your players.
“That has nothing to do with the tactical or technical or physical side of the game.
“And it’s not just about players, it’s also about the staff within a football club, so the culture becomes strong.”
The Pro Diploma through AFC/FFA is a prized course with around 80 applicants whittled down to 16.
The first two modules have been run in Melbourne and Brisbane, and the final two are in Canberra and Sydney later this year.
Other students on this year’s course include Karl Dodd, Mel Andreatta, Kat Smith, Michael Bridges, John Kosmina, Hayden Foxe, John Anastasiadis, Jacob Burns, Chris Greenacre, Robbie Stanton, David Zdrilic, Jimmy van Weerun, Njegosh Popovich, and the Piddick brothers Grae and Adam.