U.S. coaches learn how to “influence influencers” in Kansas

24 Nov 2021
  • USSF running coach educator courses with FIFA funding

  • Courses designed to improve coaching quality and consistency

  • Coach educators will return to teach in own communities

Many of the brightest coaching educators in the USA gathered in Kansas last week to attend a course run by USSF that seeks to instil consistent standards of coaching across the country.

The course, the first of its kind in the U.S., and involving 20 coach educators, was funded by the FIFA Forward programme.

The hope is that the participants will take what they have learnt back home and impart that knowledge to other football coaches and instructors in their communities.

“As a federation, we strive for more and better players. To accomplish that we need more and better coaches and therefore, we need more and better educators,” said Scott Flood, the USSF’s National Development Centre Director.

FIFA has been involved in developing the course content from the start.

“FIFA is the driver and the reason this course is taking place,” added Flood. “(FIFA’s Head of Coaching Development) Branimir Ujevic and his team have been instrumental from creating the concept, curriculum, and course materials to showcasing the idea to member associations and then ultimately launching and working directly with the MA technical staffs. It has been a very rewarding journey thus far.”

Coach educator course in Kansas

The course participants came from all over the country and with a variety of roles and experience. Former national team coaches, as well as club coaches and technical leaders attended the five-day event.

For the coaching educators, the process is just beginning. Now they must share this knowledge.

“I’m here to learn how best to influence influencers: the coach educators,” said coach educator Matt Dacey.

The aim of course is to create a chain effect, whereby coach educators, coaches and players all benefit down the line.

“I believe education is something that should be accessible to all so one of the main goals of participating in this course is to be able to lead the next generation of coaches and coach educators in my regional community of Tennessee and the surrounding states,” said Sammy Giraldo, who is the Director of Coaching at the Tennessee State Soccer Association.

“It’s also a top priority to help provide these opportunities to underserved communities… In the end it’s always about growing the game and connecting with individuals for the betterment of the community."

Participants in Kansas also heard about FIFA’s Coach Mentorship programme, which is open to applications now. For more information on how to apply, please click HERE.

Coach educator course in Kansas