On Saturday 13th November, Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust (WWSET) were delighted to kick off our Pre-Apprenticeship in Football Coaching in partnership with The Virtual School and Buckinghamshire Council.
The 8-week course introduces participants to the fundamentals of football coaching which is supplemented by work experience supporting our professional coaches and teachers in the field.
The participants, all local boys aged between 11-16, discussed coaches they knew and the qualities they possessed to make them successful in the role. The course, led by lifelong Wanderers fan and highly experienced coach and teacher, Paul Withams, shared his expertise and asked the participants to discuss the formal and informal qualifications and qualities of grassroots and professional football coaches.
This included looking at why the modern player requires a range of qualities and styles from those who coach and teach them. In particular we looked at the range of roles that the coach does beyond just putting out cones and putting on a football session and related this to the wider and ever-changing demands on the modern football coach, relating this to young peoples school-life and being organised, well-planned, timely and well-presented.
The boys then joined our staff in watching the first team game at Adams Park, an unfortunate and disappointing 1-0 loss to Portsmouth. They watched intently, studying everything from the warm ups to the timing and election of substitutions by the coaches in an attempt to influence the game.
Despite the result, the coaching team really enjoyed meeting the new participants for this course, the first of its kind to ever be held at Adams Park.
WWSET Head of Education, Mark Guildea, said: ‘It was a pleasure to meet these local young people who are already so passionate about developing themselves and others through coaching. Their knowledge of both the game and the role of the coach was beyond my expectations and we are excited to really stretch and challenge these boys in our future sessions. Our goal is to inspire these young boys to be the best coach and the best individuals they can be and today was a great start to a course that we are really proud to be delivering’.
The next session for the cohort is this Saturday at home to Bolton Wanderers, where the participants will look at planning their first coaching session and what delivering for the first time might look and feel like for a young person – with our coaches sharing their stories of their first sessions.
Special thanks to the incredible work of the team behind this project at The Virtual School and Buckinghamshire County Council, who without their support this project would not have been realised.
See you all at the next game for more fun, development and hopefully a Wanderers win too!