Football Federation Australia partnered with Northern Suburbs Football Association on Wednesday evening to launch a pilot coach education workshop for a new Skill Acquisition Phase (SAP) session methodology. Eric Abrams, FFA Technical Director, and Kevin Grima, FFA Head of Boys Youth Development, visited North Turramurra Recreation Area on a wet and foggy Wednesday evening to showcase their alternative session delivery and design methodology for coaches within the SAP age groups (9 – 13 years old).
Grima presented a practical session with the help of Northern Lions Under 12 players, showcasing the new Game : Intervention : Game (GIG) method. The practical session provided a welcoming opportunity for NSFA community coaches to observe the theory in action, with players engaged in a ‘normal game’ straight from the beginning. The GIG method of session delivery aims to provide a more enjoyable, engaging and development focussed approach to SAP sessions. As the session progressed, Kevin worked on the players’ ability to beat a player in a 1v1 situation and accelerate away. The session was rounded off by once again placing the players in a game to test whether the intervention exercise had improved the players’ ability and to test whether learning had taken place.
Grima was extremely pleased with how the practical was received from coaches, with many discussing his coaching behaviours as a stand out which allowed the players to feel comfortable and confident to challenge themselves within the session. He mirrored this reflection, reinforcing the need for coaches to create a positive learning environment for their players, especially in the SAP age groups, to ensure players test themselves without the worry of failure.
The coach education evening moved inside as Grima and Abrams provided a presentation on the WHY, WHAT and HOW of the new GIG methodology. The presentation and open floor Q and A provided a great opportunity for NSFA coaches to seek answers and advice from Australia’s leading player development minds. The night was well received by Eric Abrams, who thanked all participants for coming out and providing FFA a unique insight into community coaches and some of the challenges that are faced currently.
Ed Ferguson, NSFA Community Football Manager was extremely thankful to all NSFA coaches and Northern Tigers coaches for their attendance, as well as Grima and Abrams for giving up their time to discuss football and coach development with others.
“The GIG method is something that empowers players to make more decisions, while coaches can be confident that players will be motivated and engaged through the use of constant games and the ability to score goals. One of the most pleasing aspects of the night was the ‘wrap-up’ at the end of the session that Kevin facilitated with the players. All players thoroughly enjoyed the new approach to training, most significantly the freedom to try new things, score goals and the feeling of playing in a match.”
All 46 participants from the evening were invited to provide direct feedback to Grima and Abrams in the coming weeks as they put the GIG methodology to the test across the NSFA.
Visit the NSFA Coach Education Hub for more information about upcoming education opportunities.