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WOMEN’S COACHES DEVELOPMENT
Organisation responsible: Estonian Football Association
Main topic addressed: Coaching
Type of resource/practice: Educational tool
Target group(s): Women coaches
Timing: 2014 – 2015
Brief description of the practice: While in our process of preparing a women’s football strategic plan, we realised that we have to raise the number of women coaches as well, to focus on active coaches and to help them to take the next steps in their qualifications. We targeted 3 groups: former top players, active women coaches and current players who had the incentive to become coaches and PE teachers.
For the former top players, we had individual approach. We offered them, based on their qualifications, the next courses and included them in our different national teams’ training with clear mentoring support.
For the active coaches in women’s football we designed special EFA C and UEFA B courses. One third of the UEFA B course was delivered by the UEFA technical expert, Beatrice von Siebenthal. One coach graduated in UEFA A licence.
For PE teachers we designed a new 16-hour grassroots course paying special attention to women’s football. To support our grassroots coaches and PE teachers we published special football exercises handbook. The handbook was also delivered, together with Nike footballs and bibs, as a present to all schools participating in EFA School Project festivals.
The overall aim of the project was to increase the number of qualified female coaches and to prepare the clubs for a licensing system in the top women’s Meistriliiga.
Content and objectives: The main aim was to increase the number of qualified female coaches in women’s football at all levels. We evaluated the needs and possible human resources and prepared educational programmes at all levels starting from PE teachers up to UEFA A by targeting possible women coaches.
- To increase the number of qualified women coaches at all levels;
- To introduce first ever women’s football EFA C and UEFA B course;
- To include former NT players with coaching certificates to Estonian NT’s programmes;
- To include women’s club coaches in the EFA School project with the aim of letting them practise how to successfully organise school visits;
- Support the PE teachers and grassroots coaches with comprehensive football exercises handbook;
- Prepare women’s football top clubs for a club licensing process.
Steps/activities of the practice:
- Evaluating the current women’s football coaches’ profiles and targeting new possible candidates among the current players;
- In the annual women’s football conference, a project introduction was done by women’s football technical director with explanation of the current situation, objectives and key performance indicators;
- Preparing and implementing special women’s football EFA C and UEFA B course in co-operation with EFA women’s football department and educational department;
- Introducing women’s football section in grassroots football courses for PE teachers;
- Special attention to girls’ football in EFA Schools Project. Involving local clubs’ women’s football coaches in school visits;
- Involving former NT players to NT’s programmes;
- Special football exercises handbook was produced for grassroots level.
Resources required: After the project we ranked the resources needed and we can admit that the most important resource was the human resource, which was supported by finances and equipment. For the implementation of our project we had to sub-divide co-operation between women’s football, education, grassroots and marketing/media department:
- For educational programmes – women’s football and education department prepared and carried out special courses targeting women coaches and PE teachers;
- For school projects and girls’ festivals – women’s football, grassroots and marketing/media department prepared special girls’ festivals in schools and towns, including local club coaches, and promoted the events;
- For special football exercises handbook – women’s football, education, grassroots and marketing/media department prepared the material, designed and delivered the handbook.
The project was supported by EFA merchandise partner Nike who provided equipment for the courses and schools visits.
Financially the project was mainly covered with UEFA HatTrick funding (100.000 €) + EFA own funds approx. 10%.
Achievements and outcomes: Specially targeting the need to raise the number of qualified female coaches we achieved an increase in the:
- Number of qualified women coaches (grassroots diploma to UEFA A) – 45 %;
- Number of highly-qualified female coaches (UEFA B and higher) – 70 %
- Women’s football clubs involved in EFA School project – 30%.
Challenges and limitations: The main challenge for us in Estonia was and is the image of women’s football and how to attract more participants to the women’s game. We would like the interest towards women’s football from PE teachers to be higher and the number of girls taking up the game after the festivals to be higher. We managed to include in our grassroots courses more PE teachers than in previous years, but still the number could be much bigger.
The other limitation to achieving our targets is that football is not included 100 % in our school’s curriculum. It is up to every individual school to decide if they would like to include football in their PE lessons.
Follow-up ideas and future plans: The project helped us to increase the number and level of women’s football coaches which is the base of development of women’s football. As the strategic aim was to start the women’s top league clubs licensing process in 2017, we managed to set the base for inclusion of women coaches in top clubs’ technical staff and for the most promising ones their inclusion in Estonian National Teams (A, U19/U18, U17/U16 and U15) staff.
Our women’s football department closely follows the development of our promising women coaches and provides 1-2 women per year with the opportunity to coach and the possibility to apply for a grant from UEFA Coach Development Project for further education.
Contact person: Anne Rei, firstname.lastname@example.org