Coaches so impressed

Two top FIFA coaches were here recently to instruct local coaches and they made a big impression.

FIFA Coaching Instructor Scott O’Donell conducted Stage Two of a FIFA Member Association Course in the Cayman Islands and was extremely impressed by the overall organization exhibited by the Cayman Islands Football Association and the participating coaches.

O’Donell pointed this out in an overview after his first visit to the islands under the supervision of veteran Coaching Instructor and former national player/coach of the Trinidadian National Football team Alvin Corneal.

O’Donell a former Australian National Football Player said: ‘Overall I was very happy with the way the course went. The organization on a whole was excellent except for the limited availability of the National Under17 Girls due to the long weekend.’

‘This made the practical sessions limited as well as the somewhat disappointing low number of participants.

‘I have to say that I was also a little disappointed with the relatively low number of participants on this course from which I am sure the ones present will have a wealth of knowledge and ideas to pass on to their players in the development process.

‘Regardless of this glitch we worked with what we had and it was a success in the end.

‘The enthusiasm of the coaches present greatly impressed me. Their desire to ask questions and to learn more was very pleasing.

‘What these coaches need now is some supervision so that they can receive regular feedback on their sessions. I know Carl Brown (technical director) is happy to do this.

‘Some of the feedback I received was that the coaches would like more opportunities to conduct practical sessions in front of the instructors.’

‘This course was relatively short; it was difficult to include more practical sessions. Maybe, the next course should focus more on the practical side of coaching where the participants could conduct two or three training sessions each for assessment purposes.

‘One initiative I included in a coaching project in Asia last year was to video all practical sessions conducted and then review the sessions with the individual coaches.

‘It was an excellent teaching tool because it gave the opportunity for the coaches to see themselves coaching and allowed me to highlight areas that need to be improved as well as pointing out the good points as well. Obviously videoing the sessions are more complicated logistically.’

O’Donell believes that the coaches need to break down their sessions and focus on one or two aspects of the game during each training session rather than trying to cover too many aspects.

The coaches he said have a general knowledge of the game, however putting that knowledge into practice might prove to be a little more difficult.

O’Donell said how impressed he was when his tour guide referee Winston Blackwood took him to the facilities.

‘I am genuinely impressed with the facilities available for such a small island. The introduction of artificial turf pitches is such a positive move as they are excellent when coaching young players the basics of the game.

‘The new headquarters for CIFA is also very impressive, and once the fields and the rest of the buildings are complete, I assume CIFA will be the envy of many neighbouring countries.

‘The willingness and enthusiasm of the volunteers is very pleasing and is such a vital factor for the success of developing football nations such as Cayman Islands. More importantly it is vital for all stakeholders to work together for the development of football in Cayman.

‘I want to publicly appeal to the coaches to put all their differences behind and work as a unit in the interest of developing football and the youngsters on the Cayman Island. They should work together and to share information with each other.

‘On behalf of myself and Alvin Corneal let me say thanks to everyone who has played a part in the success of this course.

‘I have sent my email address to all of the participants with the intension of keeping the communication process in place and sending them additional coaching materials.

‘Lastly, I would like to thank President Jeffrey Webb and his staff Beverly Melbourne, Keisha Miller, Mark Campbell and Alastair Kay for their help and co-operation throughout the course and for making my stay here a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding one.’

O’Donell and Corneal left the island last Friday after the completion of the five day long intensive theoretical and practical Stage Two FIFA MA Course.

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