How can I improve a future application?

When completing a course application form, it’s important you answer all questions with as much detail as possible.

To give you a feel for the quality of answers we’re looking for in future applications, we’ve compiled examples below of some strong answers, along with others which lacked detail and needed improvement.

Q. Please identify your knowledge of developing coaching behaviour and practice, aligned to your players in training and games. Please provide examples of when you may have used this.

Strong Answer

A. Coaching behaviour is crucial for a positive learning environment, and this can involve understanding your players needs, and individual learning styles that players may have. It is important that players individual ways of learning, is supported by us as coaches to support in them developing through various phases of their development. I believe that all players take information on board in various different ways, and it is important that we recognise our players needs early, to understand the support we put in place to tailor our session to support each individual apart of our team. The ways in which this is achieved at my club is quarterly reviews throughout the season, which our players have the opportunity to provide feedback and understanding on sessions and topics we deliver. This allows me as a coach to understand their strengths and weaknesses and help develop their knowledge to become better individually. With the above, we also ensure we create an environment where the players ‘ready to play’ and that they feel safe in their environment. All of the above links to my beliefs as a coach whereby we create an inclusive environment, which allows players to express themselves and thrive.

Insufficient Answer

A.    It is important that we support players individually and tailor our session to their needs to develop them as players.

Q. Please identify your knowledge of developing coaching strengths and areas for development. Please provide examples of when you may have used this.

Strong Answer

A. One of my strengths as a coach is my ability to support players collectively and individually at a high standard to support them in any particular phase of their development. This can link to me being able to plan detailed session in advance, and also having the ability to adapt my session under circumstances where I feel it would be beneficial to the team and or individual player(s). Another area in which I thrive as a coach, is the ability to be able to support players in self-belief and confidence to enjoy the game, along with analysing individual performances/behaviours to support in their continuous improvement. 

I feel as though I provide great technical detail within my sessions, using correct terminology with players, and also explaining technical details/terminology with my players to better their understanding behind our sessions/tactics, supporting their overall knowledge of the game. I have great knowledge through playing/coaching experience of the principles of play, clearly detailing in sessions both attacking and defending principles, and applying this learning to my players in blocks to support in the retrieval of information.

To develop myself further as a coach, I feel as though the experiences on the course will help me to gain a better understanding of my delivery styles, and what works more efficiently for myself and my players, and in instances where this can be improved to work with various other age groups to support in their retrieval of information and planning sessions accordingly in younger youth environments.

Insufficient Answer

A. I try to do as much CPD as possible both with The FA and my local County FA to support in my personal development, and also for my players.

Q. Please identify your knowledge of applying the principles of play to individual players and units of players. Please provide examples of when you may have used this.

Strong Answer

A. Below are my individual examples to support in evidencing my knowledge of principles of play to individual players and units of players. Supporting Play - For example, in sessions this season as a team we currently play in a 4-4-2 formation at Step 7, and we have during pre-season had a big emphasis on our numbers (2 & 7), along with our (3 & 11), having an impact, especially our (2 & 3) on supporting the attack from wide areas, creating overloads through overlapping and underlapping our (7 & 11). We have tailored specific session in blocks that work with the (2 & 3) individually and also in units as evidenced above working with (3 & 11) (2 & 7). A crucial element being key positional awareness on the pitch. Towards the end of this block of work, it developed into a practice that had emphasis on the key units of our defensive and midfield block, impacting and creating chases for our (9 & 10) creating and scoring more goals from wide areas. From this we were able to identify the work that was then needed for our (9 & 10) to be more creative with their runs into the box upon delivery of the ball for us to create more opportunities to score.

Providing Cover – An example of where this has been crucial for us to develop and learn over this pre-season is linked to the above in Supporting Play. Whereby, if we get caught in transition and our (2 & 7) are caught high up the pitch, there is an important role which is played by our (3), whereby they sit back creating a back 3 within our original 4-4-2 formation with our (6) who is our deeper central midfielder, providing support from midfield. This block, included a lot of sessions that were tailored to high instances/scenarios of transitional play, whereby players in various positions understood the importance and relevance of providing cover in the system we wanted to play for the 23/24 season, especially both fullbacks (2 & 3), both wingers (7 & 11), and also our deep central midfielder (6). During this topic, upon evaluation, we recognised the levels of energy and fitness required going into the season, thinking more into the back end of the season after a big run of competitive fixtures and potential competitions. 

Insufficient Answer

A. I’ve now started coaching with a big emphasis on The FA’s principles of play. For example, in our attacking phases of play, being more creative from wide areas, to create more chances for our strikers.

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