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Ontario Soccer invited as a Special Guest to UEFA Coaching Conference

By Staff, 11/14/17, 9:00AM EST


Provided an opportunity to see where Ontario Soccer is aligned on best practices

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

UEFA held their Coach Education Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland on October 16-19, 2017.

The focus was to update all of the 54 National Football Associations on the most recent developments in coaching education in Europe.

UEFA are looking to standardize all UEFA B, A and Pro Licence courses in each of the 54 countries. 

Ontario Soccer was invited to attend as a Special Guest of the Irish FA. 

"This was a great opportunity for myself and Ontario Soccer to receive a look at how others in our field are working in their approach to coaching education," said Gary Miller, Ontario Soccer Technical Director. "They focused on reality-based learning for adults, self-awareness for coaches and reality-based practical sessions involving a coach, a tutor and a mentor."

From a Canadian and provincial perspective of coach education, this type of development fits into what Ontario are doing in the coach education programs.

Canada Soccer has revamped their C and B Licenses in recent years to reflect these changes in reality-based learning and this approach is in line with UEFA and their licensing programs.

And in some cases, Canadian coaching education is a leader in this space. 

“Ontario Soccer and Canada Soccer are now at the forefront of a number of coaching development and player development initiatives,” said Jean Côté, Professor and Director at Queen’s University School of Kinesiology and Health Studies.

Continual Professional Development for coaches in the licensing programs includes 15 additional hours over 3 years. Something that Côté stresses is crucial.

“Having presented and delivered sport research around the world, I can say that their proactive approach in incorporating research in their developmental plans for athletes and coaching education is a credit and benefit to their sport and community.”

The three-day event took place in the Europa Hotel in Belfast, with one practical session taking place at Windsor Park in Belfast. Windsor Park is used for games with the Northern Ireland National Team.

The conference was led by Technical Director, Ioan Lupescu and Head of Football Education, Frank Ludolph.

One of the key takeaways was that online resources must be developed for best practices. Online learning platforms, like Academy Soccer Coach with the Irish FA, are showing an improved pass rate in courses from 30% in 2014 to 82% in 2017. 

Ontario Soccer has developed a a relationship with Academy Soccer Coach for the Coach and Match Official Education Programs. 

"Academy Soccer Coach has been in a leader in this space for a while and Ontario Soccer's partnership with them has been invaluable in bring our education platforms to the forefront of what's needed by today's coaches," Miller said. 

Visit the Ontario Soccer Coaching section on the website for more on coaching courses in Canada and Ontario.