Last week, PPI-SA took part in a soccer training organized by Coaching for Hope, an innovative organization that uses soccer to create better futures for young people in West and Southern Africa. Although Coaching for Hope trains specifically in the sport of soccer, PPI-SA was asked to join because we are a well known sport for development organization in Durban, where the training took place. PPI-SA fellow Kristin Degou accompanied coaches Sbahle Mkhize and Thobekile Bhengu for the one week training.
Coaching for Hope specifically organizes coaching courses where professional coaches from England train local youth workers to recognized FA (The Football Association) standards. We were very lucky to have Hull City A.F.C, a professional soccer club located in Hull, England, deliver our training. The club plays in the Premier League, the highest level of professional soccer in England. The staff included current coaches and developing players for Hull City, and two representatives from N-Power, a gas and energy company in England.
Upon arrival to the training, we found that all different types of people and organizations were being represented. There were coaches from local soccer non profits, surfing coaches, and people working in Early Childhood Development. So what can we all learn from soccer? The great part about the training was that it focused mostly on developing specific coaching skills, teamwork, and how to be an effective overall coach (which is what we are always striving for at PPI-SA). Even though soccer was the platform used to teach, everyone came away with skills and a new confidence about how to be a better coach in their respective sport or field.
The training included theory in the morning and a practical session out on the field in the afternoon. In theory, we learned traits and attributes of a successful coach and how to organize and plan an effective practice session using different techniques. Participants were asked to draw up their own practice sessions and deliver them to the group on the field. Then Hull City coaches evaluated the session and gave feedback and guidance. There were different levels of soccer experience among the participants, so we all learned from each other. By the end of the week everyone had really bonded. It was clear that everyone took away knowledge and experience from the training, including the Hull City staff who praised the energy and enthusiasm of the group.
We would like to thank Coaching for Hope and the Hull City Tigers for putting on a wonderful training.