Book Review: Advances in Coach Education and Development: From research to practice

Advances in Coach Education and Development: From research to practice

Edited by: Wayne Allison, Andrew Abraham and Andy Cale

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Kick Off

Advances in Coach Education and Development: From research to practice provides a fascinating and knowledgeable account of the challenges Coaches face as well as the change in the way that Coaches are educated and are viewed. Whilst the book is primarily aimed for Coaches and Coach Educators working in Football, as well as Undergraduate and Postgraduate students studying coaching. Whilst I am in neither of those categories having studied something different at University but being a huge fan of Football, I found the book to be an interesting read nether less. But because of my background, I may view the book in slightly different way to those that the book is more directly targeted at.

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The AICEAD covers a wide variety of subjects, and I found many of them to be an intriguing read. Chapter 2, for instance provides a background into how coaching traditionally worked in England and how it differed from other Countries around the world. It looks at how we as a nation seem to focus on physical players and winning being the only thing that matters in comparison to nations such as France which teach players the importance of being able to express themselves and develop as Football players technically and mentally. It is made apparent that our style of coaching and determination to win from such a young age is affecting the development of not just Players but Coaches too, which is then affecting the quality of players from our Country when they reach a professional level.

Chapter 3 looked at how to get people involved in the game and create better Coaches. Chapter 5 which examines and provides an insight of what a coach should do, whilst Chapter 6 which looks at a Coaches’ ability to critically reflect and improve. These Chapters would without doubt be of great use to any coach to be. Chapter 7 was one of the most interesting Chapters, as it looked at how Coaches had reacted somewhat indifferently to the mentor-mentee relationship. It stated those been observed often felt threatened and sceptical about their mentor. There were also some positive results which may show that this is an area which if improved upon, could provide a real benefit to Coaches in the future.

Chapter 8 was the most intriguing on a personal level, as it looked at motivation. It made me totally rethink what I defined as motivation and how it worked. It was interesting to see what Coaches themselves define as motivation. It was so interesting to learn how there are so many factors to consider when it comes to motivation and that whether you’re the Coach of a child or the Coach of a Pro you have to be able to motivate and keep people motivated accordingly. It looked at how, by approaching motivation in a new way such as allowing the Coach to become approachable, giving players a way to voice their concerns and introducing a social aspect for younger players in that winning isn’t everything and making friends is just as valuable a skill. Doing so can help children to hold an interest in playing football for longer was something I found really interesting.

There are also Chapters such as 10 which look more at the use of drills and game based situations in order to help players evolve mentally when it comes to their decision making, something which was brought up as a weakness in Chapter 2.

As mentioned earlier, the book covers a wide range of topics and Chapter 11 looks at disability in Football, discussing how to improve the Coaching in the disabled game and how to keep them interested in the game and help them feel involved. Chapter 12 also provided a great read, as it explores the issues facing Black Coaches trying to get a chance in Football. It looks at how those at professional clubs will often go for less experienced and far less qualified white Coaches on the basis of who they were as players, or because they know somebody at the club already. It also looks at an advantage of an increase in black Coaches, as it will give hope to ethnic minorities, as they will be able to see that that if they don’t make it as players they could look to become coaches like their own coach.

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This book proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable read the further I got into it and that is coming from somebody who just has a strong interest in Football and all that surrounds it as mentioned at the start of this review. For those studying Coaching or Coaches and Coach Educators I would highly recommend reading Advances in Coach Education and Development. I would also recommend those as interested in Football as myself to give it a read too!

Nathan Bullen

By Matt

Matt is the owner and chief-editor of the Footy Blog, one of the UK's leading football news blogs.