Jobs in Grassroots Football Academies
Author: The Coaches Link
Is the age of a ‘local, village’ over in the capital?
In North London (home of The Coaches Link), and the surrounding counties, the last 5-10 years has seen a sharp increase in the volume of ‘private football academies’, clubs and teams that have taken their philosophies away from the traditional ‘village’ or local team ethos, to one with is based more on creating a specialised environment that echoes and mimics that of a professional academy, with playing styles, curriculums, and pathway’s through the club, and links with multiple professional clubs.
We wanted to briefly explore this change, what may have bought it about, and how, importantly for The Coaches Link, it has helped create jobs and opportunities for young, aspiring and qualified coaches. Football has moved on to a point now that, as the topic of this entry suggests, it has bought on the rise of the ‘Local Football Academy’. Qualified coaches, paying parents and business models.
Ultimately, the jobs and roles in sport that this ‘change’ has bought is fantastic for the growing number of qualified coaches. Coaching and educating children can be seen as a full-time job, rather than a hobby or volunteer role (This is in no way detrimental to those that do volunteer, wish to volunteer to gain valuable or experience, or to the clubs that rely on the amazing work of their volunteers!) Those with qualifications, degrees, and experience can find themselves coaching grassroots and academy players throughout the day
We have seen that a lot of these companies are responsible for running afterschool sports clubs, in-school football teams, as well as delivering school physical education programs and initiatives. They have also bought about more playing opportunities for younger pre-school children, where the social and psychological benefits see children being active, having fun playing sport at an earlier age! This is brilliant for those coaches who are therefore able, through one club or company, to balance their work in-school, or throughout school hours, with the football team coaching and academy coaching in the evening and at weekends.
Parents, be it to get their children more active, to introduce their children to sport and healthy living at a younger age, in a more ‘academic’ leaning environment, seem happy to pay (where they can or need to…) the costs involved. Could they also be willing to pay for the ‘expertise’ that these clubs and their qualified coaches bring?
These coaches more than ever, now have the perfect platform to practice, develop and hone their skills, techniques and knowledge. And it is this growing bank and wealth of knowledge, experience and dealing with different scenarios in sports that our qualified grassroots coaches are able to impart on the children they coach. Will this be of a benefit to grassroots sports and grassroots coaching in the years/generations to come.
We guess the questions remain, is this trend more nationwide? Will it (or has it) moved to other sports? Is it having a positive effect on the numbers of participating children/adults, has enjoyment and knowledge increased, are there more qualified grassroots coaches, and will it improve the ability of those players who learn in this ‘academy’ club environment.