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Youth Football Coaching: Developing Creative Players

Learn how to develop creative youth football players with this free online course from the University of Birmingham and the FA.

6,558 enrolled on this course

Coach and players
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

The ability to think creatively in sport is often noted by coaches as being highly desirable. Described as ‘flexible decision making in complex game situations’, football youth coaches often refer to creative players in terms of imagination, originality, productivity and problem solving skills. Yet, while coaches are tasked with creating environments that foster creativity, there remains some confusion about the term, its application to the game, and the role of the coach in coaching creativity.

This course will be the first of its kind in focusing on youth football coaches. Delivered through a collaborative partnership between the University of Birmingham and The Football Association (FA) it will help you become a confident developer of creative players and teams

Explore the role of the coach in developing creative youth football players

This course will help you understand your role as coach, the players you work with and the environment they operate in. It will develop your knowledge and skills giving you the ability to self-select or create the most appropriate pedagogies for young players’ needs.

Learn how to promote creativity in your team

On the course examine and evaluate the different types of practice that promote creativity in football. You’ll learn the value of creative players and learn how to apply creative-development practices to your coaching.

Try a new flexible, interactive type of CPD from experts in youth sport

This is the first online course about youth sport. It aligns with the growing focus on sport coaches as significant community assets and is delivered by an expert national governing body and course team in the field. The course will bridge unique gaps in policy, practice and research to design useful learning experience for youth coaches. You’ll learn in new interesting and interactive ways and explore how digital tools can help ongoing professional development.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds DR.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds MARK GRIFFITHS : Creativity, perhaps one of the most cherished resources in football, can be described as the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. We value players who are technically excellent decision makers and with the vision and creativity to dictate, to influence and change games. Yet, while we might acknowledge the importance of creativity, and the need to develop creative behaviours in our players, there continues to be debate around the role of the coach and environment in developing such players. How do we condition the game to promote creativity? Should young players experience a variety of positions and a variety of space? Is enjoyment and fun critical in developing creativity? Should players have more responsibility in sessions?

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 seconds How can coaches promote an environment where risk taking is encouraged? And do creative coaches produce creative players? In this course, we’ll work with you to develop a better understanding of creativity, in terms of developing both creative players and creative coaches. Drawing on expertise from the University of Birmingham and the Football Association, we’ll consider the development needs of young players, the role of the coach in coaching creative behaviour, discuss how different practises may encourage creativity, and the importance of constructing an environment where creativity can flourish. We will draw on the latest evidence to support your development as a creative coach.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 seconds We will reflect on contemporary developments in research and practise and listen to international coaches from across the globe discuss how they define and apply creativity.

Skip to 1 minute and 46 seconds NICK BAKER: And though our work at the FA, we’ll consider the role of a coach and look at how creating the right environment, together with understanding young players and the game, will enable you to promote creativity in both practises and games. We’ll go on to discuss practises that facilitate creativity and help you generate new ideas that reflect the unique and random nature of game playing. Each week, we’ll have a different theme, and we will encourage you to personalise the learning by asking you to think about your payers in your club, and reflect on the impact your decisions and actions have on their individual players and circumstances. You’ll learn with like-minded coaches from across the world.

Skip to 2 minutes and 22 seconds And we’ll support you by using videos of coaching practises and real game footage, video-based web chats and social media discussions. And you’ll have the opportunity to test and trial new practises along the way. Whether you’re new to coaching or an experienced pro, you’ll join a global community of football coaches who are interested in developing creative players of the future. The game of football continues to evolve and develop. But at the heart of it are competent and confident players who can make the right decisions at the right time.

Skip to 2 minutes and 52 seconds In this regard, coaches need to think about how they support players to generate new and novel ideas through practise, and consider how players then select these new ideas in the context of the game. By completing the course, our hope is that you’ll be encouraged to revisit your coaching with a new understanding of creative play and persuade you that with a greater focus on connectivity, comes greater payer enjoyment in both practise and game time.

What topics will you cover?

  • Identifying development needs of young players
  • Examining the coaches role in promoting creative behaviours
  • Considering how different practices encourage creativity
  • Challenges in building creative environments
  • Recognising contemporary developments in research and practice

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify key characteristics of a creative coach
  • Assess the diverse and individual learning needs of young players
  • Design effective learning experiences for young players
  • Evaluate the impact of your practice on players’ creative development
  • Discuss your practices and beliefs with other coaches to support your development as a creative coach
  • Develop strategies to support your learning and the on-going development of your practice beyond this MOOC

Who is the course for?

This course has been specially created for national and international youth football coaches.

Who will you learn with?

Hi Everyone,
As a researcher and practitioner in coaching and youth sport, I'm looking forward to working with you in developing new ideas for creative practice.

I'm a previous teacher, now lecturer, and I work with teachers and youth in schools. I'll be taking your through the content each week. Hope your ready for an interactive, engaging and fun time.

Who developed the course?

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is a public research university, consistently listed as a leading UK university and ranked among the top 100 in the world.

The Football Association (The FA)

The FA is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in England, Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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