I am an experienced football coach of 10 years who recently been given a place on the A License course. Presently I coach at a private football academy in the West Midlands, coaching the players between the ages of 7 and 15 . Previously I have coached at Cheltenham Town, Walsall FC, Millwall FC and AFC Wimbledon working in the youth development and foundation phases ranging from 8-16 and 16-19 years. I am a qualified PE teacher with 20 years’ experience of teaching children from 5-16 years
Warm-up: I would normally start with head tennis; keep up challenge or through the gates/ABC's for much younger players. Main activity would consist of ball mastery activities- working on and developing particular techniques- unopposed then with limited pressure or interference and progressing to opposed skills. There would be 1 v1 opportunities in a mini-game formats as well as the inclusion of unopposed and opposed finishing. Cool down: Depending upon age and stage of player.
- Lightwoods Park, Smethwick, West Midlands B67 5DP, Smethwick, England B67 5DY, United Kingdom
- Buffery Park, Prospect Row, Dudley, England DY2 8LB, United Kingdom
Mark is willing to travel up to 4 miles from his training locations.
My son is 14 and has been playing in league teams for 2-3 years. I've seen lots of coaches, all of them hard-working and motivated. Without taking anything away from the other coaches (most of whom have been volunteers), Mark is on a different level: absolutely awesome. He clearly has great person skill and experience as a footballer. And so have all of the coaches that I've come across. More importantly (from my perspective) he has the ability to pass on his skill in a particularly patient, structured and engaging way. My son is 14 and teaching him must be very irritating at times, but Mark doesn't let if phase him, and the training seems to get through. He teaches not just skill, but also how to read players and situations, and the need for speed. The drills he sets up are engaging and effective. He clearly plans the content of each session (he doesn't seem to follow a "standard" programme: it's totally bespoke), sets homework if you want it, checks if homework has been done. From a grown-up perspective, in terms of practicalities, Mark's also very personable, communicative, professional. Good comms about the training time and venue, good comms with parents during the training, and sensitivity to the trainees' needs. I'm not a Football Dad: I never got into it, I don't have football contacts, and most of the beauty that I see in the game is nothing to do with winning. I value football as a vehicle for encouraging teamwork and development of genuine skill, and the deeper stuff that can flow from those things (lasting friendships, work ethic and humility). Although I'm sure Mark would deliver for Football Dads as well, I think he completely gets what I value, and he's quietly helping me to instill those values in my son. Make this man busy with coaching commitments: he's the best I've come across in the Midlands.
David H•August 2021•