A recent kicker interview with the German FA academy chief Tobias Haupt revealed some intriguing changes to the way Germany are developing their coaches. Here's a thread on them and my thoughts included.
For the last two and a half years the DFB have made a strong move towards developing social competence and personal communication rather than tactics in their coaches. The "Mensch factor" is what Haupt called it.
There's a new project in the academy that focuses on communication skills. They want coaches to know what the emotional triggers of players are and how a different generation acts publicly. Encouraging to hear this.
They have also made changes to their coaching badges, most intriguingly the Fußball Lehrer is set to be offered only every two years and with 12 rather than 24 participants. Idea is to create more specific pathways for coaches rather than all getting the top badge.
To stop old issue of youth coaches using youth football to win games and therefore launch their careers rather than develop players, DFB wants to further develop specific education for youth coaching, increase financial compensation for and appreciation of those coaches.
Also an intriguing revelation that academies across Germany, England, Spain and Portugal are very similar but for one difference. In Germany much of the fitness, tactical and technical work is isolated. Others are more complex and opponent focused. DFB wants to close the gap.
Haupt's plan is very encouraging. Greater social, personal focus is great - think they had a strong foundation on the FL course anyway - and the idea to specific makes sense, although an overview remains key. DFB has problems but don't think coaching program is one of them.
However, the move to the new academy in Frankfurt - believe is still on course for the end of this year - brings a big challenge. I can understand the need for the move and all it brings but I fear German coaching will struggle to stay grounded. Bierhoff's Silicon Valley for e.g.
So much of what made the coaching approach great was its modest environment + quiet surroundings. Much of this new academy will be BIG. With that comes the temptation to show off and talk about the work rather than just do it. Not much social competence at play there.
Indeed, there is already a new Sky documentary on coaching - Hidden Heroes - coming out soon. Again, I understand the need to market (especially given the DFB's current image) but I think sometimes it's best to let the stories come out more organically/through the work.
Generally (and humbly) encouraged by Germany's developments around coaching - a field which requires constant agility + adaptation - and the people involved. The key to it all is opportunity.
For those interested, here is the link to the Haupt interview: kicker.de/neue-wege-bei-…

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