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Football Federation Victoria Coach Developer Pilot

Coach Development in Football: The Club Coach Coordinator Program

In 2015, Football Federation Victoria (FFV) experienced a participation churn rate of 31 per cent. In other words, almost 20,000 players who participated in the winter competition in 2014 did not return in 2015.

According to research conducted by the FFA, poor coaching is the primary reason players do not return to football. The research also suggests that children play sports to have fun and to be with friends.

It stands to reason that to retain players, coaches must enable an enjoyable player experience. FFV, in conjunction with the Football Federation Australia (FFA) and the ASC, conducted a 6-week pilot program to influence club culture and coach behaviour so it focused on fun and engagement. The objectives of the pilot were to:

1. improve coach behavior
2. improve club culture
3. improve player experience
4. improve parent/guardian understanding of good coach behavior and positive club culture
Club Coach Coordinators (CCCs) were upskilled in techniques to develop and support coaches face to face at the community club level, based around training sessions.

The pilot was implemented in 10 clubs and one regional football association, and impacted 461 children and 57 coaches.

Participating coaches and parents completed surveys before and after the pilot to determine whether pilot objectives were met:
* 80 per cent of coaches believe that the pilot helped them to deliver more engaging practices
* Over 60 per cent of coaches believe the pilot helped players enjoy their football experience more
* Over 90 per cent of parents rated their satisfaction with positive coach behaviors as “very high” or “high”
* Parents view of the importance of club culture and fun training sessions increased.

The program expanded to 59 clubs both metro and regional in 2016, with the following highlights from coach feedback:
* 83 per cent delivered more engaging football practices
* 90 per cent stated that they are likely to coach again (note the churn rate of football coaches nationally is estimated at between a quarter and a third each season)
* 87 per cent enjoyed their sessions more
* 91 per cent stated that training sessions were more enjoyable for the players.

In 2017 more than 100 clubs are participating in the program across Victoria.

Based on the success of the Victorian pilot, the program is also being rolled out in other states. The rollout has been designed and promoted as flexible, and models vary in each State, generally based on their staff and association/club structures. In 2017, almost 300 CCCs have been trained and are supporting club level coaches across the country.

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