Coach the coaches | Arsenal in the Community | New

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Each September, a new group of aspiring coaches begin a new year-long journey at Arsenal as part of the Community Coach Development Programme. Here is what awaits them and, beyond this year, our coaches of the future. Could one of them be you…?

The Arsenal Community Coaching Development Program offers a unique opportunity to gain coaching qualifications and experience while contributing to Arsenal’s community projects in the UK and around the world.

Participating coaches will receive football and education lessons alongside hands-on coaching and teaching experience to reinforce the provision of learning materials – at the club, in the community and beyond.

The full-time program lasts one year and is divided into two stages. During Stage 1, which begins in September and is based at the Arsenal centre, coaches will gain qualifications and experience with Arsenal in the community, primarily in football coaching but also in projects in class. Coaches also undertake activities in local schools and community projects, while gaining insight into other areas of the club. This will provide the bulk of their practical training and includes formal coaching and learning qualifications such as first aid, safeguarding and TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language).

Each coach will have a personalized activity schedule and will be able to cover Islington, Hackney and Camden five days a week for seven months, so it should be noted now that volunteers must cover their own expenses, including accommodation and travel.

Upon completion of Stage 1, each coach will receive an individual assessment and may be offered a placement in one of our overseas community projects for up to three months. Coaches can stay in London if they do not wish to travel overseas, to undertake a bespoke work program that will allow them to continue their development and help them reach their next step beyond the programme.

What do you want to know

First of all, it’s a great way to spend a year with Arsenal in the Community before or after graduate school, or as a career break. There is an interview process, as with any such role, and to be successful candidates will need to demonstrate a willingness to learn and a responsible attitude. Ideally, coaches will also have some experience of working with children or in schools – something to consider if you wish to apply in the future.

Also remember that it’s not just about coaching, in the sense of teaching people how to play football. You will be a role model and you will also learn and hone transferable skills. As one of the participants, Nicholas, put it, “The skills I was able to transfer from the coach development program include thinking on my feet, public speaking, organizing and creating ideas and media skills. »

Ultimately, the Arsenal Community Coach Development Program gives you unique access to Arsenal Football Club and the opportunity to contribute to Arsenal’s work in the community. While learning and gaining hands-on experience alongside Arsenal in Community Coaching, you will have the opportunity to meet like-minded people and make new friends in an engaging and inspiring environment. But don’t just take our word for it…

First experience

Chris, 32, took part in Arsenal’s Community Coach Development Program on his way to a football coaching career – and it gave him more than he bargained for.

“I had decided to become a football coach and got my FA Level 1 in football coaching a few months later,” he says. “I started emailing clubs in London about volunteering when I found out about Arsenal’s Community Coach Development Program, and thought I could learn a lot about coaching. of children of different ages thanks to community projects. Me too, it would be a great first step at the beginning of my journey – and it certainly was.

“The first day, I was filled with joy. I couldn’t believe I was going to be part of this club somehow and I had to pinch myself to make sure it was really happening.

“I come from a small town in Valencia, Spain called Alzira. Valencia and Levante are the only top clubs nearby and they aren’t as involved in the community as Arsenal, so getting involved with those clubs is next to impossible. Being part of Arsenal was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I have been part of several community projects which have all offered different experiences, but my highlight has been being able to support Talent ID’s work with Arsenal Pre-Academy and Hale End Academy. Seeing the level of professionalism at an elite club academy was incredible and inspiring.

Then Nicholas, who is 33, found out about the program through his brother-in-law, who saw an ad on LinkedIn. “At first, I didn’t know what the program was about, but something just felt right as I went through the application and interview phases,” says Nicholas.

“In the summer of 2021, I found myself unemployed after leaving my job as a quantity surveyor in October 2019 and not finding work due to the pandemic. At this point I started coaching football and I haven’t looked back,” he adds.

“One of the highlights of my stay was over Christmas when Arsenal invited a lot of local kids to spend the morning with the community team,” says Nicholas. “We took the children to visit the stadium, gave them Christmas presents and organized a football tournament at the centre. This morning always stays with me. For some of the children who attended it was their Christmas celebrations and you could see that the morning meant a lot to them.

“Another big part of my experience so far has been my one-year placement at Hale End Arsenal Pre-Academy for Under-7s and Under-8s,” he adds. “I’ve met some amazing coaches and learned firsthand what a pre-academic environment is like, and it’s been just amazing.”

Friends for life

A recurring theme among participants is the connections they make with those around them, both among other participants and among our community staff.

“I have made some very good friends, especially my fellow coaches Nico, Firasat and Munashe, with whom I have made lifelong friendships, no doubt,” says Chris. “Many members of the community staff team have had an impact on me, including project co-ordinator Adam Henry – he’s a fantastic, caring human being and alongside training the coaches he helped me supported in many areas off the pitch. I will be eternally grateful to you. »

“I also made a lot of friends in my group”, confirms Nicholas. “Being one of the oldest members, I quickly took on the role of uncle/big brother! I also developed my support system and I have people who make me think and become a better coach.

“All the Arsenal staff I have come in contact with have been amazing and I believe I have made some very strong lifelong friendships. Whether it was with the Community team, Hale End or the Arsenal team based at The Hub.They go above and beyond to help you and put you at ease straight away.

There’s no doubt that coaching – helping others learn and grow – can have a beneficial effect outside of the classroom.

“I’ve always been a person who thinks a lot, but when you’re at CDP, you have to increase the time for reflection tenfold,” says Nicholas. “Doing this constantly with Arsenal has crept into my personal life. I find myself reflecting more on the moments of daily life and trying to identify why and when I feel certain emotions.

“The last time I worked full time, I hated it,” he adds. “Waking up was like a chore, Mondays were the worst days, Fridays were the best…Long story short, I hated life, to some extent. Now it’s totally the opposite. I get up very early always thinking about what my day has planned.

“The highlights of my week are going to my primary school in Islington and working with reception and first and second years. people who come from the same place as me is a beautiful thing to see.

“Arsenal community coaches deserve so much respect for the quality and scale that is given to the community and the region,” says Chris. “I have seen how important and valuable these projects are.

“If you like football, don’t hesitate, get started! A wise man told me when I started, “You get out of the program what you put into it”, but he was wrong. I invested 100% and got 200% back, so I’m really grateful to everyone at the club.

For full details of our Coach Development Program and to download the Candidate Information Package, click here

To see a typical day in the life of a young coach click here

Copyright 2022 Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to proper credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.

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