In this month’s edition of Coach the Coach, Football Queensland (FQ) caught up with Ken Mitchell, Head Coach of the U12 and U13 Boys FQ Academy squads in the FQ Northern program, on the importance of ongoing education and development for coaches.
From starting his first coaching appointment over 40 years ago, to being awarded FQPL Northern Men’s Coach of the Year in 2022, Mitchell has put in the hours to grow the game and his own professional development as a coach.
Throughout the years, Mitchell said he still attributes his best coaching development opportunities as attending Nationals and Zone Vs Zone titles between 2000-2018.
“Being able to network with other coaches and other Technical Directors around the state was always the best part; you can share ideas, audit each other’s training structure and talk about different ways the game was played,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell obtained a Level 3 coaching certificate in 1993, which was converted into a B Licence in 2007 when a new system was put into place.
With the upcoming C Diploma courses being offered in Townsville, Cairns and the Whitsundays, Mitchell could not be more encouraging of coaches taking the next step to further their knowledge in the game.
“It’s massively important that they get involved in these courses, it really helps be able to give back more structured coaching sessions for developing the younger players,” Mitchell said.
“I think coaches should get involved in the FQ Academy or any coaching course whether it’s community or FQ based, any sort of extra knowledge on how to deliver or run sessions is beneficial, this way players are getting some sort of structure within whatever level they’re playing at.”
Within the C Diploma courses offered by Football Queensland, coaches are introduced to all elements of the National Curriculum, the Football Australia Team Model, and the Coach Expertise Model.
“You go watch some club sessions and they’re just kicking the ball around and having some normal fun, but once you get some structure in that they start to learn and understand the game a little bit better,” Mitchell said.
“If they can get back to where the kids have an understanding and structure, they can form discipline within themselves, this can make players blossom and they start to find their own feet and learn within the game.”
Mitchell is a firm advocate for coaches pursuing their ambitions just as they encourage their players to do; taking advantage of opportunities to reach these goals can be the first step in their own journey.
“Maybe starting in a club, maybe moving into the FQ Academy, maybe taking another step into a state position or maybe moving onto coaching an NPL club down south, coaches each have their own ambitions like players to move further within their own journey, and taking these next steps are just the first step to get there.”
Further information on Football Queensland’s C Diploma courses is available under Coaching Courses on the FQ Website.