Malta Football Association
Oct 23, 2013
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Stephen Grima, MFA's Head of Football Coach Education, was invited by UEFA to deliver a presentation on the theme
'Promoting a Best Practice of Learning Philosophy'.  The workshop was held in Budapest and was attended by over 200 participants from all UEFA member countries and representatives from FIFA and other football confederations.
When tackling the subject Malta's representative was joined by those from England and host country Hungary.

Grima dealt with how an LTAD philosophy was embarked upon to ensure that dividends are reaped at the right time, thus helping players to develop their potential. It was argued that the MFA  regards learning as being more
a matter of understanding, application and players co-constructing knowledge, skills and attitudes with their coaches rather than mere memorisation and reproduction.


While it was contended that all facets of the game are important during different instances, the need was felt to develop a player who can make the right decisions fast. To do so coaching has to be directed towards the methodology of the question. Players need to be taught how to come up with solutions and be responsible for their own learning rather than being presented with solutions which they are required to replicate.


As a result the major learning theories that guide coaching were mentioned. Among these were communities of practice, constructivism, experiental and transformational learning, growth mindsets and the conscious competence
model and how these are helping coaches to produce more effective training sessions.

In particular, each learning theory was shown how it was being put in practice and some examples were given such as the mentors who are supporting the coaches in the coaching courses and how coaches are creating communities
of practice through the group work that they develop during coach education, thus ensuring that we do not only teach what to learn but also how to learn and that the coaches are now better prepared to be lifelong learners in the

The coaching session itself was delved into and it was shown how coaching is being done more in and through the game so that the players achieve more transfer of learning through reality-based coaching.  It was emphasised that
through differentiation, coaches are managing to make each individual player progress through his zone of proximal development so that they are more concerned about teaching and less about judging and failing players.  


It was also shown how coaches use outcomes to be the drivers of learning so that they can help each player feel that he/she is aware of his/her own learning. Coaches need to believe in players and make them move up the ladder at their own pace, while still setting high standards for their players.


During this workshop, Sir Alex Ferguson was interviewed by the Ioan Lupescu who is the Chief Technical Officer of UEFA.


Recognition by UEFA through a letter of thanks from Monica Namy, Football Education Event Specialist, was sent to Stephen Grima in appreciation of his excellent contribution during the workshop.

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