Malta Football Association
Coach Education:
Improving Standards in Coaching
May 22, 2017
Posted in:
Coach Education


We have grown up with them … TESTS. Some say they’re a necessary evil. The Coach Education Department (CED) disagrees with this statement and believes that if it’s evil, then it can be replaced with something more pleasant. So the CED decided to move on from summative assessment that happens at the end of the course to formative and ongoing assessment. This includes modular work which helps the candidates to work in more depth on areas that require particular focus and on the formative task, which is an extended piece of work whereby they have to integrate all the competences that they acquire during the course in one project. What’s more, they get to use this in their daily coaching!


So the aim is twofold – improve the coach and improve his coaching contemporarily. In other words transform the way they work. That is why changing assessment works – change the goal posts and you’ll have a very different ball game. In this way the expected outcomes are actually being practised and achieved by the candidates. The competences of the candidates could be measured in various ways: Attitudes, Skills & Knowledge (ASK) as opposed to the past where only knowledge was being measured and even more worrying than that knowledge was often forgotten after a couple of months, while their practise remained the same as it was before!


But this bold move, enabled the creation of communities of practice as coaches worked in groups, learned to share and work together and learned how to learn beyond the course. They became more critical of their own work while they learned from others. This gave them more impetus to change the way they had previously worked and to consolidate their new approach of coaching and learning. Furthermore, some have also become change agents and we hope that even more coaches are being influential in their clubs.


The CED believes that this move is paying off in so many different ways. Candidates are more motivated during the course, they don’t worry about the final assessment but are committed to produce good pieces of work, which after all is their coaching. UEFA has repeatedly acknowledged the high level of coach education in our country and candidates in all coaching badges are scoring higher points and achieving criteria which seemed difficult to achieve some years ago. And the coaching at club level from youth to first team football is improving. Are we there yet? The commitment to keep changing to improve the quality of the Maltese player will persist. We have endorsed and adapted UEFA’s vision of adopting a Reality Based Learning approach whereby all learning is authentic, and happens in highly contextualised environments. This will help us to reach new standards, new heights and develop the future generation of coaches.


So coach education is not about sitting for a course but about embarking on a lifelong learning experience! 

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