England Football Learning has launched a new free online module to help existing grassroots clubs become more confident and inclusive towards coaching disabled footballers.
The ‘Introduction to Coaching Disabled Footballers’ module is part of The FA’s landmark disability football plan, Football Your Way, to help develop, improve, and raise awareness of disability and disability football.
Research commissioned by England Football found that despite club volunteers being highly motivated to provide quality experiences for disabled people to play football at their club, coaches had a lack of knowledge and confidence about adapting football for disabled players.
Coaches also felt they lacked the training and know-how to reach disabled people.
It also revealed that although disabled people are motivated to play football and clubs are motivated to provide quality experiences, key barriers stop many disabled people from playing. 28% of disabled people feel coaches don’t understand how to include them, while 31% worry they won’t be good enough.
The new ‘Introduction to Coaching Disabled Footballers’ course will address those barriers.
The course will provide knowledge and raise awareness on coaching disabled footballers, along with exploring the practical application of coaching tools, tactics, and techniques to adapt delivery to meet the needs of disabled footballers.
The course is available to coaches aged 16 years of age and over and takes 60 minutes to complete.
“I decided to coach to try and give my love of football to others, and to give others the opportunity to play which I didn’t have myself,” said Steph Hall (pictured above), Coach of Club Doncaster Titans’ Ladies Disability Team and its Under-13s.
“I’ve done my FA coaching qualifications, I had help from the club and The FA who helped with mentoring and generally giving advice. Doing the courses have given me a deeper insight into why I’m doing a session of a certain topic, and once you get to know the players you get to figure out what their needs are.
“Get to know them, learn what they like and dislike. If you make a session that they like and enjoy they’re more likely to then participate.
“My advice for anybody getting into disability football would be to not be scared because everybody is very welcoming. As long as you give it a go, try and keep everyone included and show that you’re willing to learn and develop them and do everything you can do to help your players they’ll be really supportive and help you to keep going.”
You can find out more about the England Football Learning courses available at https://learn.englandfootball.com/