If you saw my posts from going through the Volleyball England Level 3 coaching course you know it covered quite a bit of different material. After the exam we took some time to talk about the course. The way the certifications are designed, things are meant to work this way:
Level 1: For coaches running drills and such in a supervised fashion. Think assistant coach.
Level 2: For coaches running training sessions unsupervised. This is meant to be the minimum requirement for coaching in the National Volleyball League (NVL) at the upper levels. It is not well-enforced, though.
Level 3: For coaches running teams over a full season. It has been suggested that this be the minimum requirement for Supers 8s coaches. Is I understand it, however, that’s not been moved on yet.
I’ve said many times that these sorts of structures are often not reflective of coaching reality at the local level. It’s been my experience that a lot of coaches end up leading teams (not sessions) because they are available and know a bit about the sport. Certification programs generally don’t reflect this reality that well. This is fine if the governing body is working toward developing a collection of quality coaches to work in the higher levels of the game. Alas, most coaches aren’t in that mix.
Anyway, it was an interesting mix of coaches in the course. Only half of them were native English. Just a few actively worked with youth players specifically, despite the focus of the program. Not a big deal there, though, as most of what we talked about in the course was generally applicable.
Personally, I was looking for something a bit more advanced than what we got, but overall I’m not disappointed in the experience. There was plenty in there to stimulate thoughts and ideas, and being able to be around the youth national teams in training and preparing for the NEVZA U17 tournament was a definite plus.
And of course it’s always great to talk shop with other coaches.
For some time I’ve been going back and forth over whether I should attend the AVCA annual convention in Seattle next month. It’s a major investment, especially with the travel from England. I think, now, though, that I will regret it if I don’t go.