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MFA publications offer useful coaching tips

The importance of enhancing the fun element in football training for kids and the creation of a holistic framework for the Maltese coaching community are the main topics of two interesting publications written by Stephen Grima, the Malta FA’s director of coach education.

‘Football games & practices for the FUNdamental stage’ is a colourful, diagram-filled booklet intended for coaches who train children aged six to nine as well as physical education teachers in primary schools.

“The fundamental stage needs to be characterised by fun and learning through games and this book aims to support the coach/teacher by providing some practical ideas,” Grima said.

“In addition, it helps to create a training framework structure whereby the coach/teacher takes into account all the requirements that help the player improve and further nurture the passion the young child has for the game.”

The other book, entitled ‘Foundations for a football culture’, lays out a clear coaching framework for the Maltese coaching community.

“It is important that the whole country unites behind a clear and coherent philosophy based on long-term player development,” Grima said.

“In this way, the intent is shared and permeates across activities from training to games. This helps to structure a national identity and to develop a player who is competent to play at high levels.

“Emphasis is laid on how players learn best so that the coach can guide them in an effective way.”

“It stresses the importance of outcome-based learning as we should be more concerned with what the players are able to achieve rather than on what we merely expect them to do,” the MFA coaching expert added.

The four components of football are presented in an integrated approach as the game happens in a global way.

“This approach has been taught in coach education for at least the past five years, yet coaching in our country has a long tradition of isolated, decontextualised coaching experiences,” Grima, who holds a Master’s degree in Physical Education and Sports and is also a licensed UEFA Pro coach, said.

The two publications can be purchased from the Malta FA’s technical centre offices at the National Stadium.

The price of the book ‘Foundations for a football culture’ is €10 while the ‘Football games and practices for the FUNdamental stage’ publication costs €7.

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