Coaching ● Sep 16, 2017
FIFA Technical Instructor: Women’s Coaching in Singapore at A “Good Starting Point”
The second FIFA Women’s Coaching Course in Singapore came to a close on Saturday 16 September 2017. For five days, the 30 participants were engaged in lively discussion sessions with each other as well as FIFA Technical Instructor Belinda Wilson, sharing their ideas on coaching women’s football and putting into action their newly-learnt skills at practical sessions.
Belinda, who is also the Technical Director of the Guam Football Association and Head Coach of the Guam Women’s National Team, was pleased with what she saw at the course.
“The engagement with the participants during the course and the interaction amongst them has been exceptional. They have the confidence to step out of their comfort zones and the standard of ideas exchanged is very high.”
However, she pointed out that due to the participants’ varying backgrounds – some are teachers, some are players and some are full-time coaches – the transition from theory to practice was not as smooth for all.
She added: “We have a group of players who have not attended a coaching course before, and they are learning a lot. What is lacking is their experience…which can be built up. But in terms of where they’re at, they are at a fairly good level to move forward quite quickly.”
Women’s National Team Head Coach K. Balagumaran found it a ‘privilege’ to attend the programme conducted the FIFA Instructor.
He said: “I have been learning from Belinda not only from what she shared as an instructor but also from her experience as a former player. While I have a lot of experience in men’s football, this course has given me more insight into women’s football.”
The 2016 S.League Coach of the Year nominee attended the course with some of the Women’s National Team players whom he is currently coaching. Acknowledging the diverse mix of participants in the course, he said: “I think this was a very good course for the players who are currently playing in the women’s teams and also coaching in other capacities. As players attending a coaching course, they will be able to become better players as they understand the demands of the game and the coach’s perspective better.
“For me, as a coach attending the course with the players I’m coaching, we are able to share things not only in our roles as a player and as a coach but also as fellow participants in the course.”
For Home United FC Women’s team Assistant Coach and player Chen Wan Xin, who just started coaching this year, attending the FIFA Women’s Coaching Course this past week was a great opportunity to pick up valuable lessons and training tips.
The 26-year-old found the participatory learning environment in the course one of the many positives of it: “The participants are very open and willing to share and learn. Also, because the course is open to all from different backgrounds, we have people who are new to coaching and also very experienced coaches. So it has been a fruitful time learning from these experienced coaches. But it’s also great to see that good ideas can also come from the less experienced coaches.”
With such positive attitudes towards learning from the participants, Belinda is optimistic about the future of women’s football and coaching in Singapore.
“I think this is a good starting point (to be at). As more coaches get involved in female coaching, we can give them more information, increase the number of tools they have in their back pocket, then the standard will rise quickly. It’s just about gaining that experience, and giving them the opportunities to coach,” she concluded.