Coaching ● Dec 08, 2016

Importance of Fitness Highlighted with FIFA Fitness Coaching Course


The FIFA Fitness Coaching Course began this Monday at Jalan Besar Stadium with 29 participants eager to learn from FIFA Fitness Instructor Tobias Wawroschek. The week-long course will see the participants, consisting of not only coaches but also sports trainers, learn about the latest developments in fitness coaching.

Recognising the increasing significance of fitness in football, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) organised the course as part of its efforts to provide coaches with learning opportunities to advance their skills.

The course is managed by FAS Fitness Conditioning Coach/Instructor Balder Berckmans. Through the course, he hopes that coaches will have a better understanding of fitness and its importance in football and that they will be able to use various exercises to train and develop the fitness of their own players.

Mr Wawroschek, who arrived from Germany to conduct the course, commented: “The participants are really motivated which is great. I think the first step is to provide an overview on how to introduce a fitness coach into the football team and the role of the fitness coach. I hope to give them input for their daily work on the pitch with their teams, so that they will learn to understand the basics of fitness and start to introduce exercises to improve their players’ fitness levels.”

The coaches that participated in the course are coaching at various levels of competition and ages, from the S.League to National Football Academy (NFA) and Centre of Excellence (COE) teams, to name a few. The varied profile of the participants will allow a greater intersection of players to benefit from the course.

Mohamed Basir Ellaya Kutty, FAS Head of Coach Education, was encouraged by the good turnout for the course and said: “It is good to see the positive response from the key technical and support staff from the various clubs, teams and stakeholders. We have to move forward from traditional practices and develop football-specific fitness coaches. It is a crucial area of specialisation, similar to Grassroots, Youth and Goalkeeper coaching. Even as we continue to develop mainstream football coaches, our coach education strategy is also geared towards developing competent specialists. The Fitness coach will be a much sought-after position in the coming years, and we will meet that demand with a good supply.”

Angeline Chua, Coach of the Live Your Goals Advanced Centre development team and participant in the Fitness Coaching Course, enthused: “The course has been great so far; I’ve already learnt a lot just from the first day. For example, I’ve always had concerns with warm-ups so having an expert advise on the correct methods to use is very constructive.”

Added fellow participant and former Home United FC Head Coach Philippe Aw: “Such a course is very beneficial for us local coaches. We have always focused on tactics but fitness in the modern game is very important. The course provides us with updated information and I hope to learn as much as possible from the FIFA Instructor. Even though I am not a fitness coach, head coaches today have to at least have a basic understanding of fitness so that we can better work alongside the fitness coach.”

FAS Head Coach, Youth Fandi Ahmad said: “I enjoyed today’s session and am looking forward to learning about new and different exercises. As coaches we need to know a lot about fitness work and from today’s session, we will be able to improvise on what Tobias demonstrated for us so that we can implement it for our players. Courses like this are good as refreshers, and for us to learn about different methodologies of coaching. I encourage coaches to attend such courses and hope that FAS and FIFA will be able to organise more of them to continue improving the knowledge of coaches in Singapore.”

FAS Staff Coach V. Selvaraj also spoke of the need for coaches today to have knowledge of many areas of football, and the importance of staying up-to-date: “Fitness is one of the very important components for a coach to be familiar with. The course gives us a lot of information about today’s trends, as well as analyses based on the last World Cup, European Championships and even Youth Championships. This keeps us updated and gets us thinking about new ideas and bringing creativity to our training sessions.

“Thanks to the FAS, we are able to attend a course led by a FIFA Fitness Instructor, one who is an expert in this area. Such courses are in alignment with Technical Director Michel Sablon’s development plan and this helps us coaches to stay relevant. The Youth Development Course and the Grassroots coaching course conducted earlier have also been beneficial for our continual development.”