Coaching Career Success for Project FUTSAL Graduate

Irish graduate of Project FUTSAL, Molly Carpenter, attributes her new career as a children’s football coach in the United States to the skills she learned during her time on the course which has been designed jointly by the Football Association of Ireland and the Welsh Football Trust through funds from the Ireland Wales Programme 2007-13.

Here is Molly’s story in her own words…

I found out about Project FUTSAL through friends of mine who participated on the course the previous year. We played on the same team and they explained what was involved and what qualifications I would leave with. They told me of their different experiences working within different areas of soccer coaching. About how they volunteered at different community events and how they worked with local schools. I have always been interested in coaching and finding out more about different styles of coaching so decided to apply. I also liked the fact that they used their work experience methods by giving back to the community and providing schools with well needed soccer coaching.

Since participating on the project FUTSAL course I gained my kickstart level 1 and 2, Disability awareness intro, Referees intro, and strength and conditioning intro. With this I applied with a coaching company called Youth Elite Soccer (YES) who hire coaches from across seas to go to America with their coaching qualifications and work with clubs all over the States.

They accepted my application and flew me out to a club in Rhode Island called North Kingstown Soccer Association (NKSA) in April 2013. Unfortunately I did not complete my Youth cert or other certificates that I would have liked to have achieved but took the opportunity regardless. NKSA is a community based club with over 300+ players. They have 13 competitive teams age ranging from U8-U16. They have a program for the recreational players U8 and under.

My main responsibility when I first arrived at NKSA was organizing, planning and running all U8 and under recreational practices. In total I had 19 sessions per week. I had a total of 122 players at the start and finished the spring season with 134. I also helped some older age competitive teams with practices and assisted the competitive U8/U10 teams on game days.

During the summer YES hosted soccer summer camps with different clubs in different states in America. I was based in the New England area which covered states including Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Maine. I got to travel around to 4 of these states to coach at camps throughout the summer season. Camps were usually a week long and depending on the age group ranged from 45 minutes (3-4 year olds) to 6 hours (8+ year olds). There was also 2 hour session options. We also ran team camps which were usually 3 hour camps.

Working with NKSA through the spring I set up the summer camp to run within their club. This was the first summer camp to take place with this club. I set up the facility, advertisement and captained the camp. We got enough players signed up to run 2 separate weeks. Both camps were successful and NKSA are looking forward to the camps running again next year.

Throughout the summer I captained 3 different camps. Camp captain duties include: managing staff, transportation of staff, meeting with co-ordinators, the H&S of camp, payment of camps.

After the summer NKSA contracted me back to their club for the fall season. For the fall NKSA only run recreational soccer. My duties and responsibilities are similar to the spring regards setting up and planning the recreational end of things. This time though I am more of an educator. Each team has a parent coach and my job is to prepare their session plans and coach them how to coach the children by using the methods I have provided. I help out with every session that takes place throughout the week. I also run coach the coaches sessions were parent coaches can come and experience different ways to coach and take new ideas back to their session. We have game day each Saturday were all the players play against the other teams in their age group. I run all U4 games making sure that the players are having a fun time and wanting to come back for more. I supervise the U6 games and make sure coaches are coaching while players are playing. Keeping everything fun for the players. I then go and watch all other games that take place throughout the day.

On Sundays I run extra clinics for children  who are looking to play competitive soccer next spring and has not got the skill needed right now. These practices run for players aged U8-U12. Now at NKSA the recreational program has 165 players signed up and growing.

All of this would not have been possible if I did not have the chance to participate on the project FUTSAL course. It made me the coach I am today and gave me the confidence to come to America gain more experience and also share the experiences that I have had with others.

Visit Project FUTSAL for further information.