Episode #34: FIFA coaching seminar

Beatrice Siebenthal, a very knowledgeable woman who single handedly lead a group of about 30 Croatians of all different ages and levels of experience through a FIFA seminar on how to be a good coach. She held us captive practically from 8 am to 8 pm every day for a week, but was successful in getting me interested in coaching and made me realize that it really isn’t as easy as it looks.

So, every once in a while FIFA organizes a seminar in a different country to promote women’s soccer and teach coaches of all different levels certain tips and skills. This was the kind of seminar I attended which was offered to me by the Croatian national team. I personally have very little coaching experience, actually none officially… but I coached little kids from the ages of 3-6 at a soccer camp over the summer two years in a row. That’s about it. So this kind of seminar was very interesting for me because the material was all practically new, even though it was in the field of soccer which I have been playing for years. It was a different perspective. And I liked it.


This seminar actually inspired me a little bit, I realized that it is not that easy to be a coach and plan trainings ahead of time. Because if you are well prepared you can then improvise if necessary, otherwise if you are unprepared it is much harder. But there is a lot of thought that has to go into each training, even after Beatrice gave us a structure to follow it still wasn’t simple to make up games and exercises in accordance to it. The structure was a warm up, initial game, first analytical game, second analytical game and final game followed by a cool down. The point was to focus on one element of the game that we wanted to improve and then structure a training focusing on it. So the warm up could be standard, and then the initial game would include a little bit of free competition with our focused element, and then the analytical games would narrow it down so that we were only focusing on the element with a lot of repetition and no competition. And then at the end we would put it all together in a final game and that is how we would improve our team and players.

I had to translate most of the trainings from her English to Croatian so my teammates and coaches who were also participating in the seminar could understand, so I latched on to these elements rather quickly and had everything memorized.

Although I have never thought of myself as a head coach, I found it quite interesting.