Just one look into Collin Benjamin’s office reveals his passion for football. Photos of players tackling each other or taking shots on goal are hung on the walls. The 42-year-old, who is a youth coach for the Namibian football association, has had some tough months behind him. With football suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Benjamin was all the happier to be able to exchange ideas with other experts of the game.
He was one of 25 participants who attended the International Instructor Course (ICC) from May 24-28. The programme was developed and carried out by the German Football Association (DFB) with financial support from the UEFA Assist programme. The programme was based on the DFB Training Certificate, which was designed for coaches who coach full-time or voluntarily at all levels of football. “We have offered this internationally for the first time,” explained Sebastian Weinand.
The 33-year-old head of coach training and education welcomed participants from Botswana and Namibia to the five-day course, which was held virtually due to the pandemic. Barobi Nwako was another participant. The 40-year-old, from Palapye in Botswana, works in the women’s game and is also a grassroots instructor for the Botswanan football association. “I learned a lot on the course that I can use in my job,” said Nwako.
A focus on the role of instructors
The International Instructors Course focused less on technique and tactics. Instead, emphasis was placed on the role of instructors, and among other things, methods used in the practice of training. Social and media skills were also a topic.
Sebastian Weinand was supported on the course by Dr. Carolin Braun. The sports scientist lives in Botswana, where for the past two years she has been in charge of a long-term project for the international promotion of sports, in cooperation with the German Foreign Office, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and the German Football Association (DFB). Braun also works in the training of coaches. The 35-year-old had a positive outlook at the end of the five-day course. “Everyone was fantastic in their participation and did not get discouraged by and technology issues,” says Braun.
Weinand: “The spirit on the course was very good”
The participants were also able to show what they had learned in an interactive test, and Sebastian Weinand also added a quiz where he told anecdotes from the world of football, which participants had to state whether were correct or not. Some were puzzled to learn that the great Pelé had once starred in a Hollywood movie. On the other hand, Weinand had made up a fictional story of Thomas Müller being a chess champion in his childhood. “The spirit on the course was very good,” said Weinand. “I am convinced that everyone took something away for themselves.” Collin Benjamin was able to confirm Weinand’s words. “I learned how I could teach better and how to resolve conflicts,” said the Namibian.
After a successful first outing, the DFB is already preparing its next ICC. From June 13-17, Weinand will lead another course to participants from Jordan – again virtually. When possible, the DFB is also planning to offer the event in a face-to-face format.