The CONCACAF Coaching Convention is now in the Caribbean and was launched for the first time on Trinidad and Tobago shores as the Emerging Elite Coach Educator Program commenced at the Hilton Hotel in Port-of-Spain on March 16.
The Elite Coach Educator Program is a key component of CONCACAF’s Coaching Convention. The Convention, launched in March 2022, is a regulatory framework intended to standardise and raise the quality of coach education programs across our 41 Member Associations. By establishing, implementing and monitoring minimum standards for coach education.
This current workshop in Trinidad and Tobago is the first workshop as part of CONCACAF’s Emerging Elite Coach Educator Development Program, as stated by CONCACAF’s Football Development Administrator Pablo Lindsay.
The Program seeks to accelerate and facilitate the development of emerging coach educators throughout the CONCACAF region to directly address the ongoing shortage of qualified coach educators, particularly at the A and B License levels. This program will serve as a critical component of our Train the Trainer philosophy, which seeks to empower CONCACAF Member Associations to deliver their own domestic coach education programs in accordance with their own footballing development and needs. Coach educators participating in the program will benefit from ongoing opportunities for capacity building and mentorship support in their coach education journey. The workshop features coach educators from multiple Caribbean CONCACAF Member Associations, including Trinidad and Tobago.
T&T Football Association (TTFA) technical director Anton Corneal was brimming with pride following the opening day of the current workshop.
“This augers well for us because it shows that our Association and our country is being recognised by CONCACAF as one with the necessary tools, resources and personnel to host these sort of workshops. Not only will coach educators and coaches from the region benefit, but also our personnel from Trinidad and Tobago. We are moving towards establishing a level of respect and showing our resourcefulness when it comes to staging activities such as this,” Corneal said.
To roll out the Convention, CONCACAF has been hosting Coach Education Exchanges across the region. CONCACAF hosted coaches in Curacao from June 17-19, 2022, which featured participation from General Secretaries, Technical Directors and Heads of Coach Education from the Federations of Aruba, Bonaire, Saint Maarten, Suriname and host, Curacao.
The event marked the fifth in a series of nine Coach Education Exchanges, with the Confederation having successfully delivered similar interactions in Jamaica, Antigua & Barbuda, Panama and St. Lucia. To date, a total of 26 of the 41 Member Associations have participated
The three-day exchanges are designed to introduce participating Member Associations to the regulations, implementation strategies and application processes for the inaugural CONCACAF Coaching Convention.
According to CONCACAF Director of Development, Jason Roberts, the CONCACAF Coaching Convention forms part of a much bigger plan: “Although our collective journey is just beginning, the steps we have already taken together have weight and are powerful. We truly believe that investing and growing coach education will be the key to unlocking the continued expansion of our CONCACAF national team and regional club competitions.”
Fundamentally, the CONCACAF Coaching Convention not only seeks to standardise and raise the quality of coach education across the region but also to provide greater opportunities for cross-border access for coaches through the mutual recognition of qualifications, while promoting coaching excellence as part of the One CONCACAF Philosophy.
The TTFA, like the rest of CONCACAF, will aim to follow the pathways being set out by other organisations such as UEFA and Conmebol. For more than two decades, UEFA’s Coaching Convention has had a clear mission: Setting high coach education standards to improve the quality of coach education in all UEFA member associations, with the aim of developing better coaches and, ultimately, better players and the overall quality of the game.
Thanks to standards enshrined in the Convention, there are currently 190,000 coaches trained and qualified to UEFA requirements, who are practising their profession across Europe and beyond. CONCACAF and TTFA will aim to lay down a number of essential priorities similar to UEFA’s which was launched in 1998. Those include helping CONCACAF and the TTFA fulfil its mission to develop football; Increasing the number of qualified male and female coaches; EstablishingCONCACAF and TTFA-endorsed coaching licences across the region; Raising standards to meet ever greater demands on coaches; Ensuring common coaching standards across CONCACAF territory and protecting footballers from unqualified coaches
The CONCACAF Coaching Convention sees the importance of establishing the minimum requirements for CONCACAF Member Associations, like Trinidad and Tobago, to deliver their Coach Education Programs. By aligning the standards of our Coach Education Program to the requirements of the Coaching Convention, TTFA’s Coach Education courses will be recognised by CONCACAF across all CONCACAF Member Associations. This means that once TTFA is an approved member of the CONCACAF Coaching Convention, a coach who possesses a current and valid TTFA A Licence, for example, will be permitted to coach in any CONCACAF Member Association where an A Licence is required.
Shaun Fuentes is the head of TTFA Media. He was a FIFA Media Officer at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. The views expressed are solely his and not a representation of any organisation. firstname.lastname@example.org