Thursday 20 January 2022, 03:00

Parreira and Tite emphasise importance of Coach Education

  • FIFA-CBF Coach Educators’ Development Programme took place in Teresopolis

  • Carlos Parreira’s involvement was one of the highlights of the course, which had 21 participants from all over Brazil 

  • This pilot programme aligns with The Vision 2020-2023 of FIFA

“Previously, when we used to compare Brazilian and European football, both on and off the pitch, what stood out was the lack of specific training for our coaches. That eventually led to the creation of the CBF Academy and courses like this one,” says Carlos Alberto Parreira, guest of honour at the FIFA-CBF Coach Educators’ Development Programme that took place in Teresopolis, Rio de Janeiro from 8-12 January 2022.

"Today we remain at the same level, but they are still ahead of us because they’ve been doing it for a long time, while we’ve just started”, added Parreira, whose Seleção team were crowned world champions at USA 1994 and reached the quarter-finals of Germany 2006. “It's crucial that our coaches are better prepared. I’m sure that the quality of their work will improve in technical, tactical, physical and planning terms thanks to FIFA and the CBF working together," he adds.

The event was held at the home of the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation) Academy in Granja Comary in the same complex where the country’s national teams train before major tournaments. It consisted of 24 modules, including sessions dedicated to theory, practice and reflection, and was the product of six months of collaboration between FIFA and the CBF.

Brazil’s national team coach Tite was not able to attend, but he shared his thoughts about the course. “Every initiative that brings out information leading to knowledge will always raise the bar. FIFA’s initiative of providing this qualification for teachers and educators C licence has become instrumental for everyone to improve. The more open we are to this integration between theoretical and practical knowledge, the closer we can get to excellence.”

Mauricio Marques, Coordinator of Coaching Licence Courses at the CBF, FIFA Coaching Expert and the FIFA Instructor for this course, explains how this partnership works. "FIFA brings a certain methodology, a pathway to follow step by step, and each of those steps is geared towards providing the necessary tools for instructors to perform as effectively as possible," says Marques. 

"The CBF is participating in this pilot project to help fine-tune the programme and make it more efficient, while respecting the idiosyncrasies of each member association. The aim is to improve the programme so that the next member association that participates can benefit as a result."

An innovative methodology for a new vision 

Branimir Ujevic, Head of FIFA’s Coaching and Player Development Department, provided more detail on the programme, which aligns with The Vision 2020-2023 of FIFA.  

"In order to make football truly global, we want to help member associations develop their coach educators through a training pathway, a concept that we have been working on for the last two years," he explains.

Image of the FIFA-CBF Coach Educators’ Development Programme

What is it about? "It's a very comprehensive and mixed educational approach, developed by FIFA coaching experts from all around the world and every confederation. As a first step, each participant can access the content through a FIFA e-learning platform aimed at them," says Ujevic. 

"Then comes the online course, where the theoretical content is discussed. Both steps are prerequisites for the face-to-face course, such as the one we’ve developed here in Brazil. This is the most important part, because it’s then, when we move from the virtual world to the real one. The final step is a personalized mentoring process, which will come later."

Education for football and beyond

Ujevic stresses that FIFA's programme is targeting the base of the coach-training pyramid – those who work mostly with children of both sexes between the ages of six and 12. Marques, meanwhile, highlights the multiplier effect that this objective can have in a country as large as Brazil.

"21 CBF C-License instructors took part in the course, and all were very well qualified. If each of these coordinates 10 courses, and each course is attended by about 40 coaches, then we’re talking about training more than 8000 people. If they in turn instruct 50 young people each, we’d be bringing quality training to thousands of children."

Image of the FIFA-CBF Coach Educators’ Development Programme

“Here we’re planting the seeds for tomorrow’s harvest, and that’s the basis of education. In the future we will have dividends not just in terms of talent and those kids who go on to become professionals, but more importantly in terms of developing the socio-educational potential of those kids who do not. This will [positively] impact Brazilian society as a whole,” adds the CBF Coordinator.

A first-hand account 

The presence of Parreira to share his experiences and take questions from the participants was a bonus for the course, which was also notable for the presence of a very significant 'student' in Brazilian football: Osvaldo Torres. Now 62, Torres founded the CBF Academy back in 2009 and is its currently Academic Coordinator. 

“I asked to be there because I wanted a better understanding of how participants develop as people, and also to see the instructors in action, their behaviours and observations. That and the permanent quest for excellence in teaching, of course," says Torres, who presented on the theme of Futsal as a development tool, something very typical in Brazilian football culture.

Image of the FIFA-CBF Coach Educators’ Development Programme

One of the two women who took part in the course is 32-year-old Ana Lorena, who holds a PhD in Sports Sciences and is currently Coordinator of Women's Football Development with the Sao Paulo Football Federation. "The course made me reflect on my own actions, my daily life as a teacher and as an instructor/mentor for other people who work with me. I learned how I can share my knowledge with them in more ways than one. It was very rewarding."

Carlos Thiengo, 41, is a C-Licence coach, but as a CBF Academy instructor, he can deliver courses to coaches of all licenses, including the Pro Licence. "The course has enabled me to reflect and apply what I’ve learned to my own work as an instructor of coaches and teachers. And that’s not been just this week with everyone here, but from when we started our training through distance learning. These things are now part of my job, and it's been transformative," he says.

Making football truly global

Ujevic underlines that this FIFA programme presently involves the collaboration of five Member Associations from four different Confederations. "We were in the United States and now we’re in Brazil. Coming up we have Senegal, Saudi Arabia and Australia. Three different countries with distinct languages and cultures, where there is a need for a face-to-face course. We want to put the pathway we’ve created to the test."

Image of the FIFA-CBF Coach Educators’ Development Programme

John Peacock, FIFA Instructor for the course in Teresopolis, describes it as "a fantastic initiative" from FIFA. "In the past, it was largely about specific courses, but now there’s a real pathway, as well as clarity on the nature of the online work, the module work, the e-learning and the personal contact with the coaches, with a view to advising or mentoring additional coaches in the future.  

“I think FIFA's responsibility is to develop the game as a whole all around the world,” Peacock adds, "and there’s no better objective than training coaches and delivering education work in every member association in every confederation. Each place is slightly different, so it’s necessary to be adaptable and flexible. The ultimate aim is to improve education to produce better players and coaches in the future."

Image of the FIFA-CBF Coach Educators’ Development Programme