The NZF Coach Education consists of two pathways, “Community” and “Advanced”, allowing coaches to learn knowledge and skills that are specific to their situation, in an appropriate learning environment. Players require very different coaching at different stages in their development and these two pathways aim to provide support at each stage. Beginning coaches can enter the Community pathway at Introduction level or, if they believe that previous playing and coaching experience provides them with a higher base of knowledge, can immediately enter the Advanced pathway.

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Coaches at the community level are the ‘backbone’ of the coaching family and crucial to increasing participation and laying the foundations in developing the basic skills and intrinsic motivation that players need to have a lifelong passion for football. The Community Pathway provides the volunteer coach, who may have varying levels of football knowledge or experience, with learning to ensure that they engage the players in a highly stimulating way. Coaches can access courses without the need for assessment or accreditation in a range of methods to suit the needs of the players in the Community Pillar (Recreation and Participation).



The Advanced Pathway provides coaches with a structure to become a professional, ‘expert’ coach. New Zealand Football recognise that the game needs expert coaches at all age groups in the talent pillars (Perform and Excel). The philosophy of all of the coach education courses is to provide ‘authentic’ and realistic task-centred learning where candidates ‘learn through doing’ and by recognising and defining football problems. New Zealand Football’s approach is to get learners involved with football-related tasks and work to find solutions to these problems in a logical way. Getting coaches involved with realistic coaching situations will facilitate the ongoing application of the newly-acquired knowledge and skills. To allow coaches time to ‘apply and adapt new learning’ into their own environment, distance learning forms an integral part of coach education courses at all levels and provides candidates with an opportunity to practically adopt and apply theoretical aspects covered in courses and learn through self-reflective practice in their own unique environment. Most importantly, these processes create coaches that are able to critically evaluate their own coaching, and take the required action to improve their coaching performance. This takes time and as such, New Zealand Football undertakes ‘post-course’ assessments for all advanced courses. This removes the traditional issues created by conducting ‘oncourse’ assessments and enables coaches to focus on gaining a deeper understanding of the content and its application.