German continuing education is synonymous with first-class results
Football (usually referred to in the USA as soccer in order to differentiate it from American football) has been enjoying growing popularity in the country for a number of years and is favoured by boys and girls alike. High schools and colleges run numerous teams, and there are also many private soccer clubs. However, depending on the level at which children play, the fees which parents pay exceed those customary in Germany many times over. Annual subscription rates vary between $2,500 and $5,000. Of course, the parents also expect high quality training in return for their money. One way to guarantee this is if coaches have trained in Germany and are in possession of a German licence.
Acting in conjunction with the German-based agency ProSoc, the Hessian Football Association has become the first in the country to offer a relevant course which is directly aimed at American coaches. ProSoc arranges soccer scholarships for German youngsters at colleges in the USA and cooperates with numerous football teams for the children of American military personnel and civilian staff at US bases in Europe.
"We receive enquiries about acquiring the C-Licence in English from the three clubs on German soil and from the USA directly," said Frank Illing, Chair of the Committee for Training and Club Development at the Hessian Football Association. "Because our 'made in Germany' licences have an excellent reputation around the world, we ultimately decided to run this course, the first of its kind. We are very satisfied with the outcome."
Final examination and practical demonstration
The participants came from high schools, colleges and Major League soccer clubs. They completed the prescribed 120 learning units, each of which consists of 50 percent theory and 50 percent practice. The contents taught were illustrated at various performance levels in practice via visits to Kickers Offenbach and Eintracht Frankfurt and by observing a demonstration group from TSG Wieseck.
For the final examination, the coaches were required to complete an oral test and produce a seminar paper. They also had to complete a demonstration lesson. This involved developing a training session, part of which also had to be presented.
Following the excellent response received from these first participants, the intention now is that a similar training course will be held on a regular annual basis in future. According to the German regulations, coaches are only permitted to take part if they are a member of a German football club. However, Americans are easily able to fulfil this prerequisite via the clubs that have been established at American military bases. For this reason, the Association plans to initially restrict this continuing education to coaches from the USA. Enquiries are already being received from Americans interested in the acquisition of B-Licences and the possibility of advanced training courses in the USA to secure the validity of the licences that have been obtained. These need to be updated at least every three years.