This isn’t just for the high performance end of our game, but beginning at a grassroots, community level as often it is the Coaches responsible for attracting kids and their parents to try a sport in the first place and build an early love for it.
NZAFF have identified Coach Development as a key strategic focus for the Sport, so the introduction of the Level 1 Accreditation is our first step on what we see as a long-term and ever evolving commitment to developing quality American Football Coaches in New Zealand. We will learn as we go, and will add subsequent levels in time to allow for Coach progression. We have a great Partner in Bring It On Sports’ Paul Manera and an excellent starting point.
Our initial program is focused on what may be seen as the “basics” but at the end of the day, we believe that it all needs to start with fundamentals. Most importantly player safety. American Football is a highly physical sport and ensuring our young players safety – from proper equipment fitting through to taking first contact, blocking and tackling – is where we have to start.
We also want to start to deliver consistency across all our Coaching, as whilst styles and the likes of offensive or defensive strategies will change from Coach to Coach (as they should!!!), when it comes to the fundamentals of Football we should all be largely on the same page.
We are excited about Bring It On Sports program which includes a mix of self-paced, online learning with practical assessments from a highly qualified Coach in Paul Manera. From a practicality perspective, past attempts to get Coaches from around the Country to a single place, at a single time, just prove too hard with everyone’s other commitments. And budget wise, we simply don’t have the funds to fly people around the country for Clinics or Assessments so we think the mix of online learning, alongside video submission based 1 to 1 practical assessments will give the best possible return on investment.
As with everything we are trying to implement, we always welcome your feedback so look forward to hearing your thoughts.
New Zealand American Football Federation