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Coaching Development Seminar at BMO Field


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This might be a bit off topic for this particular forum but I could not think of a better place to post it.

Coach GT from RPB (who now is also registered with the V's) has asked me to post the following info for any GTA-area coaches (or future coaches) who are interested in attending a soccer coaching development seminar:

From our earlier thread, we now have a date for the initial coaching development meeting. This is available for all current and future soccer coaches, where you have any formal training through the OSA or not. This is the chance for amateur coaches to get together and learn from each other so that we can all try to improve our coaching.

Details are:

Where: Rogers Room, BMO Field

When: Tuesday, January 27th at 7:00 PM (until 9)


Agenda suggestions welcome!

We have planned for a guest speaker for this date, someone who can speak about coaching from a perspective that many of us will probably never get to. He'll have about 45 minutes to speak and then as much time as necessary to ask questions. The speakers name will not be announced in advance.

More information about the agenda to follow next week.

There are about 30 copies of the NSCAA Soccer Journal available for those who come out.

We plan on limiting this to about 30 people, and membership in Red Patch is not a requirement. Only those who confirm that they are coming in advance by posting here (and are listed here) will be admitted. There will be no food or refreshments served, so please bring your timmies or non-alcoholic beverages (for those who would like to, we can probably have a pint at Shoeless afterwards.

About 20 people have already confirmed to be attending. If anyone here is interested in taking part, please PM me and I will add you to the list on the thread over on the RPB forum...here is the link to that thread:


Hope to see some of you there.

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This is a great idea, finally somebody out of the status quo is organizing something with the coaches. I hope there will be more to come after this one, since I won't be able to attend this time (I'll be in Rio to see the carnival) but I' ll love to be on the next one.

Excellent initiative Coach GT

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Reminder...anyone interested in attending this session can still sign up. There are a handful of spots left (I think they are at 28 confirmed but the room can hold a little more than 30).

If interested, let me know and I'll have you added to the list.

CoachGT has added some info on how to get to the Rogers Room at BMO Field...see this link:


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The Seminar held last night was very informative and entertaining.

The speakers were Rafael Carbajal (CSL Coach of the Year) and Paolo Paccione (strength and conditioning coach for the U17 WNT that went to New Zealand). These two professionals imparted a tremendous amount of wisdom for group of current and future youth coaches in attendance.

CoachGT will be organizing more of these sessions in the future. I hope to see some local V's who are involved in coaching or who might want to get into coaching attend the next session.

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I definitely believe that last years CSL coaches group must have been the best group of coaches in any league in Canada in a long time and Rafa was the coach of the year, so I can imagine how good that coaches development meeting was, good idea to invite CSL coaches CoachGT. I heard that Paolo the trainer is excellent too. I missed this one but I hope to make it to the next one.

This is a description on the meeting according to organizer CoachGT.

Copied verbatim from CoachGT's thread on Red Patch Boys Forum

Although there were not formal minutes, here are my notes (spread over a couple of posts) from last night. I'd like to thank all of those who attended, and especially VPjr for his help in arranging the speakers!

The speakers for the evening were Rafael Carbajal, Head coach of the North York Astros, CSL 2008 Coach of the Year and Paolo Pacione, Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Astros. Both have a list of qualifications as long as your arm!

We had about 15 coaches at BMO Field for the first of our Coach Development Meetings, spread out from people who have never coached before to several community coaches with rep teams. Our speakers were very well qualified and prepared for the evening. Things started pretty close to on time, although Scooter and I were a couple of minutes behind. Once things got rolling, they went well. Rafa and Paolo had a couple of pages in a handout for the people in attendance.

Paolo started things off with a discussion about knowing not only the chronological age but the maturity and psychological age of the players being coached. He referred to the development charts from the CSA document “Wellness to World Cup”, showing the different development stages of boys and girls from 5 to 20. Of particular importance is the peak height velocity – the point at which a growth spurt occurs in players. One of the things Paolo suggested was to measure the height and weight of players every couple of months, because it will make some of the physiological changes that a player is going through very apparent.

Paolo then took a number of questions, many about warm up routines (differences between static routines – the way most of the older crowd have probably been taught to stretch – and dynamic (motion) routines), plyometrics (exercises designed to improve quick explosive power – a number of hockey teams I’ve worked with have moved to plyometrics as their main dryland training routines), differences in ages, different methods of warming up, the importance of cooling down and the effects of warming up in high heat (coaches must watch players closely and try to warm up in shade if there is any, but make sure the players don’t overdo it in the heat).

Rafael then gave us his views on coaching, throwing in a little humour along the way. He talked about talent, not only the players that leave the country to play elsewhere but the talent, especially In our youth, that are still playing the game here. He explained why Canadian coaches are amongst the most trained in the world (having to be coach, trainer, manager, psychologist, father, and so on). He talked about not only development of players but that luck plays a part – even the best teams in the world, with the best players, don’t automatically win by coming onto the pitch – anything can happen during a game. His experience included coaching a youth team in Italy, having success with the team and being promoted through to first team coach, and that luck did play a part in it, but so did the training and preparation he received here in Canada.

Rafa spelled out his philosophy – PER – Passion, Education, and Respect for the Sport.

Passion is the first requirement – you must have a passion for the game. He talked about the passion of a young player at the Iber-American tournament in South America, a 10 year old Canadian playing with 12 year olds. The 10 year old displayed confidence and skills beyond his age, living in South America without his parents. The player – Jonathan de Guzman. With passion comes education. You must constantly educate yourself about the game. Seek out opportunities to watch other teams practice, to watch other coaches, to ask questions and to learn. He emphasized that Canadian coaches should look for an opportunity to go to a country with a true soccer culture for at least two weeks to learn about the game, to watch how things are done and experience the soccer culture. The internet and available coaching materials are easily available and are great tools for education. And finally, Respect for the Sport. His comments were short on this point, Canada does not respect the sport of soccer.

Probably the best discussion of the night was the insight Rafa gave about recreational soccer. Canada has recreational soccer – players/parents pay to play. In other countries, players play for recreation on the street and in fields on their time. Uruguay started players in clubs – players who were qualified and dedicated to play – at age 6 when he was young, and now at age 5. Europe starts a little older. He told us how the players in Uruguay and Italy were already dedicated to the sport – it is embedded in their culture, in everyday speech, in the way they live. Soccer is meaningful, players come prepared, don’t need constant reminding to arrive on time, to practice at home, to warm up properly, and so on. All of the parents know the game and understand it, and let the coaches go about their business. The same doesn’t exist here in Canada, hence we are not a soccer culture.

Rafa answered several questions, about everything from dealing with parents, to ideal pitch and team sizes at younger ages, to sending players off the practice pitch (he told a story about that comparing attitudes in Italy and Canada – the Italian club he worked with considered players to be an investment they make in developing players, and how a “sending away” incident ended up with a parent and player apologizing for the attitude of a 15 year old) and suggested that education extends to all of the coaches in the room, in the need to educate parents about expectations on the pitch and in practices.

There is no question of the passion that Rafa and Paolo bring to the sport, and they brought that passion to the room for this session. They received a warm round of applause at the end of the session.

The general consensus was that we will host another session like this. At the end, the participants were all given a couple of NSCAA coaching magazines.

I’m grateful to all of the participants who showed up at the meeting and look forward to trying this again in the future. We will need another venue for the next meeting – as much as we would like, BMO will not always be available for us to use. So if anyone has a spot, please let me know.

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Some times you have to wonder why aren't coaches like Rafa part of the CSA program. I can only think of three reasons, he's not from the BC system, he is a passionate coach and that is a NO NO with the CSA (that's why Dasovic didn't get the U-20s) or he simply never apply for a job with the CSA....go figure.

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