In addition to helping children become better footballers, one of our key objectives at Hartley Wintney Junior Football Club is to give every child the opportunity for personal growth and development. As part of this approach, our new coaching and training team introduced a new coaching programme at the start of the season which enables players from the Under 16 and Youth Teams to complete the FA Playmaker course.
The players take their learnings from the course and put them into practice, supporting senior coaches with training sessions that involve the younger age groups. This has been a great experience for the older boys, helping them to develop their confidence and enabling them to learn practical, real-life skills in a safe and supportive environment. Being a Playmaker looks good on the CV and gives real life experience which helps when applying for college or university places.
The Playmakers are supervised by and work closely with our training providers, Destination Sports, who also act as mentors. This is part of our "Coach the Coach" initiative, enabling the Playmakers to develop their coaching skills even further. This programme's benefits help everyone within the club as the younger players receive more support during training sessions and the Playmakers can share their experiences from their time as a player in the club.
We believe that having a core set of values is important and this gives children the opportunity to take responsibility and act as role models. There are lots of career opportunities related to sport and we are determined to provide children with a pathway that will help them build the skills they will need to take advantage of these. The recent appointment of a new Technical Director within the Junior Club will also support the Training Team and Managers as we build on this initiative over the next couple of years.
The FA Playmaker course is open to anyone over 14 years of age and offers an excellent starting point to develop coaching skills. Some of these players are coming to the end of their time playing as juniors, however we hope that this programme will encourage them to stay involved and consider coaching their own teams in the future.