UEFA Pro licence students from France, Hungary, Italy and Spain – many of them former top flight and national-team players – are in Nyon this week for the latest session in UEFA's much-heralded coach education exchange scheme.
The coach education scheme – in which European national associations share know-how and benefit from UEFA's assistance as coaches prepare for future careers – is well into its second season, with national associations and course participants full of praise for the programme as they meet and swap experiences. The aim is to provide UEFA Pro licence students with the chance of an international exchange as well as access to UEFA, its tutors and educational materials.
Participants on each course hail from three or four different European FAs and are guided by their own respective coach education directors. UEFA assigns experienced tutors or coach educators to work with UEFA's football education services at each event, with members of the UEFA Jira Panel also actively involved alongside guest presenters.
In addition to discussions, the course includes practical training sessions at the Colovray Sports Centre opposite UEFA's Nyon headquarters. Specific topics at the course cover, among other things, the way a coach handles crisis situations, mental fortitude under pressure, self-improvement methods, and the various human qualities required to deal with the media, supporter expectations and players.
A media session also gives participants the opportunity to test their skills in the flash interview situation seen on television after a UEFA Champions League game, as well as showing them how to interact with, and react to, the written press, radio and TV.
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