The Coach’s Apprentice –Football as an Educational Pathway

by Charlotte Anderson, FFG Apprentice.


I have been coaching football for the past 4 years, I completed my Level 1 coaching football award in 2018 and completed my Level 2 in 2022 as well as completing more FA online courses. I have also studied coaching in sport as part as my BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport Development, Coaching and Fitness and my bachelor’s Honours undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Performance.  My two years at college and three years at University covered a range of subjects that showed me what I enjoyed academically and what I would consider developing more knowledge and skills in.


I heard about the apprenticeship through FFG as they teamed up with Educationwise Academy that deliver a Level 3 Community Sport and Health Officer qualification, a Level 4 Community Sports Coach qualification and a Level 4 School Sports Coach qualification. The apprenticeship is for anyone wishing to use sports knowledge and skills to create and deliver coaching programmes. I am currently completing the Level 4 School Sports Coach qualification.


I decided to do the Level 4 School Sports Coach qualification because what I enjoy about coaching, is being a positive sporting role model for the children to help inspire them to keep taking part in sport throughout their life and watching players progress over time. After I graduated from University, I was undecided whether I wanted to continue coaching football and further my career just focusing on being a football or apply for teaching training to become a PE teacher, doing this apprenticeship has allowed me to gain more knowledge and skills about coaching in schools whilst still being able to coach.


From a young age I have loved playing different sports, participating in as many schools’ teams as I could, playing for a football team on the weekends which I still continue to do, and I have always been open to new opportunities where I can develop new skills and knowledge that I can apply to my job.  I have always liked going on to learn something new and keeping myself engaged in the different areas of sports.


For this apprenticeship I have to work a minimum thirty hours, twenty fours coaching hours and six hours online and 20% off the job training. Two of these hours are spent during weekly meetings with your mentor from the academy, that goes through the module for that week, and the other for hours is spent doing your online work set. The 20% off the job training refers to any extra learning you can do outside of the thirty hours. Examples being any theoretical learning, simulated exercises, practical learning and engagement, online learning, such as online certificates, shadowing other coaches and in house CPDs.


The apprenticeship covers six different units of work that cover different topics with different knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSB’s) to learn. Knowledge looks at the understanding of the topic, the mental or theoretical side rather than the practical, this includes online work and research. Skills looks at the practical application of knowledge and Behaviours looks at the mindsets, attitudes or approaches required for competence.

Within this apprenticeship I use two different online platforms, one of the platforms is called “one file”, on this platform my mentor uploads tasks from each unit to complete by certain deadlines. The second platform is called “Blossom Training”, this platform is filled with loads of animated videos on different subjects to gain more knowledge from which I found really engaging, I went on to complete the coaching essentials videos which included an:

Introduction to Coaching

Using coaching methods

Establishing a coaching culture

The art of listening for coaching.

From these videos I was able to gain knowledge on how build trust and a relationship with people to understand their goals and interests, to practise coaching through observation, three different models that I could use to help learners, how to create a positive coaching culture through the use of feedback and development and how to listen to learners and the three different levels of listening and how the way you question you learn we can affect the amount of information they give you.


Through doing this apprenticeship I have become more confident as I have been able to develop more on my skills and knowledge as well as being able to learn new and interesting units of work. I would like to still be able to continue improving myself to pursue a career in both a school coach as well as a football coach. For me the best part of this apprenticeship if the opportunity to learn different things in different ways through online engaging videos and presentations and being able to apply them in practical sessions, receiving feedback and support from my mentor.