On the 14th of December, Naod and I enrolled on the FA Level 1 course so that I would be able to start off my coaching journey thanks to Salmon Youth Centre.  The course lasted a week and there I was able to learn varied things in order to improve my youth work skills using football as a medium.

Before starting the course, I was excited about developing my skills and was eager to learn different techniques and styles of doing different sets of drills or activities.

When we got there, we had our introduction to the course where we got to find out what we would be doing during the course. We ended up finding out that our teacher is an actual coach who has coached for big teams such as Tottenham and many more teams. I remember his words ‘we know the techniques can be trusted.'

During the course, we only aimed to do five drills, which was split between ten people where two people could end up doing the same drill.

I started off with doing ‘traffic lights’ (which is a drill involving 4 cones colours of the traffic lights: red = stop, yellow = change direction, green = go faster with added blue = add skill) where I had to take everyone in the FA level 1 course through the drill. We had to run the session as if we were running it with young people by going through the steps; Introducing who I am, health and safety checks, equipment check and clothing check, what we are going to be doing in the session.

It was a great week as I did end up learning a lot and it made me improve myself as a coach which I could use to improve my Salmon Tigers sessions to let them get more out of the sessions. Even though the FA Level 1 course is over, my work as a coach is just beginning.

Derrick Johnson, Youth Work Apprentice (21)

Apprentices are young people who are gaining work experience while working on a Level 3 youth work qualification. They spend thirty-five hours a week for up to nine months at Salmon on a paid salary. This gives them access to higher education, which they previously would not have had, or it leads to the start of a career in youth work. The apprentices are very important to Salmon, as we get to invest a lot of time in them, helping them to grow on a personal, political, social and spiritual level. Also, as they are still young themselves, they are often very good at connecting with the young people we work with and a lot of young people look up to them.


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