East v West Coaching Course

On June 20 22 the first USAFL Level One coaching course for 2003 was held as part of the Inaugural East vs West tournament. Held at the official hotel, the Seaport Marina, the course had to be held in sessions over three days to work around Saturdays games.


Along with usual presenter, Denis Ryan, the USAFL was privileged to have the services of two experienced coach trainers, in Robert Oliver and Brian Green. Rob has had extensive experience playing and then coaching in Australia, most recently with Football Victoria as a Regional Manager for the Oakleigh Chargers. He has covered the full gamut of football development and pathway, from pre-schoolers to VSFL U/18 players on the verge of being drafted.


After an extensive playing career, Brian took to umpiring and was most recently handing down the law in the high standard Ovens and Murray League in the Victorian Country. Both Rob and Brian are school teachers, and was this experience, together with their extensive football knowledge, that helped to ensure this was the best coaching course conducted by the USAFL.


Twenty-five participants from twelve clubs attended the course and on Friday night were taken through the various roles of the Coach, teaching children and planning. On Saturday morning after a quick breakfast, teaching skills was the next session followed by a very informative session on umpiring by Brain Green. Because of Brians great oratory skills in relaying past experiences, the participants got to see umpires for what they really are. Fun, normal, average blokes who just love the game as much as the players and fans do, and in many ways because of the rigors of the job they do, love it even more.


From there we headed off to the field to do a session on skills and drills at the University of California Long Beach campus, location of the days games. Upon seeing the luscious, flat field many Eastern players turned green with envy at the surfaces the West boys get to play on. It was certainly one of the best surfaces to have had an Australian Football game played on in this country.


Josh Loring, fresh from his stint as  the 2003 Essendon Scholarship recipient, proved he not only had a good time in Australia but also listened as he took us through a long list of drills, ranging from exercises to do on your own to more extensive ones involving the whole team. There is no doubt in my mind that 12 clubs were all doing new drills the next week at training! This was a great session and very well presented. Well done Josh! Its great to see Americans stepping up to coaching roles and there will no doubt be many more in the future.


On Sunday the course was finished off with sessions on games sense, kicking and a training course on USFootyKids. For what was a pretty intensive weekend, packed to the limit with insight, tips, drills, coaching methods, and not to mentions three games of footy as well, many thanks must go out to the course presenters, Rob Oliver, Brian Green, Denis Ryan and Josh Loring.


For 12 USAFL clubs, their knowledge of our great game has just been broadened significantly. No doubt the clubs that missed out will notice the difference next time they take to the field of battle!

- Denis Ryan

Posted in 
Watch AFL