NSCAA Coaching Education: Opening More Doors Than Ever Before
Whether it’s the first day of school, starting a new job, or moving to a new city, anytime a person starts something new, they never know what to expect.
It’s those first-time experiences that are the most nerve-racking. A coach’s first step in beginning their coaching education is no different. When you register for your first coaching course, you don’t know what to expect or what will be expected of you.
When Martin Roberts registered to take his first coaching course with the NSCAA, he had the same feelings. Never in his wildest dreams did he expect it would open the door to all of his professional aspirations. Now, 18 months and three diplomas later, the Englishman is living his dream-pursuing a master’s degree, working as a Director of Coaching, and coaching collegiately.
Unlike other coaching education programs, the NSCAA Coaching Academy does not put a timetable on education. This allows coaches to continue their education and to take courses as soon as they are ready and willing.
Roberts took full advantage of this by completing his Advanced National in the Summer 2012, then going on that year to obtain his Director of Coaching Diploma the subsequent December, and followed that up with his Premier Diploma in the Summer 2013.
Reflecting on the courses he’s completed, Roberts saw a difference in the way his teams played after taking the National. “I saw a big difference in the way my players absorbed my teaching and in my team’s cohesiveness and that solely came down to what I learned on the Advanced. The Advanced was an eye opener for me. It introduced me to a lot of new coaching methodologies. In the year between my Advanced and Premier, my entire philosophy on running sessions changed.”
Of his rapid growth and advancement through the Coaching Academy, “I’m of the mindset that if you’re ready, go for it. I just want to be a sponge and absorb everything I can to get better.”
This mentality quickly paid off for Roberts professionally. After completing his Premier Diploma at the end of the summer, doors started to open for him and everything began to fall into place.
First, he was accepted into a master’s program for sports exercise psychology. Having previously earning his bachelor’s degree from Staffordshire University in England, Roberts was hoping to continue his education. However, because of the amount of coaching he did throughout his degree he didn’t have the best marks, but ultimately was admitted because he continued his coaching education with the NSCAA.
“The education I did with the NSCAA was a big part of the reason I was able to get into the program. They saw that I had educated and re-educated myself with the NSCAA and took it upon myself to further my education.”
Through his enrollment in the master’s program, Roberts soon found himself as the assistant coach for Folsom Lake College’s inaugural women’s soccer team where he is responsible for both the forwards and goalkeepers, but the ride didn’t stop there. Just a few weeks later, Roberts was appointed Director of Coaching for Capital Valley United, a youth club in Sacramento, Calif.
After completing his Premier Diploma, Roberts was caught in a whirlwind and when the dust settled everything seemingly had fallen into place. The Englishmen would be the first to say he wouldn’t be where he is today without the coaching education he received from the NSCAA.
When Roberts registered for his first NSCAA course, he didn’t know what to expect or how it would compare to other coaching education he had gone through. But now he feels at home with the NSCAA.
“The way it was presented was my very first experience with an organization that was for coaches by coaches. They were very honest and they were very, very good. (The instructors) are all just down-to-Earth people and they don’t come with this ego of ‘I’m bigger and better than you.’ It just makes everything relaxed. I’ve felt very at home with the NSCAA.”
Now he shares his coaching education to help guide young coaches as well as improve the quality of life for Nicaraguan children by sharing the game of soccer, through his foundation the Blue Phoenix Project.
The Blue Phoenix Project is a self-sustaining non-profit soccer program for developing nations that was founded by Roberts in 2012. The program is dedicated to giving back by taking volunteers to Nicaragua to work with refugee children. The Festival de Futbol, is the training program the Blue Phoenix Project implements which involves three training days followed by a two day-four house tournament.
Not only do they impact Nicaraguan refugee children by teaching them the game, but they also make it a point to impact the coaches that take part in the program. Roberts has aspirations to take young high school and college players interested in pursuing careers in coaching to Nicaragua with the Blue Phoenix Project to give them the opportunity to gain experience in the field.
“Am I living the dream? Yea I am. I am so fortunate. I have never been this happy and above all I am so grateful that the NSCAA exists because it would not have happened without them.”
The NSCAA offers a comprehensive yet focused curriculum inclusive of all coaches at all levels of the game. Explore the Coaching Course Menu and the Master Course Schedule to select and register for the right course for you.