The Pan American Games, held in Lima, Peru, proved a fantastic backdrop for the PAHF/FIH Academy Level 3 Coaching Course, which was held from 8-11 August.
While the candidates spent much of their time immersed in discussions and presentations covering all elements of coaching, there was additional inspiration in the form of the thrilling action on the pitch.
As one candidate reported back: “I loved the mix of different hockey cultures – hearing about other coaches’ day-to-day reality, their approach to the game, what they run into.
“The group did a great job creating an atmosphere of being open and approachable, we all became friends really quickly. I am truly happy I participated, it was great for my knowledge and my network. Another aspect I enjoyed was the fact that our tasks were focused on the games – it felt like I really got a deep dive into different tactics.”
There were 22 candidates on the course, representing a huge range of PAHF national associations. These included: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Guyana, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela.
The course covered a wide range of coaching techniques, including communication skills, presentation of ideas and how to engage the players in discussions and decision-making. It also looked in depth at things such as video analysis and defensive and offensive strategies.
The Educator team also represented a wide range of nations and came with an impressive curriculum vitae of coaching and playing experiences. Among the Educators were Rodolfo Chiche Mendoza, FIH Master Coach, FIH Academy Trainer and former head coach of the Argentina national women’s team; Craig Parnham, USAFH Head of Coach Education, FIH Academy Trainer, former head coach of USA women, Mike Joyce, Executive Director of the Hockey Foundation, FIH Academy Trainer; and Olympic silver medallist and FIH Academy Educator, Laura Del Colle.
The FIH Level 3 Coaching Course is stage three of a five stage global coaching pathway. The four day course focuses on developing competencies for coaches operating at a top domestic and junior international level.
Reflecting on the course, Mike Joyce said: “Attendance was of a very high standard with 22 candidates including Olympians and Olympic and international coaches.
“International multi-sport events such as the Pan American Games provide a fantastic platform for Level 3 and higher courses. The opportunity to observe, analyse and present on elite international hockey is extremely important and beneficial.
“Collaboration between the FIH, The Hockey Foundation and PAHF to enable courses like this to take place is extremely important for growth of the game and for increasing the performance level of nations in Pan America. This is a core objective of Hockey4LIFE, hockey`s global development programme.”
President of PAHF, Albert 'Coco' Budeisky said: "The coaching course carried out in Lima, allowed us to share knowledge and experiences with potential Pan-American coaches that we hope will bear fruit in the coming years."
And one of those coaches, the silver-medal winning goalkeeper, Laura del Colle had this simple but powerful message: “Knowledge shared is power multiplied.”