Technical Directors from across CONMEBOL and Concacaf regions learned more about FIFA’s commitment to help them ‘build football for the future’, at a three-day course for new Technical Directors at the Colombian Football Federation Technical Centre in Barranquilla. Goal 7 of FIFA’s Vision 20-23 states FIFA’s goal is to Maximise our impact on global football development via the statutory objective to improve the game constantly and promote it globally. This involves enhancing the football development landscape so that it has a positive impact around the globe, across all disciplines. “FIFA believes that Technical Directors and Technical Leaders are key architects in building football for the future,” explains FIFA Head of Technical Leadership, Jamie Houchen. “Given the strategic importance of the role to each Member Association’s long-term development and success, it is imperative that we provide as much support and resource to help each Technical Director or Leader thrive in their own unique role.”
The event in Colombia provided a platform to hear about the unique challenges and opportunities each Member Association faces, in order to bring their vision for football to life. “The structure of the FIFA Standard Course for new Technical Directors is very much about understanding the individual context, culture and circumstance that each Technical Director faces,” explains Houchen. “Although the stories that were shared showed a huge diversity in national context, there were also many similarities in the challenges and problems faced regardless of country size or resource.” During the course, participants from 18 Member Associations were given the opportunity to reflect on the role of the Technical Director, the structure of their Technical Department, how to develop stakeholder relationships and the importance of analysing their football environment.
FIFA believes that Technical Directors and Technical Leaders are key architects in building football for the future”
“Reality-based learning is central to the learning methodology on our Technical Leadership courses and an approach we want to evolve even further in the future,” says Houchen. “A significant part of the schedule was spent looking at ‘live’ projects currently faced by individuals. “By bringing a real project and real issues to the table, the participants were able to gather the ideas, experiences and solutions of other Member Associations to help them address their own challenges. It was a great example of the type of collaborative learning we want to facilitate between countries in the future. These are the types of findings we want to share in order to grow the game.”
FIFA’s ‘toolbox’ of services and support for Technical Directors
How Technical Directors can utilise FIFA’s range of support services in order to develop the game was also a key highlight of the course, that was supported by staff from CONMEBOL, Concacaf, FIFA regional offices and Regional Technical Consultants.
“The FIFA ‘toolbox’ of support resources means Technical Directors now have more help than ever before in order to achieve their objectives,” says Houchen. “With access to FIFA’s Handbook for Technical Directors, the Training Centre platform, Talent Development Scheme (TDS) and the Performance Analysis and Coaching Development programmes, we believe that Technical Directors have a suite of leading resources and support that can really contribute to achieving their long-term objectives.” “Some of the Member Associations have challenges in terms of staffing, expertise and budgets and so we really wanted to open their eyes to how FIFA’s toolbox can be used to accelerate their development aspirations.”
Technical Leaders Education Pathway
How participants on the course can continue learning with FIFA was also outlined, with details provided of the Technical Leadership Diploma and the forthcoming Technical Leaders Education pathway.
“The next formal step for this group is the Leadership Workshop for Technical Directors which builds on the content they experienced in Colombia and explores the core themes in a lot more detail. We are also excited to be releasing details of the Technical Leaders Diploma later this year, which will help truly professionalise the role and provide value and recognition to the Leadership workforce. “To complement this pathway, we also have the Individual Mentoring Programme for Technical Directors that looks at how to develop specific leadership and management skills and knowledge that fit with the individual’s own environment.” Luis Castro, Technical Director of Argentina (AFA) and FIFA Match Director, believes the course has been crucial in identifying common challenges between nations. “Through my roles with Argentina and FIFA I am close with many other countries. With tough challenges I try to be proactive and find creative solutions. We need to build those creative solutions through the experience of our colleagues. Sharing and being open is so important” explains Castro.
Bruce Swan, Technical Director of the Bahamas FA, believes the course has given him a firm foundation to develop in his role. “Coming into the role of Technical Director I know that there is a lot of work to do. However, these three days have allowed me to put things into perspective and given me a better framework to work from. Knowing you have so much support around you is great.” Ricardo Bretas, Technical Development Leader at the Brazilian National Association (CBF), believes the course has helped him imagine new possibilities for his department. “It has been really good to think about my network and who are my key stakeholders inside and outside of the organisation. “I already had a new organigram in mind before the course, but now my idea is much different. The course has made me think more about what we could do and how many people we will need to have. I really enjoyed the conversations I had with my peers, and learned a lot from them.”
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