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Copnall on Coach Development

7 March 2018

Dan Copnall from the Academy talks about CPD

Shrewsbury Town’s Head of Coach Development, Dan Copnall, is pleased with how the club’s Academy staff are developing under his guidance.

Last week, Copnall put on a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) session for all of the Academy coaches aimed at improving the club’s coaching philosophy.

The idea of the session was to reflect on what has worked well and try to put in place an approach which allows for easy transition through age groups.

Dan explained the thought process behind the session and how it went.

“Every three months throughout the season all the coaching staff will get together to look at the programme, review, reflect, look at how the programme’s been doing and look at how we can move it forward”, said Copnall.

“Friday was an opportunity for us to look at our current philosophy. At the minute we work off six core themes throughout the Academy from Under-9s to Under-18s and we basically wanted to put more meat on the bones.

“What’s the coaching detail and terminology that all the coaches need to be saying so that we’ve got a seamless approach all the way through the Academy and so the players are getting the same messages and the same types of detail from a technical, tactical, physical, social and psychological point of view?

“We also looked at our practice design. So, what are the best practices that we use throughout the Academy that really give us a unique Shrewsbury Town way of doing things?

“And then, we also looked at how we work with our multi-disciplinary team. So, it’s not just about the coaches, it’s about how you work with your sports science team, your medical department, the analysis and the goalkeeping side of things, so that we all have an integrated approach.”

This is the first session of its kind that Copnall has run since joining the club from Wolves a couple of months ago and he was pleased with the response he got.

“Luckily for me they were very receptive, because without the coaches input, without the coaches turning up and being proactive, we wouldn’t have achieve the things we did”, said Dan.

“It wasn’t really about me saying ‘this is what we are going to do’, it was more about saying ‘this is what we do at the minute, how can we move it forwards?’ and it was about the coaches reflecting and looking at the best practices they’ve done in the past.

“Luckily, the coaches were very receptive to it and they bought into what we are trying to do and it was a really good evening because of the coaches and how they approach it.”

Dan is now hopeful that some of the ideas brought up in the session can be put into place.

“It’s about making sure that all we talk about at Under-16 level we can filter down to Under-16s, Under-14s, Under-12s”, Copnall continued.

“So, if a player is doing really well in the Under-12s and all of a sudden we think that this player needs to train with the 13s or maybe the 14s, it’s not so daunting because the messages are the same from the coaches.

“They are talking the same sort of language, they are delivering the same type of practices, so the only thing that changes is that the pitch might be a bit bigger and they are playing with older players, but the messages are the same and that’s the way we want to go down.”

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