One of the identified weaknesses of Coach Education in the past was that there was only one stream of courses available, whether you were coaching a social team of amateurs once a week or Head Coach of a State Premier League team.
The courses were also far too short to deliver enough long-term learning or produce enough elite Australian coaches.
It was clear that two pathways were required, especially when one accepts that players can generally be divided into two streams: those that play for Participation, and those considered Performance players.
Therefore, the Two Pathway system was introduced in 2007:
Community Pathway courses are specifically designed for the coaches who look after Participation players: the courses are short, easily-accessible and low-cost.
Because of the nature of the coach and the player in the Community context, these courses focus almost exclusively on the ‘Training’ pillar of the Coaching Expertise Model.
Advanced Pathway courses are specifically designed for the coaches who work with Performance players: the courses are longer and much more intensive. The course fees reflect the length and quality of the training program delivered. Because of the nature of the coach and the player in the Advanced context, these courses progressively develop all the elements of the Coaching Expertise Model. Graduates from the Advanced Pathway are the pool of coaches that are to be considered for full and part-time employment as football coaches.
A key culture shift has had to occur as the Advanced Pathway has been introduced: we have had to accept that, in the same way that it takes a long time and a lot of effort to become a professional football player, it also takes a long time and a lot of effort to become a professional football coach.
Below is an overview of the two pathways and their relationship to the Building Blocks: