Crawford speaks to FFA High-Performance Teams
Jim, when in a dual role as a Development Officer and Coach with Ireland’s under-age teams was always very supportive of the FFA programme and ran regular sessions for groups of children with additional needs, blitzes with learners in adult services and also coached inter-provincial and international special schools teams.
His presentation, the first of an ongoing programme focussed on creating a High-Performance culture within a group of players and staff and he honestly and openly discussed the challenges involved in every aspect of managing high performing teams.
Republic of Ireland Under-21 Manager Jim Crawford said: “It was an honour to speak to representatives of the FAI’s Football For All International and High Performance teams. I’m a big believer in sharing expertise among the football community and helping to grow the participation of the game in Ireland.
“Football For All is something close to my heart. I was part of the group to set-up the first Football For All team in Tallaght – Sacred Hearts FC – and later on I was involved in another group - Tallaght Town – who are involved in the Football For All programme.
“All the people involved in the programme, that is the parents, the coaches and the players, have helped deliver this programme to where it is today and I take great inspiration from them.
“No matter the level of the game we are all striving for excellence and that was very much the theme of the conversation.
“I’ve said on previous occasion some of my biggest lessons as a coach was when I was working at grassroots levels as a Development Officer, so while it was great to contribute to the discussion I always like to take something away from the conversations and look to implement it into my own coaching methods too.”
Alex Whelan, a coach in the Dublin Vision Impaired Football Regional Centre and Head Coach of the Ireland Blind Football team said; "We have knowledge of our format of the game and experience delivering sessions and managing teams but it can be easy to get comfortable. Jim’s messages regarding always reaching for excellence in every single aspect of preparation really hit home with a lot of us. Jim brought such honesty and experience to the discussion and we learnt so much. I can’t wait for the next presentation."
Nick Harrison, FFA Development Officer said: The FAI Football For All Programme is becoming more deeply embedded in not only High-Performance but also many of the existing and new grassroots programmes being developed, we see a bright future ahead for all of our FFA clubs and international teams.