MICHAEL ADUBATO - Tuesday, December 16, 2014
The world of coaching for Americans in Europe is a small community but one man hopes to
Floridian Nate Weiss has been involved in the European soccer world for eight years as a player in several countries including Spain and Sweden. Although still playing, now in Germany, he has achieved what very few (at least Americans) have. Recently the 27 year old has earned his UEFA B license.
"I always wanted to get into coaching, as I figured it was a natural progression to my playing career," the current SV Seligenporten told YA. "This was one of the reasons I had a somewhat nomadic career in the game because I wanted to experience soccer all over the world and use this knowledge later on as a coach which I felt would be invaluable"
This is exactly what he did; starting his professional playing career with Longford Townin in Ireland after leaving from NC State.
"When I finally decided to get my coaching credentials I figured the best place to do this was Germany. The first part (for me) in this process however, was to learn German because all of the course work would indeed be in German. Learning German in two years was a task in itself as the language is definitely not an easy one. The road to actually getting the license was also much harder then I imagined as well."
And so the journey began-
"The first step is basically a start-up license, which allows you to train children. This was only a day-long course which tests your technical soccer ability followed by a written test. Once I passed this course the real work began."
The next step would definitely take a lot longer than the initial one day course.
"To get the UEFA B license one must go to the sport school in Munich for one week, three separate times. In between these three weeks it's required to sit in on a regional youth performance cente" session six times and write a full report on what happened in the session. These performance centers would be likened to ODP in the United States.
At the end of the second week of the course is a written test on the information from the first two week. In order to move on to the last week, a passing grade is required. The last week of the course is basically just testing and this is where it gets interesting. On the first day we are given a referee rule examination which is the entry level test for a ref in Germany. The following tests are then verbal, written, and practical. In the practical test, coaches are given a random tactical concept relating to the game and asked to run a session based on this subject."
For this last week of the training and testing, three coaches are brought in to run the sessions. They usually consist of UEFA, Olympic and youth Bundesliga coaches. They also form the committee that assess the candidates and award scores for the overall work.
The grades are on a scale from 1 to 15, with a low grade meaning failure, a middle grade meaning passed but cannot advance to the next license and the top grade meaning pass and a chance to advance up the UEFA coaching license ladder. Weiss scored well enough to advance.
"Not many coaches receive that possibility, so I was understandably elated with the results," a very happy Weiss said. "But to get the next license a coach is required to work with a team for a calendar year before attending the coursein order to start moving towards the UEFA A.
With the B license, the veteran of the Europa League is allowed to coach Oberliga. The club he currently plays for is SVSseligenporten in the Regionalliga and they have a second team which plays in Landesliga.
"I will be an assistant coach on this team for a year in order to go for my next license. I will continue to play and do coaching at the same time at this club. The club isn't the best right now, as we sit in last place. I had my appendix removed recently, which held me out of competition for a little while. With that being said, I still think it's not a bad place to get started as a trainer and begin to learn and progress in this direction. All the coaches at the club have a UEFA license and I am able to take away a lot from the experience I am getting".
A couple of weeks ago Weiss was all smiles when he was asked to work for the DFB (German Soccer Federation) as a coach in their version of the ODP. So things are obviously heading in a positive direction for the Coral Springs native.
"As for the future' I am focusing on continuing my playing career and working as a coach as well. Whether the immediate future will take me in the direction of a player or a coach I do not know. What I do know is that I am going to be prepared for both."
Weiss will be back in Florida during the winter break where he'll be involved in his annual camp, the Supreme Soccer Camp in Delray, Florida.