Coaches form teams; they develop new tactics and new playing philosophies, they pick the players and they make changes. They work with players daily, sometimes ruling with an iron fist, sometimes with a more gentle approach, but always with good intuition. It’s something they have to receive good training for – and that’s something they get. Almost 3,000 coaches hold a ‘B’ licence, while 5,500 have an ‘A’ licence at their disposal. The Football Coaching Licence is the top coaching qualification in Germany, which is offered at the Hennes-Weisweiler Academy.
The first training course to provide a football coaching licence took place at the German Sport University in Cologne on November 1st 1947. It was initiated, designed and led by Sepp Herberger. In the space of almost seven decades, the German Sport University in Cologne has awarded over 1,500 licences to football coaches. The guarantee for the high quality of education was down to the continuity and high level of coaching at the football school. In 1956, Sepp Herberger was succeeded by Hennes Weisweiler, who was one of the 31 participants of the first coaching course and the coaching centre was named after him in 2005. Gero Bisanz took over in 1970, and was replaced himself as the leading director of the German Football Association’s coaches training facilities by Erich Rutemöller in summer 2000. The former national coach left his post at the end of 2007 and Frank Wormuth has taken over the reins since then. He is responsible for the optimisation of the coaching, which has included doubling the length of the course from five to ten months and increasing the focus on practical experience. Since 2011, the football coaching course has taken place at the Hennef Sport School.
A Football Coaching Licence is a requirement for conducting training activities in professional German football. It is recognised by the state and carries the same significance as the UEFA Pro Licence. This licence is at the top of the four-level pyramid of the DFB coaching qualifications. In order to become a football coach, there are special admission requirements, including that the applicant already possesses an aforementioned DFB ‘A’ licence. Bernd Stöber is responsible for the coaching for the ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ licences.
The ‘C’ licence is the first stage in the coaching-licence system. It is for all coaches at junior and senior level that want to conduct performance-based training. The format of the coaching course consists of 80 basic learning modules, 40 modules for coaching professional players as well as 20 exam modules. The coaching is carried out in the different sectors of the DFB. The ‘B’ licence coaching qualification consists of 80 learning modules as well as 20 exam modules. The focus lies on imparting and increasing knowledge for performance-based junior training. That also includes conducting the technical and tactical learning processes, as well as supporting juniors off the pitch.
Since 2011, the DFB have also been responsible for the advanced training of the ‘B’ licence holders. Roughly 200 new advanced coaching courses are taken every year. The advanced coaching course consists of 20 teaching modules over three days at the sport schools of national associations throughout Germany. The ‘A’ licence qualification is aimed at preparing coaches for work at upper amateur level and in the regional leagues. The qualification consists of 100 learning modules as well as 20 exam modules.
‘A’ licence holders are entitled to train all amateur and youth teams, as well as women’s teams (including the Bundesliga). ‘A’ licence holders are allowed to work in return for pay in the all areas of Germany and teach the ‘C’ licence.
As part of the coaching courses, additional special courses are also offered. The DFB goalkeeper coaching performance course was first offered in 2011. The goalkeeper coaching course is split into two stages. The national associations teach the first stage - the basic goalkeeper coach training. The advanced course is offered exclusively by the DFB and lasts one week (40 learning modules). The course is carried out in one of the different sport schools across the country each year. Special training for football fitness coaches is being planned.
The English language “Coaching & Technical Development Course” has taken place once a year at the Hennes-Weisweiler Academy since 2011. The ten-day course is aimed at coaches, training staff and sporting directors from the international football community who would like to do advanced education in Germany and benefit from the wealth of experience provided by the coaching courses and talent development programme. Aside from observing matches and recognising young talent, the course module includes the ‘B’ and ‘A’ coaching qualifications, as well as the Football Coaching Licence.