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Jeff Carr, Soccer Head Coach
Assistant Soccer Coach Brings Impressive Credentials
June 19, 2012 - With his UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) A-level coaching license in hand Brevard Community College women’s volunteer Soccer Assistant Coach Mark Nicole joins an elite group.
He is believed to be among just a handful of American soccer coaches who hold an "A" License. It allows them, should they choose, to coach anywhere in the world except for the highest-level pro leagues such as the English Premier League, La Liga in Spain or Serie A in Italy to name three.
Earning the license opened Nicole’s eyes to the finer points of the game and naturally altered how he approaches it.
“We can pick a specific tactic, I can formulate complete training sessions and complete training programs rather than kind of hit or missing,” he said. “It’s true to the game rather than being what people call ‘shadow play’ where you just basically are moving players around like chess pieces hoping they learn.”
In essence, effective and efficient "practice can make perfect" or close to it.
“Teaching technique, the skill part of it is essentially the same, it is repetitions,” Nicole said. “The difference is you coach the entire team into whatever it is you’re trying to get them to do rather than little components of it. You’re teaching the big game in your training session.”
Nicole estimates he spent 250 to 260 hours in actual course time to earn the A License, double that on studying on his own plus travel time — four times each to and from Largs, Scotland where he received his B and A license instruction through the Scottish Football Association.
He managed all that while maintaining his Melbourne Beach home life as a husband, father and businessman — he owns Coastline Imaging and Coastline Physical Therapy. Also, he helped BCC Head Coach and Athletic Director Jeff Carr launch the women’s soccer program for its inaugural 2010 season. He remains an integral part of it and now with his UEFA A License on his resume the soccer world awaits.
“Where I kind of seeing it going is I have made some pretty outstanding contacts (in Europe) and have already have had a couple invites to go into their youth academics and take a look at things,” he said.
“My probably big picture on it is to maybe head over to Europe in a few years and spend part of the year over there working for a pro club at a lower level and see where it goes from there.”
Nicole played the game as a striker at the now defunct Nathaniel Hawthorne College in his native New Hampshire, on the national military team as a member of the Air Force and at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. He also is a former youth coach in Melbourne Beach.
His book, “Soccer: Training Technique Tactically,” was published in 2004. He also lectures and participates in clinics.
“It was a goal to hang the A diploma on my office wall,” Nicole said. “I’m pretty confident we can bring that all the way down to any level of 11 v. 11 short of the kids.
“Someone asked me to encapsulate it and I told him ‘for the same reason young players want to get over to Europe, it’s the same reason coaches want to get over there because you see the real deal and you can understand things in Europe that we’ll never see over here.’ ”
Carr appreciates Nicole’s contributions.
“Mark has a passion for the game and wants to constantly improve himself when possible,” Carr said. “It is nice to have someone with these credentials on staff. Mark is a great teacher of the game and he loves practice. We are very fortunate to have Mark.”