Leadership is a process that not only involves you having influence over groups or individuals, but as those same individuals or groups having influence over you. You cannot thrive as a leader without your followers also inspiring you to reach your true potential. This is precisely why we must create an athlete-centered approach to the environments we build when coaching.
Tag: Coach Education
Games-based learning for optimal athlete development
This is one of my number one coaching philosophies, and want I always teach to other coaches: games-based learning is the best training design to support long-term athlete development.
The key differences between coaching teams and individuals
If I said the word "coach" to you, you'd probably think of a person working in a team environment. But there is so much potential for all coaches, whether they are already working in a team environment or not, to hone in on their skills when working with individuals. Regardless of the coaching context, you must work to tailor your coaching, feedback, and advice to each individual.
Structuring session plans: GAG methodology vs. linear progression
Like many reading this, I grew up around some great player-centered coaches, but always around ones who prioritized technical skill development over game awareness and tactical IQ. Instead of playing game-realistic activities, we spent a significant amount of time developing isolated technical skills without any link to how those skills could apply to the game itself. Around the time that I started to coach the sport, the likes of the CSA and US Soccer began to make changes that would better facilitate skill development in the context of the game. One of those introductions included what Canada Soccer calls the 'GAG' methodology (game-activity-game), with the pretext of 'let the game be the teacher'.
Understanding BOTS & how to scan for quicker, correct decisions
Scanning goes far beyond what must coaches will shout out: "check your shoulder!". It needs to encompass a constant process of neck and eye movement, assessing ball, opposition, teammates and space.
The art of effective communication
Communication is one of the most important skills for young players to develop. It can sometimes be difficult for players to see past their own role on the pitch, but effective communication can propel the entire team forward and lead to a better team spirit. Here are some of the key words and phrases for players to remember in their quest to better their communication.
Teaching tactics and teamwork to young children in sports
In the coaching community, there's often a discourse around how the technical elements of the game must be prioritized in the early stages of development, typically between the ages of 4-10. But that does not mean that tactics become a mute point. Simply helping to elucidate positioning and roles, and how to perceive space can all be considered "tactical" elements of the game. These can be taught without players needing to have technical foundations in place. Game awareness and game intelligence from understanding basic information around their role, position, and how to react to the space around them, will help a player to perform well on the pitch. This can be taught in combination to the development of techniques and skills. It does not have to be an 'either/or', nor does it have to be a matter of one coming before the other.
Personal development to become the best coach you can be
You cannot create a positive culture for your athletes if you cannot create a positive mindset for yourself. They will see right through you. They won't buy into what you're putting down. They won't trust that your coaching will lead them to success.
The art of structuring an effective warm-up
We all know the importance of warming up the body in the proper ways, but many novice (or dinosaur) coaches fail to adequately know how to warm up the body in the proper ways specific to the sport. As a young gun in the soccer world, I can recall running laps around the field, static stretching, and even hill sprints prior to practice sessions and games. None of these are particularly helpful, even if they can work 1-3% of times in specific contexts (hill sprints aside of course). With that, I present the elements of an effective warm-up and how coaches can structure the warm-up to fit into the grander scheme of their session plans.
Social media management in football analysis
Where would I be without sharing my work on Twitter? Absolutely nowhere. I wouldn't be helping anyone, and I wouldn't have the strong following that I've developed across the site. Twitter is responsible for approximately 1,000 views on my site per day, and where I've had some of the best football conversations I've ever had. So today, I'm going to be sharing my best tips and tricks to managing a social media account in football analysis, and how to get the most out of your experience.
Getting started in football analysis
While this is an introductory course, it doesn’t matter if you’re an expert or novice, the time to learn starts now. School is in session. I famously love to guarantee results within my work, and I guarantee that you’re going to learn something from this section, even if you’re already the world’s leading expert. In this section, I’m going to drop tips and tricks for getting started in analysis, in addition to coaching, writing, podcasting, and even, if you’re interested, website creation.