As I progressed as a Football Association coach Educator, I was continually asked if I could recommend coaching resources by the coaches attending the courses. There seemed to be a serious lack of simple, effective coaching resources to assist Grassroots coaches.
As the Internet grew and evolved, it seemed to me that this was potentially a very good way of designing and marketing a coaching resource for Grassroots coaches. I wanted to produce a coaching resource that was simple, interactive and visual and that would really benefit coaches. From this www.grassrootscoaching.com evolved. We now have over 5,000 registered coaches and many I meet on coaching courses I run!
So, if you are interested in coaching football, why not pay www.grassrootscoaching.com a visit and see for yourself!
When I first started coaching seriously as Youth Team Coach for Bournemouth, I realised coaching is a lot more difficult that it looks. All the criticism I had given to my coaches over the years now came back to haunt me! I was now responsible for coaching a squad of 16 young professionals, the Bournemouth School of Excellence, as well as coaching the Reserve Team. I had to come up with interesting, relevant, fun and stimulating sessions…on a daily basis. I was lucky that I had two great mentors at Bournemouth in Tony Pulis, now the Stoke City Manager and David Williams, who was Manager at Norwich and went on to be First Team Coach of Everton. In their different ways, both were outstanding coaches and I learnt a great deal from them.
The most important lesson I learnt was to plan sessions, not only to have a plan A, but also a plan B and C, because Plan A rarely went the way I wanted it to go. Players were injured or called up to the First Team squad. The area I had planned to work in was reduced because of waterlogged pictures, etc. So having contingency coaching plans and being flexible became vital.
As I became more experienced, I gradually developed my own portfolio of coaching sessions. Many I thought up myself, but many more I evolved through watching Tony and Dave and from the many coaching courses I attended. I would like to say that I was organised enough to have written all these sessions down, but most were in my head or on scraps of paper that inevitably I lost or misplaced. I did try and watch many of the coaching videos and DVD’s that are on the market, but most of them confused me as the camera angles tended not to show the bigger picture. I also subscribed and read a lot of coaching magazines. The one thing that struck me about both the magazines and videos was, the simpler they were, the easier it was for me to understand and the more beneficial they were for me.
When I left professional coaching, I worked for a while in Sports Marketing in London. It was there that I met Terry Venables and we discussed the idea of developing and producing a coaching video, based upon the concept of “Clock Coaching” which Tony Pulis and Dave Williams had introduced me to at Bournemouth. Unfortunately, the idea never reached production, but in discussions with Terry I was struck by how simple Terry made the game when he talked and the need for a quality coaching resource for coaches.