The rules of soccer might not have changed much over the past couple of decades, but the way that teams at all levels now approach the game is vastly different. Things that were once the sole preserve of elite teams and academies – structured season plans, dedicated software, and professional-quality coaching materials – are now within reach of clubs at all levels. And you don’t need to invest in expensive hardware to access them; some of the best tools can be downloaded and used on your smartphone or tablet.
What is the best soccer coaching application?
As a Director of Coaching (DOC), you’re probably the busiest person at your club, academy or association. Your responsibilities are wide and varied, from defining cultural values and implementing your own coaching philosophy, to setting performance targets for your coaching team and signing off on budgets.
With so much on your plate, wouldn’t it be nice to have a little support? Something to help you work more efficiently, reducing the amount of time you spend on admin and freeing you up to focus on the things that really make a difference?
Soccer coaching apps are the answer, offering a world of functionality at your fingertips. But with so many to choose from, it’s important you pick the one or two that best suit your needs. The last thing you want is to invest time and money in the wrong platform.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of our favourite soccer coaching apps, detailing their strengths, compatibility, pricing and key functions.
The Coaching Manual
We might be biased, but we truly believe our app is the ultimate tool for DOCs and their coaching teams. It’s a one-stop-shop for all your strategy and planning needs, allowing you to:
- Build detailed season plans in just a few minutes, based on your specific needs
- Access hundreds of professional-standard soccer coaching sessions
- Design bespoke training sessions with our beautiful and easy-to-use diagram creator
- Quickly and easily share your plans with coaches and players
Our vast content library, which features professional-standard coaching videos filmed in broadcast quality with our partners at Premier League club Southampton FC.
Coach it Soccer
- Platform: iOS
- Rating: 4.8
- Price: $9.99 one-off payment
Exclusively developed for iPad, Coach it Soccer is an invaluable tool for your coaching team once gameday comes around. Users can create lineups and keep them up to date throughout the match by simply dragging a finger across the screen. Statistical input and reporting also help your coaches to identify areas for improvement on the training pitch.
Managing substitutions during a stressful game can be a real headache for coaches. With Coach it Soccer, drag-and-drop functionality allows coaches to populate a list of substitution players, who can then be swapped when the time comes. Timers also keep track of how long each player has spent on the pitch.
Soccer Coach – Team Sports Manager
- Platform: iOS
- Rating: 3.7
- Price: Free, but with in-app purchases
The Soccer Coach app boasts an array of club management, training and matchday functionality. Register players, plan formations, pick your starting lineup, and utilise 160 animated practice drills (N.B. around a quarter are available free of charge; additional drills must be purchased within the app).
Create leaderboards for an array of statistics, including minutes played, goals scored, and assists provided. Players will love competing to top the ladder, while parents will appreciate that your coaches are committed to ensuring equal playing time.
Mourinho Tactical Board Pro
Mourinho Tactical Board Pro is aimed at coaches, scouts and journalists who need to manage and retain information about matches, players and teams. A vast range of functionality is included, allowing users to set up teams for matchday, keep notes and statistics, access season stats, manage substitutions and more.
Individual notepads can be created for each player, allowing users to easily take detailed notes about individual performance to provide work-ons for future training sessions.
As the name suggests, TacticalPad is all about planning training sessions, drawing matchday formations, and analysing the opposition. Once practice drills have been created, they can be watched back from a variety of views – 2D, 3D, animated and static.
Once created, all content can be shared as a video, image or PDF document, or as an editable project from within TacticalPad (although this feature is only available on Windows), making it simple to cascade your plans to coaches and players.
Football Tactic Board
- Platform: Android
- Rating: 4.5
- Price: Free
Simple but effective, Football Tactic Board does exactly what the name suggests. Quickly and easily create tactics tailored to every match situation, then save them as either a single frame or a frame-by-frame animation.
A variety of pitch views are available, allowing you to tailor your tactics to specific scenarios. Choose from:
- Full field
- Half field
- Free kicks (left, right and straight)
- Corners (left and right)
My Football Coach
- Platform: iOS
- Rating: 5.0
- Price: Free, with in-app purchases
Although basic, My Football Coach is a useful matchday companion. Coaches can use it to name their team, choose a formation, and slide players into the correct positions. Separate tactical setups for the first and second halves of a match can be planned in advance.
Up to 20 named players can be created for every team. If you’ve got a larger squad, more players can be added via in-app purchase (e.g. $0.99 for 24 players).
Conclusion: Which to choose?
Each of these apps has plenty to offer coaches. Choosing the right one naturally depends upon your own needs and circumstances.
If you just want to help your coaches manage matchdays more effectively, a relatively simple tool like Coach it Soccer or My Football Coach is perfect. But if you’re looking for a more advanced solution that covers all aspects of club management, tactics, training and team performance, we really believe The Coaching Manual is the best on the market. And with a range of pricing models – including a free version – it’s suitable whatever your budget.