But it’s easy to forget that even as a Director of Coaching (DOC), you’re not the finished article either.
It’s just as important for you to develop as it is for your players and coaching team. And however experienced you are, it’s never too late for you to pick up new skills, consider new opinions, and identify new ways to work.
One of the best – and simplest – ways for you to keep learning as a DOC is by reading blogs written by soccer experts. Here are ten of our favourites:
1. The Coaching Manual
By all means, call us biased, but we truly believe The Coaching Manual Blog deserves its place on this list. We cover a wide range of subjects, many of which are aimed specifically at DOCs. You’ll learn about all aspects of running a soccer club, from developing your own coaching philosophy to motivating your coaching team. We also offer practical guidance on tools you can use to make life easier for you and your coaches. And, as you’d expect, you’ll find best practice advice on how to make use of The Coaching Manual’s feature set. Whether or not you currently use The Coaching Manual, you’ll find something useful on our blog.
2. Soccer Coaching Weekly
The team at Soccer Coaching Weekly have been helping grassroots coaches for more than a decade. They specialise in practical soccer resources – think tried-and-tested drills and practice plans – along with advice and support on challenges like player and team management. As the name suggests, Soccer Coaching Weekly publishes a weekly digital magazine. You’ll need to subscribe to read the magazine or access any of the regular online articles, but the prices are very reasonable and you get a lot for your money.
3. British Football Coaches
The official blog of the British Football Coaches Network is a genuine community for British coaches at all levels of the game and in all countries. You’ll find articles and features on everything from coaching goalkeeping in the English lower leagues to managing a Chinese League One club battling relegation. Whatever the subject, the stories are invariably fascinating, and they often contain valuable takeaways to implement at your own club.
4. The Coaches’ Voice
Matches that shaped the careers of some of the world’s best coaches. Detailed analysis of high-profile matches. Stories of how current and former players made the transition to coaching. You’ll find all this and more at The Coaches Voice, an exhaustive database of interesting and insightful coaching content. The tactical analysis makes for particularly good reading, littered with tips that are applicable at all levels of the beautiful game.
5. My Personal Football Coach
Unfortunately, My Personal Football Coach is only updated sporadically (at time of writing, they’ve published two articles in the last year). But the content they do have is typically excellent, and just as relevant today as when it was first posted. All of the articles are written by Saul Isaksson-Hurst, a former Premier League academy coach with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur who has also worked in America and Spain. As you’ll see from reading his content, Saul really knows his stuff.
6. Grassroots Coaching
This one does exactly what it says on the tin. Grassroots Coaching is all about tips, tricks and news aimed squarely at youth and amateur coaches – think guidance on how to play a counter-attacking game, advice on coaching small-sided matches, and analysis of elite-level coaching tactics such as the Gegenpress style made famous by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. Many of the blogs are also accompanied by simple but effective explainer videos.
7. The Coaching Diary
While it’s focused on soccer in Ireland, The Coaching Diary offers bags of useful support, advice and insight for coaches of all nationalities and in all locations. Its mission is to help coaches, parents, administrators and officials to improve participation in youth soccer by removing the “win at all costs” mindset and striving to make the game fun. As you’d expect, the content is geared toward helping you achieve this – think stories from inside professional academies, advice on key elements of coaching, and nuggets of wisdom from the soccer world and beyond.
8. Progressive Soccer Training
Actionable advice for players and coaches is the order of the day at Progressive Soccer Training. The brainchild of Canadian coach and former player Dylan Tooby, it offers practical guidance on fitness, motivation, and how to make it as a professional. The written content is excellent, but you should also check out Dylan’s YouTube channel, which has amassed more than 400,000 subscribers.
9. Keep It On The Deck
A library of blogs, interviews and videos awaits you at Keep It On The Deck. For DOCs, the most useful content is geared toward practical matters – such as reviews of training equipment – but we’d also recommend checking out some of the more thought-provoking articles, such as this discussion of “banter culture” at all levels of the game.
10. Coaches Training Room
With a lofty mission to raise the standard of grassroots coaching worldwide, Coaches Training Room offers instructions on how to run certain types of training drill – things like passing between the lines and shooting on the turn. If you’re looking for something a little more in-depth, you’ll also find a range of ebooks covering subjects like coaching an under-12 soccer team.
Final thought: Schedule a regular reading slot
We get it. You’re busy. But reading is a habit that’s worth making time for.
You’ll learn a lot from regularly reading some or all of the blogs listed in this article, whether it’s a specific training drill that you want your coaches to try, or simply a different perspective that changes your way of thinking about a certain topic.
Commit yourself to a regular slot for reading – maybe it’s just 20 minutes a day on your lunch break or during your morning commute. Trust us, it’s worth the effort!