How do I choose the right coaching plan for me?
You can join The Coaching Manual's community of over 150,000 coaches in a number of ways and what you choose depends on what you want to get from your time either coaching or playing the game.
Many users may have met Helen or one of her team. If you've needed answers about things on the site or if things have been broken, the responsibility for helping you ultimately lies with Helen Worthington, our head of Customer Service.
We decided to interrogate her about the most common questions customers ask about membership.
Helen, what advice would you give customers when first choosing a subscription?
HW: It really boils down to finding out what customers want. Do you just want to learn from coaching videos with Premier League coaches? If the answer to this is yes, then choose the Standard Plan.
Finally, are you a Director of Coaching at a club with more than 1 coach? Then ask us about our Enterprise Plan.
If you just want to browse static practice ideas, then stick to the Basic Plan.
What's the difference between Standard and Premium?
HW: The Standard Plan was designed to help inexperienced coaches learn from some of the best out there. The behaviours exhibited by the coaches in the videos we capture with Southampton FC are considered to be 'Best Practice'.
If a beginner coach watches these videos and emulates the style of coaching and information delivery on display, they will be on the right path for their own development.
In addition to this, because of where we capture our content, we also know that every drill or session on the site will work as a means of educating players. This is because Southampton's ethos is rooted in teaching the game through the 'Principles of Football'.
It's a fact of life that the majority of 1st time volunteer coaches will not have had any exposure to Coach Education from any of the Governing Bodies.
So, in the absence of formal coach education, The Coaching Manual bridges the gap, by showing first-timers what good coaching looks like.
The Standard Plan is perfect for helping new coaches navigate their fledgling coaching career.
It provides age appropriate sessions and advice on how to work with children and all the sessions can be printed or saved to their account and accessed via our iOS or Android App on the training field.
Even if you have earned a level 1 qualification, it's unlikely you'll have had much insight into the hows and whys of coaching. It's rarer still that you will have watched top coaches working with children.
The Coaching Manual offers our users that in abundance, which is why the Standard Plan is so popular and why it's such great value for money.
And the Premium Plan?
HW: We want volunteers to fall in love with coaching this most amazing game and we also hope they become passionate about the positive impact they can have on children from all walks of life.
If this happens, you might want to take coaching a bit more seriously and start progressing through the qualifications. This is when it makes sense for coaches to upgrade to our Premium Plan.
The Premium Plan with The Coaching Manual is by far the richest football coaching content and technology subscription in world football.
It's amazing value for money and offers coaches so much that will enrich their coaching life, whilst also providing some great features for players and parents.
It gives users access to every video and static practice in our library and it also opens up access to cutting edge tools like our Season Planner and our Session Design Tools.
What is the Season Planner?
HW: If you asked most people if they would like to be able to to plan an entire Season's worth of Coaching Sessions in 5 minutes, I'm pretty sure they would say yes.
Season Planner is our tool for doing just that! A complete curriculum in less than 5 minutes.
Most of our team in HQ are coaches and one of the most valuable resources to them is time. With this in mind, our technology team developed a world first solution for time-pressed coaches.
By answering a few questions (age-group, length of season, sessions per week etc.) a coach can generate a Season Plan which will give him or her a complete coaching programme for up to 48 weeks.
This literally saves coaches hours of planning and research.
And what about the Session Planning Tools
HW: Most coaching courses now stipulate that coaches are required to provide evidence of their own session planning. Our designers and engineers researched how coaches plan and built technology to make the process really simple and straightforward, whilst also giving coaches a place where they could digitally store their sessions. It's a beautiful piece of technology.
- Folders (Basic Plan and Upwards) were a popular request before we built them. They allow coaches to create packs of our content, which are then shareable to any team associated with the coach. This content is then shared directly into the folders of that teams players.
- Favourites (Basic Plan and Upwards) are crucial for coaches in allowing them to store and revisit articles and practices which they've found enjoyable or useful in the past.
- Season Plans (Premium Plan and Upwards) are a world first in any sports technology platform. With season plans, coaches can plan their entire season by answering a few questions in a short questionnaire. We know that time is a huge pressure for coaches. By using season plans, we have given coaches hundreds of hours of planning time back.
- Filters (Basic Plan and Upwards) are a relatively new member of the coaching tools family. In the Training Ground, you can filter the content depending on the kind of content you want at the top of your feed. So, if you coach U13 players and you only want practices, you can enter this as filter choices. It's a great way of getting quick access to relevant content.
- Session Builder (Premium Plan and Upwards) allows coaches to create their own sessions from content provided by The Coaching Manual and our contributors. There's a bigger picture here, but we'll update you on that in the near future.
- Social media (Basic Plan and Upwards) is a big part of the coaching industry these days. Many coaches share content via social media. For this reason, we've laid the foundations of the social media tools for The Coaching Manual, so you can follow and be followed and see what your network have been up to in your Activity feed.
- Comments (Basic Plan and Upwards) is the newest addition to the team. Most coaches we know are pretty opinionated and we love it. So, we want people's opinions to be shared within the community. Comments allows for this to happen on our practices and articles. We can't wait for the feedback to start coming in.
Is there anything else?
HW: I feel like I've been going on for a while, but that's really just testament to what The Coaching Manual offers. We have loads of people who contribute to the site who are typically experts in their field. From ex-players, technical directors, top coaches, sports scientists, psychologists, nutritionists through to private companies who are all travelling toward the same goal of helping the world to fall in love with and get better at the beautiful game.
I've not even spoken about the Enterprise Plan on The Coaching Manual.
Ok, so what's that?
HW: A really exciting part of my job is liaising with the hundreds of club Directors of Coaching in grass roots and professional football who use The Coaching Manual to organise the delivery of coach and player education at their clubs.
Whilst the entry level Enterprise Plan is for a minimum of 2 coaches, we actually have clubs who manage educational delivery to more than 400 coaches through the platform. This means that a Director of Coaching can organise a consistent curriculum for their entire organisation in probably a days worth of work at most.
The Enterprise Plan is probably the best kept secret in football because, with the onboarding process we offer and a bit of work from club senior management we are literally able to organise a coaching and playing curriculum for 10's to 100's of coaches in a tiny fraction of the time it would typically take.
We can save clubs and Directors of Coaching so much time and money and allow them to do the things they really love which is observing and helping their coaches and players out on the pitch. The Enterprise Plan is my favourite, because I get nothing but thanks from the users. We all love football and it's a privilege to be part of that community.