Over the past ten years, I ‘m not sure many coaches have benefitted more than myself from the world of social media. It has been a key source of information, a phenomenal place to connect with coaches around the world from different levels, and somewhere that I have been inspired from a variety of concepts and ideals within this game and beyond. However, not only do I feel social media today has reached somewhat of a plateau in terms of the quality of information, I have serious doubts if it will really benefit the next generation of coaches in the way it has done for myself and so many.
With the abundance of information coaches have been exposed to throughout the years, we are now in danger of struggling to understand it and failing to apply it alongside our players. It’s easy to skim the surface of content without really having to formulate opinions in how it applies to our own environment. In the interests of time or entertainment, it’s become almost too easy to swap a soundbite for an interview, a headline for an article, or one clip for match analysis. There seems to have been a reduction in in-depth blogs as content has moved towards headlines and soundbites. As criticism in the coaching community increases, personal reflection pieces where coaches are sharing aspects of their journey are sadly on the decline. I feel this has been to the detriment to the reality of the profession. If coaches withdraw from authentic insights on their journey, how will young coaches be aware of the setbacks that are a crucial part of growth and therefore develop the tools required to overcome them?
Without being intentional, I have also felt myself change my behaviors on social media over the past two years. I love creating content and engaging with coaches, but Twitter has become somewhat of a minefield when it comes to interaction. Of course, there will always be differences of opinion when it comes to this game, but healthy discussions seem to have become overshadowed by personal agendas and group think. No, I do not plan on leaving social media, but for quite some time I have been debating what a potential solution could look like, and I have been spending some time working alongside Coach Logic to launch the Modern Soccer Coach Community platform.
The goal of the Modern Soccer Coach Community will be for coaches to get access to in-depth work, share new and potentially diverse ideas, and have the option of discussing topics within the game that will change on a daily basis.
Below are some ideals that I feel this new platform will offer beyond social media.
Context – Coaches will have access to an immediate database of over 200 exercises upon joining the platform, but session sharing and information overload are far from the objective. Instead will be to move towards how exercises are developed, what can be adapted and where they fit in within a certain system and environment.
Quality Control – Although the interaction aspect of the platform will be open, video uploads will be modified throughout. I will work alongside a group of coaches to filter the information that flows throughout the platform so that the content is always diverse and thought provoking.
Creativity – New and different ideas will be encouraged and promoted on the platform. There will be a scheduled topic each day, where new content will be released and coaches will not only be invited to participate but also get involved in designing solutions, progressions or alternatives that can help benefit people in the game.
Engagement – One of the major goals of the platform is to create a diverse community where coaches can interact and look for ways to improve their own practices and processes, as oppose to perhaps highlighting the weaknesses in others. Anonymous accounts will not exist and an informal code of conduct will be established as coaches can work alongside one another to challenge and support.
Detail – As the platform grows, we want coaches to provide practical examples more specific in certain elements of the game. For example, how do training, analysis, science, psychology, management all interact with one another? More case studies from coaches working with teams will be encouraged.
I am excited to invite coaches at all levels of the game to join the platform and take a look at the layout. It will very much be a process and take time for the community to build but I am very passionate about it and cannot wait to see where it goes. The membership fee for the platform will be $6 per month and all coaches have access to a free two-week trial to see the layout and get involved.