Tim Bradbury, director of coaching for Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (Photo courtesy of ENYYSA)

By Tim Bradbury

Director of Coaching, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association

Perhaps it is the fact that the United Soccer Coaches National Convention is just around the corner, in Philadelphia from Wednesday through Sunday, or perhaps it’s the fact that I teach so many courses and get to talk with so many coaches, that I am acutely aware that this really is a great time to learn. 

Too frequently coaches seem to believe that it is only really learning in the formal space that matters and that unless they attend formal courses, they do not progress. I would suggest that learning initiated by any of the following, all of which happen in the informal space, are more readily available and as such can cause more constant development.

Reflection-Carefully-planned and carefully-focused reflection that results in a coach creating action steps is the most accessible and effective method of self-development possible. Reflection is a skill that should be researched and studied, and many online courses are available.

Books and Book Clubs-So many great books are published every year with so many aspects of the game or teaching frequently available. To give an example, look at the list below from last year:

The Coach’s Guide to Teaching–Doug Lemov

Every Moment Matters: How the World’s Best Coaches Inspire Their Athletes and Build Championship Teams-John O’Sullivan

Player Development: The Holistic Method-John Cone and Gareth Smith

The Best: How Elite Athletes are Made-Mark Williams and Tim Wigmore

Belonging-Owen Eastwood

The Culture Playbook-Dan Coyle 

How Learning Happens–Paul A. Kirschner

Coaching Athletes to Be Their Best–Rollnick, Fader, Breckon and Moyers 

Podcasts-Again, so many great podcasts are available. Most are weekly, so they present a great opportunity to learn.

Modern Soccer Coach Podcast

The Sport Psych Show 

The Talent Equation 

The Way of Champions 

Youth Soccer Player Development Podcast

The Magic Academy 

The Player Development Project 

The Coaching Culture 

The Learner Lab 

Ted Talks and YouTube- So many brilliant short and sometimes slightly longer videos available that really can inspire curiosity that leads to research and learning escapades. Truly a great resource!

John Wooden: The Difference Between Winning and Succeeding

Stanley McChrystal: Listen, Learn…Then Lead

Pam Borton: Coaching and Developing Leaders While Enjoying the Journey

Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Eduardo Briceno: The Power of Belief, Mindset and Success

Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation

Brett Ledbetter: Building Your Inner Coach

Gonzalo Vilariño: How Argentina’s Blind Soccer Team Became Champions

Drew Dudley: Everyday Leadership

Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are 

Online Learning-Some really good resources with a variety of online modules, conventions, stand alone webinars can be found at any of the following sites:


Use the discount code Vcon2022a to access the virtual conference and get a discount.


Use the discount code TBradbury30 and you receive 30% off any courses




Journals, Reports and Blogs-The landscape is thick and rich and to a degree, can be an entry point into areas of deeper expertise. As an example, google “journal of education” or “journal of educational psychology. “

Doug Lemov is a gent who does a great job with the blogs he authors. Two great examples would be 



As I wrote at the start, it really is a great time to learn in the informal space. So many avenues available and after all, don’t your kids deserve the best version of you that you can be?