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
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.
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?