How much of what you buy or read or listen to is actually helping you become a better coach?
Seriously. How much?
How much of what you consume on a daily basis is actually useful to the players that you coach?
My guess… close to zero.
You might remember that Gary Kleiban has tackled similar topics on the 3four3 blog.
And I’m not afraid to say that most books, blogs, podcasts, videos, and tweets are just recycled and/or repackaged bits of terrible information that are virtually useless to you and your team. Even worse, the people peddling the information probably have no business doing so.
So how are you supposed to decide:
- Who/what is worth your time?
- Who/what is worth your money?
- Who you should be learning from?
These problems aren’t unique to soccer coaching education though. Finding high-quality education, mentors, and services are things people struggle with across all industries. Gary Vaynerchuk wrote about “Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency for Small Businesses.” If you read that piece, you might even notice parallels to how we operate here at 3four3.
This line in particular:
The criteria for choosing who you learn from and do business with (exchanging time and/or money) are pretty much the same whether we’re talking about understanding the basics of dog training or how to sell multi-million dollar homes. Or in this case — coaching soccer.
So, what should you be looking for when it comes to deciding who to get your coaching education from? Here are two things that we say are non-negotiable:
1. Extensive proof of their product working. This doesn’t mean session planner videos or analysis of someone else’s team (especially something they watched on TV).
A coaching educator should be able to provide actual training and match footage that proves they have implemented the philosophy and methodology they promote. A good, honest coaching educator will have no problem sharing extensive video proof of their teams. If they don’t have it then you have every right to be skeptical.
And if they have a problem with you asking for it – RUN!
2. Winning AND development. Yes, they should be promoting both. Winning is an integral part of development, and winning is also a key component in enabling development.
This is also why #1 is so, so important.
Plenty of coaches have winning records and use that to put themselves on a pedestal. In reality, they haven’t developed shit. So you need to be able to see and evaluate their work.
And if someone says winning doesn’t matter – well… RUN!
(Can you imagine a digital marketing agency telling small businesses that losing money is okay?)
There are many more things to look for when trying to find a quality *educator, but those two are the most important.
Actually, I’ll add one more…
For years, 3four3 coaching members have been sharing training and game footage on Twitter and YouTube. This evidence is also important. It shows that other coaches are able to take the information they learn and successfully implement the methodology with their teams.
For example, here is a video from 3four3 member Joey Cascio’s team demonstrating a clear identity in the final of a national tournament.
Joey’s team won the game 3-1.
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