What machine-learning can do for football training

Imagine a world where your child kicked a ball incorrectly and then was told by a machine exactly how to kick it correctly next time. With today’s (known) technology, this isn’t the stuff of science fiction. All a machine would need to do this is the following:

RequirementExisting technology
A categorised library of thousands of videos showing athletes kicking balls effectively or a data set that provides the machine with what ‘success’ is (i.e. kicking this way resulted in 56% more goals / accurate passes).YouTube
A software to understand what it is ‘seeing’, (i.e. it is seeing someone kicking a ball first of all – rather than a cat climbing a tree) and map this against its data to assess what needs to be improved.A programmed application with machine learning capabilities
A camera with movement sensors able to measure speed, direction and distance.Most modern smartphones
A programmed user interface that then tells the user, in a way it can understand (not millions of 1’s and 0’s), how it can improve its technique.Existing interface platform (such as a native iOS Mobile App) and a development team.
Hardware to process this information – or the software’s access to the ‘cloud’ to process this information on its behalf.Server-side infrastructure (i.e. .NET servers or the AWS platform)

With most requirements above available in YouTube, modern smartphones and within development teams’ capabilities across the globe an app like this probably exists somewhere or is in creation. At minimum it is well within the realms of possibility.

With that the case, you may be asking why we are continuing with our current business model of physical coaching using humans. Well, football is a human sport and needs humans to provide the coaching. We believe that this can’t, and shouldn’t, be outsourced to machines. Although we will utilise technology in our organisation to improve our customer experience and product, we will always use humans to deliver our coaching.

Absolutely technology can help coaches be better coaches, and this should be explored as technology becomes cheaper and more widely available. I’m thinking of coaches with augmented reality glasses that recognise when a child isn’t following the drill and advises the appropriate solution. Drones that can quickly setup new coaching drills of cones or collecting balls to reduce coaches time away from actual coaching. This would enable coaches to better assist all children faster, with better concentration and with greater accuracy.

We should, however, remember that machines can’t do the following (they may be able to imitate it. But they can’t do it):

  • Recognise what level a child is playing at and, with the coaches own development history as a reference, advise the right coaching technique to challenge yet not overwhelm the player. The child may also have a specific temperament or learning style that the coach is aware of while they will also include in their approach to coaching feedback.
  • Say hello to a child and shake their hand with genuine excitement about teaching them football.
  • Understand what rain feels like and how they might play differently in it.
  • Know what a grazed knee feels like and what medical advice to administer while keeping the child enthusiastic about football.
  • Know when a child is excited and what that feels like.
  • Pull up a child when they have insulted another child and make them recognise how they might have made the other child feel.
  • Know when a child is upset and what that underlying issue might feel like – true empathy.

Also, without the child giving huge amounts of personal or biometric data away – this machine doesn’t know the following:

  • How old the child is
  • What level they are playing at
  • What their goals in football are
  • What their footballing history is
  • Whether they have any underlying medical conditions
  • Who their friends are and who they like playing with
  • Who their favourite footballer is and what position they want to play in
  • What team they support
  • Whether they may be be vulnerable or have low levels of trust

A coach may know or anticipate all this about a child and, in a moment of error, be able to visualise, process and advise of a solution based on all this information in the blink of an eye. Whether we achieve this with machines or not – I fear that the moment machines are able to do all of the above we will have long been exterminated by them 🙂

So, when thinking about the future of football we must remember that:

Great human coaches:

  • are unique role models that young children look up to.
  • build greater bonds and connectivity in society by giving children positive human interactions with other humans
  • bring us as humans closer together, one child at a time
  • apply human experiences to solve human problems

And that technology can support coaches by:

  • Giving them greater information to review in their analysis
  • Aggregate more information than possible by a human
  • Find patterns of behaviour that are not possible by a human
  • Provide consistency in analysis and support
  • Offer shared resources at appropriate times to collectively improve coaching

We should always remember that humans are not a problem to be solved, and technology should be added only when it helps us be better humans.

This is an area we are fascinated by and will continue to evolve in We Make Footballers. If you are interested in finding out more about how we are utilising technology in improving football coaching, feel free to reach out here and start a conversation.

Thank you.

Why England is the best country to run a football coaching business

Football is the most popular sport in the world. According to FIFA, there are 265 million players actively involved in football around the world, representing four percent of the planet’s population.

All of those players have to start learning the game somewhere and for the vast majority, that will be in football coaching courses. That means that the commercial football coaching business is a booming one and, as a result, it’s an area in which people are quickly discovering they can make a living from the sport they love on a full-time basis.

Coaching businesses run in England have long benefited from football’s place as the country’s national sport and their popularity only looks likely to increase over the coming years. They are also becoming increasingly relevant to the Academy structure, generating players and the next generation of professionals.

Here are three reasons why England is the best country to run a football coaching business.

Football is becoming fashionable again

The years between 2006 and 2018 weren’t great for the English national team as they fell out of favour with vast swathes of the nation. There were ritual humiliations in national tournaments and a sense that a lot of the players representing the country where more interested in money than anything else. That disenfranchised a lot of people.

All that changed though thanks to Gareth Southgate and England’s performances at the World Cup last summer. That unexpected run to the semi finals in Russia prompted the country to fall back in love with a new, young national team who connected with the public. That new connection was shown in the celebrations across England with each passing victory and the pride shown in their achievements.

It’s also made football fashionable again. There is a real feeling that over the course of the next few years, this side under Southgate could go onto achieve something special and if they do, then football’s popularity is going to increase and more and more children are going to want to play the game. A boom time is coming and in 2022 the World Cup may be “coming home”!

Women’s football is about to explode

All of that interest in the men’s team could pale into insignificance compared to what is happening with women’s football. The Women’s Super League is a now a fully professional, fully funded league with broadcast deals, sponsorship and increasing standards. After years of hard and unrecognised work, the UK football environment for girls and women is finally growing.

England’s Lionesses meanwhile continue to grow in popularity. Over six million watched their opening game against Scotland at this summer’s World Cup in France, which was six times the number who tuned into the men’s Nations League clash with Switzerland a few hours earlier.

Players like Steph Houghton, Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Fran Kirby and Nikita Paris are becoming household names and as a result, we’re seeing more and more young girls signing up for football coaching. The days of the sport being 95 percent boys and five percent girls are over. England is a leader in the Women’s game and we hope to see this fantastic work continue, not to mention perhaps WIN the World Cup this summer in France!

That means the pool of talent to coach is going to grow significantly as many more girls see football is a credible hobby and because of professionalism, a possible career. Football coaching businesses in England are going to be at the forefront of this revolution over the next five to 10 years, hopefully, doubling their market of players.

Sport Facilities are improving

You might read that it is all doom and gloom with council-run football facilities falling into disrepair because of local government funding cuts, but the opposite is true of private facilities with the FA handing out more money to improve the standards of club’s facilities up and down the country.

The major change over the last five years has been the increase in the number of 3G pitches and Astro training pitches. These facilities allow football to take place across the year, eliminating the prospects of cancelations which are often brought on by England’s wet climate.

Another note is the rise of Futsal and number of players taking part in the indoors fast paced 5 a side version of the game! This means that the public attitude towards football is improving and becoming more open-minded as to playing it indoors and outdoors.

Whilst the country still lags behind the likes of Germany in terms of 3G pitch numbers, the FA have committed into turning more grass pitches into artificial surfaces. Many schools and colleges are also constructing their own facilities. That’s good news for coaching businesses who wish to operate outdoors all year round.

All in all, there are an increasing amount of positives that make England the best country to run a football coaching business in! Football is deeply ingrained in our society and DNA, it is something widely celebrated and that we hope more and more of the nation will take part in. All these factors will help us become the best footballing nation in the world and one day, win a world cup!

What can I do alongside my football scouting career?

If you’re already involved in football through scouting, then chances are you’ve got a lot of the skills needed to succeed in other areas of the game. So why restrict what you do to watching football, looking at players, identifying talents, creating player pathways and filing reports on oppositions? How can you go full-time in football?

Here are some other roles within football that you could take on in addition to your duties as a football scout – because who doesn’t want to devote more of their lives to the beautiful game?

Performance analyst

Whilst your scouting role involves watching and judging the talents of players and oppositions, a performance analyst goes much deeper in terms of what they look at with the focus on breaking down every single play from a game involving either the club you are employed by or that of an upcoming opponent.

This could be for the purpose of showing an individual player what they did or didn’t do correctly in their last game. It might be to help them deal with the threat offered by the opponent they’ll be in direct opposition against in the next game.

The coaching staff may wish to analyse set pieces. They might want to know if there is a weakness they can exploit, such as a defender who struggles under high balls or a midfielder who is often ponderous in possession and could thus be pressed into a mistake.

Performance analysts can play a huge role in not only preparing a team for what is to come, but also helping make a difference to their chances of victory. The technology used isn’t that much different to that of a scout either, with tools such as Scout7, STATS and data complied by Opta being the programmes of choice.

This area of the game is growing at a fast pace as more and more clubs are replicating the Performance Analysts departments seen in the Premier League. There are also an increasing amount of online and University courses to help you retrain.

Youth coach

If you are already working as a scout, then you’ll know the attributes that young players need to succeed in the game – after all, you are looking for them on a frequent basis. That makes you perfectly equipped to branch into youth coaching.

Not only will you be teaching youngsters the basics of football, but your knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport has the potential to transform their lives and prospects of making it as a semi-pro or professional. In addition to finding the best talent in your scouting role, you’ll also be creating the best talent at the same tie through coaching.

To become a youth coach, you’ll need to gain the necessary qualifications and clearances but seeing as you are already involved in football, that shouldn’t be a problem. You may even already hold them.

Becoming a youth coach is the first step on a coaching path that could lead you to take on duties as an academy coach at a professional club, and the sky really is the limit from there.

Run your own football coaching business

If you want to coach young people and create your own legacy through it as your own boss, then you could combine your football scouting career with running your own football coaching business. You’ll be building your own football empire, creating pathways for players, improving your community and scouting from players on your doorstep!

Running your own coaching business is the perfect job that can go hand-in-hand with your duties as a scout.

With your own weekly sessions coaching from 200 to 600 players, you’ll be gaining access to a whole host of young players, some of whom might possess the talents to progress to an academy and who you could therefore recommend.

If you think that running a football coaching business alongside your career as scout is the right option for you, download a brochure to take a look at the We Make Footballers franchise opportunity. Many of our existing franchisees run their business along their scouting career and have found it to be the perfect fit!

5 skills needed to be a great coach

It’s a question that most football coaches will ponder on a regular basis – what are the most important skills needed to be a great coach?

There are the obvious ones, such as the ability to coach improvements in the players under your charge and knowing how to recognise and develop talent. These are what we call the hard skills, the ones that the necessary coaching qualifications, study of the game and experience can teach you.

There are many other important skills to becoming a great coach will come from the mental side and social side of the game that can be a great asset to your coaching potential.

Have a look at these five skills that will help you become a great football coach

Patience and perseverance

Unless you are working with a Lionel Messi or a Cristiano Ronaldo, then you need to have patience to be a great football coach. Different players learn and pick up skills at different speeds and in different ways. Some will excel in technical areas such as shooting, ball manipulation or passing whilst others will impress in learning positioning, work rate, team leadership and the tactical side of the game.

Because of this, the best coaches are the ones with the patience and perseverance to help a player develop in any area of their game. It could take weeks for you to teach a young player how to successfully produce a Maradona turn, it might need a period of months to get another comfortable with using their weaker foot or that you coach a player to start communicating in football.

All of the examples above require patience and the ability to coach the player in a learning style that they understand and react positively to.

A great coach will get that player there eventually though, and the feeling of reward when they finally master a skill you’ve been working on for a long period of time is one of the best that you can get as a coach. There is nothing better than seeing patience and perseverance triumph.

Communication with players

You could be the best football coach in the country with the best footballing mind on the planet, but none of that will matter if you can’t get your ideas or feedback across in a clear manner which your players are able to understand. That’s why communication is so important.

When dealing with younger players whose attention may wander, you need to be as concise as possible with the information, you also need to be engaging and speak in a way that they find interesting. That way, none of what you say ends up being lost in the wind. As players progress through the age groups, you’ll need to change your style in order to get across more complex information. This is a complex skill that takes coaches years to master as no player, group or age category are the same.

The best coaches will adapt the way they communicate depending on the scenario, age group or the player they are communicating with. The aim should always be to get the point across without having a negative impact on morale or motivation.

Imagination and creativity

The best coaches are the ones who are able to inspire their players, and a lot of that inspiration can often come through imagination. Thinking of new ways in which you can get your message across will keep your players on their toes and maintain high levels of motivation among them.

This might come from dreaming up new coaching practices so that you aren’t just relying on the same old routines straight out of a manual. It might come from putting yourself in your players shoes and imagining what they would love to be taught – if you’ve got a number of kids turning up in Neymar shirts, tap into their idolism of the world’s most expensive player by teaching them some of his tricks for part of a session.

Creativity is a fundamental skill to have especially when working with younger players as you will need to keep them engaged when coaching. This creativity can also feed into the playing style of your players as you have set a positive creative example.

Your imagination can help keep your players interested and increase their love of the game – and the more they love the game, the more they’ll enjoy playing it.

Positivity and objectiveness

There are always positives to take from a game or training session – even one that goes drastically wrong. The best coaches will be able to take a step back from a footballing event that hasn’t gone to plan and look at it objectively. From there, they can remain positive about it, realising that we can learn as much from our failures as we can our successes.

That’s an important message for players, too. They should never be afraid not to try something new for fear of failure; it’s better to have something go wrong and learn enough to be able to successfully complete it next time than never try it at all.

Sometimes post-match debriefs are better done on the next session instead of the day of the game to allow for yourself and the players to take time and review the game. Some coaches also do not allow parents to contact them until 24hours after the game to ensure that communications are less emotional and more objective.

Negativity is one of the most damaging feelings you can inflict on young players. It should be avoided at all costs.

Passion for your sport and coaching

No team has ever won trophies through ability alone – they have to have passion to go with it. Would Manchester City have managed to secure back-to-back Premier League titles without Pep Guardiola’s passion to be the best driving them on? Probably not – especially given that they’d smashed every record going when lifting the first of those championships.

Players will often take their lead from coaches. If you’ve got a coach whose love of the game is infectious, then it will spread through the group. By instilling a passion for football, a desire to work hard and a thirst to be the best into your players, you’ll be giving them a fire that can take them far in the game.

Becoming the best coach that you can be is a lifelong journey and we believe that coaches should be encouraged to continue their work as football has a huge impact on our society and the world that we live in. If you are passionate about coaching, helping create opportunities for players and improving your local community – take a look at the We Make Footballers franchising opportunity.

Why experience matters in football coaching

Experience is a word that is bandied about all the time when it comes to football managerial and coaching roles, especially at the higher reaches of the game.

Not having enough managerial or coaching experience can often be a difficult obstacle for new coaches to overcome in football when trying to launch a career or go full-time in football.

Why is coaching experience in football so important? Here are five reasons.

Experience gives a coach professional knowledge

Imagine if you had designs on being a scientist and straight out of school found yourself in a role in which you were expected to perform nuclear fusion. You wouldn’t have the knowledge nor the experience to do that, which could lead to disaster. That’s why those scientists trusted with such a task have spent time learning their craft – gaining the professional knowledge needed to carry out the job.

Now, nobody is saying that coaching football is as dangerous a task as fiddling with radioactive substances. But the best coaches will have professional knowledge behind them. This doesn’t mean that to be a good coach you need to have a background as a professional player, it means that you need to be committed to your craft. Completing coaching badges, volunteering, CPD events and getting involved in the game in any way that you can will build your professional knowledge and background.

Focused development can also be key to achieving your coaching goals, think about the age groups, level and environment that you want to coach in and build your experience around it.

You’ll know how to interact with players

Manuals are not enough to teach you is how to interact with your players, experience on the field is key to building this skillset. The greatest managers in the world are the greatest because they can coax the very best out of each and every one of their players and that comes from knowing which buttons to push.

You might have a player who excels when their confidence is boosted through praise and admiration. Alternatively, you may have one who is motivated more by being fired up to do better than they currently are. Carrot or stick? Choosing the right one can make all the difference.

Taking the time to get to know your players is fundamental, they are all individuals and one size does not fit all.

No two players are going to be the same mentally, just as no two people on the planet think exactly the same. Experience of dealing with a wide variety of individuals will give you the tools and knowledge you need to extract the very best out of the players under your charge, no matter what their personality type.

Learn from failure and defeats

The more experience that you have as a coach, the bigger the body of work you’ll have behind you to draw and learn from. That’s what kept Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United at the top for so long.

He was constantly looking back over his career at what worked and what didn’t work and was therefore able to reinvent his United team over the course of nearly three decades to always be challenging for honours.

The ability to understand who you are, recognise the journey you’ve been on as a coach and analyse your experiences will allow you to make the most of your talents.

A clear Coaching Philosophy and Playing Style

Philosophy is a word that is bandied around almost as much as experience, but the two go hand-in-hand. A more experienced coach will have a clearer philosophy about how they want to play the game and how they intend to brief their players on doing so, honed over many hours on the training pitch.

A philosophy is important as it affects everything you do, from the sessions you put on to the coaching style you use. If you’re of the Pep Guardiola possession-at-all costs mould, then your coaching will be heavily possession based. A budding Jurgen Klopp will work on fast transitions and moving the ball at blistering pace whilst those inspired by Jose Mourinho will place a huge emphasis on defending. Remember, no philosophy is right or wrong. Respect others in the game and try to learn from new coaching philosophies and playing styles that you may encounter

Even the best coaches have mentors

Perhaps the biggest reason that experience matters in football is because those coaches who have worked under or with another, more experienced coach before setting out on their own have received invaluable exposure to an individual who knows what they are doing. This individual may have an outlook that challenges or develops your own attitude to football.

The best coaches are like sponges – they absorb ideas from anyone and everyone around them. A coach who has been mentored will therefore have picked up knowledge, ideas and experience that you can’t get anywhere else. They also remain objective and are focused on finding the best formula for their team.

Every great manager talks about a mentor whom they worked under and learned from. Mourinho was a translator at Barcelona when he picked up all the tools that would turn him into one of the greats from Sir Bobby Robson. Guardiola had Johan Cruyff at the same club. Going back a few years, Liverpool’s great dynasties of the late 1970s and 1980s were based around the famous Anfield Bootroom, each new manager being appointed internally having learned from the success stories that went before them.

If you’ve already worked with a successful coach and can take their ideas forward and combine them with your own, then you’ve got a far better chance of being a brilliant coach yourself. That’s why experience can make all the difference.

If you’re looking to build your coaching experience and go full-time in football, creating a viable football coaching business is perhaps the right move for you!

How to promote your football coaching business

Promoting your business

Football, It’s fantastic to be working in an industry that you are passionate about and this often leads to
the motivation to succeed in business. There are thousands of “soccer schools” across the UK
run by large companies, clubs, franchises or independent sole traders. What these all have in
common is that they are providing football coaching as their product.

Promoting your classes and business, whether you are just getting started in business or more
experienced can be a challenging thing to do. This post puts together a list of ideas to help you
promote and market your football coaching business.


Competitors: What other soccer schools are in the area?     

Football and childcare are some of the most competitive industries with companies, clubs,
franchises and sole traders all providing football coaching and therefore competing for
customers. You will need to know all about the local football scene and where players are
getting their coaching from.
By now, you may (or may not) know what your target market is. We recommend starting with
the basics and conducting a competitor audit in your local area. Try searching “football coaching
near me” to see who your competitors are and create a spreadsheet with notes about each one.
By doing this, you will gain an insight into your competitors.

Try to find out:
● what their coaching style is and how they attract players;      
● what they are doing well;
● what you can learn from them;
● days to avoid running classes on;
● how they market their business.

Doing a competitor analysis or audit can be helpful in the growth of any business. It’s always
important to stay in the know of your local market so we recommend performing these every 6
months. This research will also support any business loan applications you may be looking to
submit in the future, so it’s a great idea to keep this business research saved.

 


Promoting your Football Business Online

Nowadays, having an online presence is a must, even for local businesses. Most potential            
customers will type into google whatever they are looking for instead of going down to the local
community centre for advice, waiting for a leaflet to come through their door or walking around
town looking for a service. A simple google search offers the customer their local options within
seconds and there are some very simple things you can do to get online.

It’s a great idea to setup social media accounts for your business and post regularly. By using
hashtags, location markers and captions relevant to your football coaching business and local
area, local people will start to see your postings in their feed. Remember to be direct with your
current clients by asking if they follow you yet to increase your reach or if they will leave a
review to boost your profile and online ranking.

Producing content such as blogs on your website is also a great way to engage with your
current customers and attract new/potential customers. By creating valuable and insightful
content that people find useful, you will generate valuable customer engagement.
Remember, the football coaching industry is extremely competitive, using your online resources
is a key way to beat competitors and attracting new players from the start.

To find out more about the approach our Franchisees have to take towards online marketing, and in particular their social media, then take a look at this interview with Coach Russell, our WMF MK Franchise owner.


Advertising your Coaching Service Offline

We believe that local businesses can have a fantastic impact in their communities by being
active and engaging with the local area. This can be done in many different ways, from
volunteering to school talks to leafleting.

By increasing your presence in the community, your football coaching business will gain traction
and create conversations. Ever heard of “the power of word of mouth”? Have a think about what
you can do in your community to make you and your football coaching business stand out! This
will play a huge role in the success of your business -as more people recognise your brand,
make recommendations and review your services, you will increase your presence in the area.
It is important to remember the power of “brand advocates” (clients, coaches or players who
love your business and actively promote your services in the area), so always ensure you are
taking great care of your existing clients and your community.


The essentials of Marketing your Football Business

Promoting a football coaching business can be a challenge as each local community is different
and attracting new players is a challenge. It may be that specific forms of marketing and

promotion work best, but it always important to continually analyse the return and effectiveness
of the work you are doing. Competitor analysis is undoubtedly the best place to start. The online
and offline strategies above are some starting points to create quick promotion of your business
in your local area.


We Make Footballers are a nationwide, innovative football coaching franchise that has been
running for over 10 years. Our mission is to improve the football environment and experience for    
all to help England become the best footballing nation. The second part of our mission is to
empower passionate individuals to work in an industry they love, whilst achieving their financial
goals and positively impacting their communities. Whether you decide to launch/continue your
football coaching business with us or without us, we hope that you can help us work towards our
mission and improve football for all.

 

Q&A with Coach Matthew, the 17th Franchise Owner

We Make Footballers are proud to welcome new franchisee Matthew Ansah, who will be looking after the Croydon area! With a strong background in both Grassroots and Academy coaching, Matthew will be launching WMF by helping players of all abilities to become the best they can be and creating his own football coaching empire in the Croydon area.

After completing both in-house business training and on the pitch WMF coach training, we caught up with Matthew to discuss his ambitions and plans for WMF Croydon:

Q: When did you start coaching?

Matthew: I started coaching seven years ago for a grassroots club called Purley Panthers. I worked with an under 8’s team, which was such a fun group to work with. By starting with this age group of players, I was able to understand the importance of “fun” in football and in my coaching style early on. We would train on a Saturday morning and play matches on a Sunday morning, this is where my passion for coaching started.

Q: What has been your coaching journey so far?

Matthew: I’ve worked in football both paid and voluntarily for seven years, which has meant that I have learnt from different clubs, coaches, age groups and playing styles. I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in both Grassroots and Academy football coaching.

I started with Purley Panthers U8’s and continued with them in the U9’s and U10’s age groups. I’ve also coached at Aldershot (U12’s), Forestdale FC (U11’s, U12’s, U13’s) and Chipstead (U18’s). All these different opportunities have built my coaching CV and experience working with different age groups.

Following this, one of my other first coaching roles was at We Make Footballers, I was able to learn their coaching and playing style and be exposed to the WMF way in the early stages of the company.

After some time at WMF, I then moved into teaching alongside other roles at Fulham Foundation, Crystal Palace and AFC Wimbledon Pre Academy. I stayed in contact with Sean Conlon (CEO of WMF) and he was the first person I contacted when I decided to launch my own football coaching company.

Q: Why do you want to go full time in football?

Matthew: Going full time in football has always been my ambition, as I’ve always tried to keep up my coaching schedule and commitments to prepare myself and become the best coach I can be.

One of the differences between coaching and owning a franchise, is that I want to further my understanding as a business owner alongside my development as a coach.

Another key motivation for me is to run a company that supports the local area and to coach as much as I can to support the development of footballers in my community and be a positive role model.

Q: What do you hope to achieve in the next few years?

Matthew: I hope to have amazing experiences in football, this includes fulfilling my potential as a business person and coach, carrying out work that positively impacts in the local community and developing coaches and players.

I’m particularly looking forward to  further my knowledge via coaching courses, qualifications, events in the football industry and watching other top coaches in practice.

Q: Why did you choose We Make Footballers?

Matthew: Having worked for the We Make Footballers in the past I am aware of the amount of detail, planning, delivery, and review of coaching sessions. I needed to pick a coaching company that reflected my own coaching style, beliefs and that focuses on individual player development.

The branding is amazing and consistent, which shows the professionalism and infrastructure behind my business. The websites, social media and online presence really builds trust with parents and presents a fantastic brand. I also enjoy being a part of a franchise owner network from experienced coaching backgrounds and look forward to participating in future coach development events.

The connections WMF have in the football industry have enabled me to run my launching Talent ID event with the support of Head Office, which will have over 100 players attend! I’m excited for the event, creating opportunities for local players in football and finally launching my weekly training in Croydon.

Matthew Ansah is a fantastic football coach and business person who will be going full time in football this June 2019. His goal is to reach 110 players attending his weekly training by June 2020! If you are interested in building a career in an industry that you are passionate about, contact us today to find out more.

FA Level 2 in Coaching Football

In order to continue on your path to a successful coaching career, you will need to continuously learn about the game of football and develop the skills that are needed in order to become a proficient coach. The FA’s Level 2 in Coaching Football is the next step after passing the FA Level 1 in Coaching Football and is designed to build on the skills that you gleaned in the first set of workshops.

This second step on the coaching ladder is broken down over 20 guided face-to-face workshops and is once again laid on by your local area football association. The 20 sessions are split into three distinct blocks: How We Coach, The Future Player & How We Support and How We Play. Each is dedicated to a specific area of coaching and will help you to develop your all-around skills – while coaching footballing technique is important, coaches are also mentors and developing skills off of the pitch is also vital.

The FA Level 2 in Coaching Football course will give you a deeper insight into many areas of the game and also many areas off of the pitch. Coaches are a lot more than technique trainers, we perform a vital role in the lives of our students, and it is important that we continue to develop in order to become the best coaches possible.


The Course Itself

The FA Level 2 in Coaching Football course is meant as an expansion on the FA Level 1 in Coaching Football course. While the level 1 course covers a lot of the basics of the game and some safeguarding pre-requisites, the level 2 course dives deeper into many areas of the game. The course expands on your initial knowledge of the game and will help you to understand it at a deeper level. In this course, there is the introduction of concepts such as behaviour development and mistake management that will help to ensure that you can also guide your players when things do not go to plan – a very important facet of coaching.

The course is aimed at working coaches who regularly work with age groups u7+. There is also a requirement that your team is regularly playing fixtures in order for you to be assessed. This will ensure that you are able to successfully complete the project.

The course is broken down into the following 3 blocks that contain 20 guided workshops:


How We Coach

This first block is focused on more of the soft-skills that are required by coaches. Sections such as motivation and self-esteem are aimed at helping coaches to develop players. While player skill development is clearly important, coaches need to be able to motivate and support their players. This section, as well as reviewing and building on what was learned in the FA Level 1 in Football Coaching course, is designed to help coaches with their off-pitch skills as well as those required to make players more technically proficient.


The Future Player & How We Support

The second of the three blocks is concentrated again on many of the soft-skills that coaches require. This block focuses on areas such as player potential – which is vital in today’s game, as well as more difficult and contentious areas such as managing difference and developing behaviour that form the success of a coach. Coaches have to deal with people from many backgrounds and with many different temperaments, this block will help you to manage these factors.


How We Play

The third block is solely concentrated on technical aspects of the game. With sessions based on scenarios in and out of possession and an introduction to some goalkeeping concepts, this third block will help you to understand the game better in order to develop more technically complete teams.

As you can see, the FA Level 2 in Coaching Football is a far wider ranging course intended to develop not only technical skills but also the vital soft-skills that can be the difference between success and failure in your coaching career. While not all coaches will necessarily require this level, it is a worthwhile investment to your continuing development as a coach.


What This Means For You

In order to continue your coaching development, it is advisable that you gain the FA Level 2 in Coaching Football. Not only will you have all of the safeguarding and first aid education of the FA Level 1 in Coaching Football, but you will also gain a deeper insight into important soft-skills and also deeper technical concepts that will undoubtedly assist you in becoming a better coach.

In order to take the FA Level 2 in Coaching Football course, you will need to contact your local football association who will let you know when courses are being run in your area. These courses often take place at times to suit you and are an easy way of gaining new skills. For coaches who want to push their career to the next level, the FA Level 2 in Coaching Football is an excellent step.

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