Category Archives: Posts

Thoughts

Published / by admin

At this moment in time, I felt it was important to write about sexism in football. Firstly, as women’s football has been a subject of interest personally for many years. I have been a coach in that part of the football universe on and off for a few years now and the experience provides a glimpse as to what the women’s game has to offer. Secondly, the issue of sexism within football has showed up more recently and I predict with do so time and time again.

The most recent and frankly astonishing moment where the wonderfully gifted Ada Hegerberg’s picked up the first ever women’s Ballon d’or trophy, subsequently furnishing the audience with a magnificently inspiring speech. Cue the grenade from DJ Solveig with his stunning question as to whether she can twerk?

Now the tabloids are well known for their acute flair of sensationalising the most minor of controversies, so I looked it up personally expecting a much lesser offence only to be met by the very question he asked.  

When we originally thought about writing about this subject, I took some time to consider the possibility of finding a balance, but it’s simply not possible. In no realm is this in any way something that should have been asked. I also took the unusual measure of discussing the matter with the female members of our highly talented and inspiring group of writers (with great anxiety and distress), the general idea was the feeling of embarrassment and then laughing the question off.

Another example would be my native Scotland who have seen an accelerated improvement, recently peaking by reaching the World Cup for the first ever time, finishing top of their qualifying group. We are arguably the guiltiest of countries in terms of whether women should be playing in the first place, the national team only becoming an official entity governed by the SFA in 1998. The eternally grounded head coach Shelley Kerr recently spoke of her own experiences, on one occasion a photographer queried as to whether she could put on a pair of heels, a comment that brought a look of disgust and state, “I don’t know why he asked that question, he obviously missed his medication that day”.

Upon our visit to the Euro’s in 2017, following the now retired Gemma Fay’s passionate speech about how much affection she has for the national badge, she mentioned that reporters present at the pre-match conference were in single figures, which just presents a lack of value of such amazing progress.

Those are only two examples as to how problematic this subject is, a gender equality pressure group have recently claimed that complaints have grown by approximately 400%. This maybe doesn’t really show that it’s a growing problem, what it does show is that women are less afraid to voice their complaint.

A few years ago, when the Lionesses made a major impact in their visit to Canada, the FA posted an ill-advised tweet following their heroic performance, mentioning how they will soon return to being “mothers, partners and daughters”.

Outside of football there has been other questions asked, the BBC spring to mind. When the brilliant Jodie Whittaker was appointed the task of Doctor Who it was met with great applause and praise, taking another step in breaking down barriers. Unfortunately, the famous corporation shot themselves in the foot by mentioning “its time”.

My question would be, when wasn’t it time?

So overall, the margin of progress has been great, plenty of changes have been made to encourage awareness and positive change to move closer to that goal of equality, but plenty of signs to indicate there is a long road ahead to achieve that goal. 

Work

Published / by admin

I work as a volunteer journalist, producing some nice content for a variety of places. At the moment I am working as football co editor of kettlemag and freelance multimedia member at youth football scotland. I am always looking for new opportunities to expand on what I do. 

Please see below for an indepth look at my portfolio, please get in touch if I can do anything for you.

Youth Football Scotland http://bit.ly/2rCnaAI

Kettle Mag https://bit.ly/2Eppa7g

Additional Work http://bit.ly/2QCqSJx

I also do some work related to photoshop, entirely for free of course as I feel I am unable to produce the standard that would perhaps constitute professional. Any questions or thoughts please get in touch through DM’s and I can have that conversation.

Academy staff ideas…

Published / by admin

Minimum 3 coaches per age group, this allow training sessions to flow and for it to be a more enjoyable experience for each one of the players. You can never grow short of coaches. The better quality the training sessions the more chance you have of player retention.

I don’t know what access you have, but have a chat with your local educational school. A common thing that happens here is on a short term basis a lot of physiotherapists are sourced from universities or colleges in Scotland, it allows the students to enjoy some real life experiences using their knowledge and gives the club some professional protection against potential injuries.

Apply the same idea and principle to other potential roles within your club, good examples would be sports analysts, personal trainers, coaches, medical related subjects and so on.

This sort of text again is purely through experience and ideas that have either been presented by me or perhaps ideas that have shown up through conversation. Take the information and again don’t take it literally, consider the idea potentially reshape, reconstruct, reorganise or simply use it at is. What matters is wether it is useful to you.

Academy thought’s

Published / by admin

The following is some information I picked up through experience, was a little passage that i wrote to a club where he was at a loss as to what to do with so many players.

A recent development that I witnessed was a restructuring of an academy. Presents several challenges, including accommodating a massive range of abilities.

It is scientifically proven that players with similar ability will progress more quickly, avoiding a sense of intimidation. If you are provided with the opportunity to separate the players into groups, ensure you avoid using words like elite and development and so on. This I have found has a detrimental effect on players confidence despite their varying abilities, suggestions I would say to you would use shirt colours or I have recently seen clubs using reoccurring European words like Milan, Rovers or Wanderers.

The third team can become a bit of an experiment for you, If you are still enjoying an influx of players this can be used as a platform for football, an experience perhaps for younger players to experience of being part of a team, to experience pitch side environment and the right attitudes to show. You could use this team as a sort of exhibition group, send them to be part of tournaments, training abroad. then you could use it as a platform to recruit further players.

More and more we are seeing some basic coaching drop in sessions, effectively this is used simply for people to get a taste of football without the pressure and intimidation of other experienced players, something that it proven to be a productive concept.

An idea channel

Published / by admin

The following is just a collection of ideas, I hope these golden nuggets of wonderful information prove productive.

“Picked up from the world of Futsal.

Ball goes out of play the team in possession has to bring the ball back into play within 4 second or they have to hand over possession.

Encourages quick thinking and impact opposition’s ability to regroup and organise”

“Really simple idea, sometimes you will see kids or adults time wasting pre-session, common occurrence and to be fair understandable.

Decent attention spans are nowhere to be seen, so a recommendation would be simply to implement a rule, do what you want pre-session whether it be chat or whatever, as long as you have a football at your feet”

“Corner taking is an important aspect of football, ideas on how to mix it up a little is always ideal. Have a player work with your regular corner taker to come short with a decoy run. This drags the opposition player out of the game, provides a potential advantage”

“Evolution of coaching these days has introduced more and more terminology,  a new one is SAQ. Which is of course Speed Agility and Quickness.

A standardized layout is an ideal option, three channel and split your team into three groups. Use one of the channels for ladders, another of zigzags and last simply quick feet. When time expires everyone moves to their left.

Again this is open to customization, ideas to suit your team’s development”

“A player doing keepy uppy with a rugby ball….

Why would they do this I hear you ask?

The key part of a rugby ball is its shape, if you ask one of your kids to try this sort of thing, the unpredictability of where the ball will end up will demand the players mind to work harder, this in turn develop the player’s anticipation and first touch.

The application has been used regularly with goalkeepers, former Swansea player Michel Armand Vorm regularly voiced his appreciation for this concept”

“Always remain open minded to the potential versatility of a player, have a look at what the player can and can’t do. Maintaining that state of mind may work to your advantage, what is your problem, what alternative’s do you have at your disposal, think what alternatives do you have and what further alternatives are your afraid to use. Take the risk as there will be the reward. At what point does this disallow you from adding the player to the potential position?”

“Why are there always shapes involved in the routines we do, triangles and squares and so on? Football is often played in squares and triangles, the routines are set out to look the same”

The blog of all blogs

Published / by admin

have been a coach for a number of years now and throughout those years I have had a number of experiences which contributed to my development at doing what I do. Instead of these thoughts and experiences rattling around in my brain a couple of years ago I made the decision to write them down, that’s where my blog was born. Many hours and beers went to dreaming up a name for such a uniform resource locator. These wonders of coaching would be written into the stars, eventually thecoachingcolumn.net was engraved onto the records of a well known and interesting domain registration site. I’m told that the hits I have received, word press related features tell me there have been over 100,000 of them, have made it all the way to an academy in Florida so technically worldwide (which is exciting) and also made it locally to some of my friends in the coaching world. So, all this basically means is that it makes me incredibly proud to present to you the fact that some of these ideas, original or stolen, have contributed to the development of some young and old players in the UK and further away.

First and primary thought process before we actually get into the football aspect of things, I often spoke of professionalism. In my time I have met many a coach who makes a point of arguing with referee’s on a regular basis, showing up to matchday with a bad attitude towards opposition, generally creating a toxic atmosphere. Keeping in mind this is through experience.

An interesting thought occurred recently, throughout my time as being a coach I often spent time thinking about certain aspects of conduct and so on, one that confused me the most is arguing with the referee.Not something I spend anytime doing as personally I feel that in this case you would lose the respect of the referee, also on a more superficial basis it isn’t like the referee is going to listen and decide to change his mind based on your argument, the decision is final and he will not be persuaded based on your argument. As the great Brian Clough once said “people forget the referee doesn’t have a slow motion eyeball”

Another aspect in terms of applying professionalism is your conduct on match day, go and meet the opposition management/coaching staff, shake a few hands and have a social conversation. Ensure that your demeanour is positive and enthusiastic, this is turn I have found that you will earn your immediate respect from the opposition. During the match if the opposition have some injured personnel you may find yourself in a position where you have better medical supplies available to you, take the opportunity to share this. It is your job to be there for the well being of your players, and everyone else there. I have found myself in this position before and it is an important aspect of demonstrate.

This will develop a positive reputation on yourself and to be honest I don’t find any of these demands strenuous, do you?

Resource Drive

Published / by admin

Now I appreciate its not exactly a minority but I thought that I would add a source of material similar to alot of pages utilising google drive. If you have some excess information you want to add to the fold please get in touch and I can add. https://goo.gl/9rN4XB

Concussion

Published / by admin

Just a small post, adding some resources as part of the blog and one of the biggest concerns in football across the board is the lack of structure and procedure in relation to concussion. A physio that was at my previous club considered this source to be one of the most useful in terms of education for the sidelines. Please see the resources section of the blog to see what else is added to the blog.

The Interview

Published / by admin

Things have been a bit quiet around here so I am excited to report I have went out and recruited some coaches to write about what they love doing, a fundamental part of coaching is having a passionate interest in what they do so my hope is everyone that kindly takes their time to read some of the text will benefit in some way. Watch this space!

P.S if you are interested in writing something please get in touch and I can organise a chat!

FBA Voting

Published / by admin

Good afternoon,

I have decided to put the blog forward for some voting, I went to the https://www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk/ event awards a couple of years ago, the place called Hotel Football no less which was an amazing experience.

Through the feedback I have received there is an indication that some of the stuff I write here has made a difference. Please tweet the following text 🙂

I am voting in @theFBAs for @gillenreid in the category #FBAinfluencer #FBAs

Lets see what happens eh?