Coaching – A Guide

I work as a coach in the world of scottish football and developed a great deal of experience which I would like to share with you. The idea behind this is simply to express how I got the stage I am and see if someone else could benefit from some of the information, perhaps if you wish to become a coach or currently are a coach and looking for some fresh ideas?

Keeping in mind, all this information that i share with you in this is simply my own opinion and thoughts, if you choose to follow this information that’s great, if you choose not to well that’s okay as well.

Build yourself a foundation.

The Scottish Football Association provide a well-known education programme aimed to do just that. The first one to obtain is called Development Activities 1.1, this is a one day event where the regional coach will provide a practical demonstration of a number of routines throughout the day, where you will be the people taking part. Following that you will be supplied with a DVD with all routines that you enjoyed on the day. The routines and drills expressed are aimed at youth development and adults (previously the pathways were entirely separate but after the influence of performance director, Mark Wotte, this was changed only just recently)

Another badge to be part of your foundation Early Touches 1.1, this is starter badge for the children’s pathway again the same details apply a regional coordinator with be the coach and will express. The finer details on how to apply for one of these badges, or perhaps all of them can be found on and select the coach & volunteer section, where you will find a detailed PDF file offering options for the pathways you wish to go.


The next step is gathering experience which is a key aspect of your development, this is where you get the opportunity to establish your own approach, as the coaching qualifications simply give you a foundation to work from, study the finer details of the game and learn how to deal with individuals and groups of players in your own way.

Personally I worked on a freelance basis. I visited a variety of clubs and expressed my own thoughts and feelings towards how routines and drills worked and in what way the players would learn from it. I benefited from it as it allowed me to fine tune my own approach in terms of how to explain practices and routines, in my opinion when there are no questions on how a drill works after you have explained it, you have achieved your objective in terms of your development and coaching at the time.

If your routine or training session goes badly (and it will happen) analysis is key, look to see what happened and what can be improved up or perhaps how can this process that you did follow could be changed.

New Ideas

In my opinion british football especially suffers from a lack of innovation, more specifically scottish football. Often prohibited by red tape and obstacles created by political situations.
When it comes to a coaching environment there is still a collective problem where long term and
established members are closed minded in terms of new ideas. Claims are made that routines work because they are tried and trusted so evolution of football should be ignored entirely.
Remain open to new ideas, a key example that I always make a reference to is Raymond Verheijen (@raymondverhieje) a pioneer of fitness development based on the principle of interval training, his work reached a level where Dick Advocaat brought him in to work with his South Korean side, paid through his own earnings.
The fitness work is designed to benefit fitness without encouraging the fatigue factor that occurs on a regular basis with older players.


Sadly a one of the biggest flaws of the sports industry is sometimes it is not about what you know, rather who you know.

Part of my progress was I used as many social networking options as possible (facebook, twitter, e-mail, LinkedIn, etc) to network with clubs and people.

Meeting people who know high profile individuals can prove to be an excellent part of your coaching profile. Remember to be careful what you post on social media though!


Be proud of your work and work your hardest to learn new and fresh ideas. In terms of coaching you do the work to develop players. Personally I do not coach to win, achievements are purely a positive by – product to a high quality training standard.

Scottish sport is developing to shake off the stereotypical proper footballing man, and trying to introduce a more innovative approach. Remain open-minded, that is the key.

Most Importantly

Last part which is the most important part of what you do, way beyond anything coaching related. Working toward developing a positive working environment, a nice place to be and where your players want to be, this is key to everything.

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