Georgia Gwinnett College head coach Mike Giuliano talked to us about some of the more successful ways he’s been engaging with his players remotely.

2:00 — Player of the Day

Twice a week, Giuliano selects a “Player of the Day”. That player sends out a video message with three things:

  1. Favorite quote
  2. Joke of the day (laughter is a key to growth)
  3. One thing you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done, and why

4:00 — Sending players individual messages

Twice a week, Giuliano will also send a personalized video message to a player explaining to them:

  1. Why he is grateful for them, citing specific examples.
  2. How he sees them as a leader in the program.

5:00 — Training groups

Giuliano splits his team up into five training groups led by upperclassmen. Everyone is given a training packet, and players write to their training group captain their goals for the next two weeks. At the end of the summer, donuts are awarded to the training group that wins summer training.

7:30 — Soccer IQ quizzes

Every week Giuliano has “soccer IQ quizzes” focusing on three things:

  1. Dan Blank’s book “Soccer IQ”, his principles can be found on videos on his website. Watch the video of a particular principle, and go find examples online.
  2. Analyzing a particular coaching point from watching the team’s own games and professional games. 
    1. Ex., Looking at all of the team’s goals from 2019 and identifying how many touches were made in the box before shooting. Emphasizing the point of the fewer passes made in the final third, the more likely you’ll score.
  3. “You are the coach”. Presented a problem, put together a plan for how you’ll fix it in training/game-planning.

10:20 — Building a team social culture

Giuliano talked about the importance of the social aspect of a team culture, and how sociability affects how well a team plays together on the field. Some of the things the team is doing together right now include online games and online mysteries.