Tips and Tools for Remote Communication with Soccer Players

Your time work­ing remote­ly with your team is what you make of it. Consider these insights on how to make the most of your vir­tu­al sessions.

Tips and Tools for Remote Communication with Soccer Players

Your time work­ing remote­ly with your team is what you make of it. Consider these insights on how to make the most of your vir­tu­al sessions.

Welcome to the new world of remote soc­cer coach­ing. Please unmute your lines accordingly.

Right now is the per­fect time to eval­u­ate your team or pro­gram. Here are some tips on how to keep com­mu­ni­ca­tion with your play­ers run­ning at full throt­tle, while lev­el­ing up their intellect.

For more ways to com­mu­ni­cate with your team and sug­ges­tions for the best video con­fer­enc­ing, mes­sag­ing and con­tent shar­ing tools, you can also check out our Remote Coaching Guide

Unwind and bring the fun back

Your remote ses­sions shouldn’t be all busi­ness, all the time. 

It’s impor­tant to bal­ance some fun in there — and believe it or not, your team’s socia­bil­i­ty has an impact on how they per­form on the pitch. Take it from Georgia Gwinnett College women’s soc­cer coach Mike Giuliano, who appoints play­ers to be in charge of the team’s social culture. 

To the degree that a team gets along, to the degree that a team does things out­side of their train­ing envi­ron­ment, that will affect not only the qual­i­ty of the expe­ri­ence, but it will affect how well they play and how many games they win,” Giuliano says. Our social events are as equal­ly as impor­tant as our train­ing events are.”

Need some ideas on how to light­en the mood? He has plen­ty of good ones, from online games to play­er of the day” videos, where team­mates dish on their favorite quotes, jokes and hobbies.

Host watch parties

You’re prob­a­bly going to gloss over more film than ever these next few months. But why restrict it to just your own? 

High school and club coach­es lever­age col­lege and pro film in their teach­ing lessons all the time. When play­ers see the same game­plan being car­ried out by some of the best in the sport, it brings every­thing home — and also shows them you’re not just mak­ing this up as you go.

Cincinnati Development Academy girls direc­tor David Robertson also looks at this as a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to test your play­ers’ pas­sion for the game. He’ll assign play­ers home­work on some icon­ic pro­fes­sion­al soc­cer match­es that under­score his var­i­ous teach­ing points. In that con­text, is it real­ly home­work after all?

Get out of your comfort zone and explore new ideas

As NWSL Players Association exec­u­tive direc­tor Yael Averbuch men­tioned in our chat this spring, cre­ativ­i­ty isn’t about some con­trar­i­an jolt of wis­dom or being abstract for abstract’s sake. It’s about doing what­ev­er it takes to reach your goal, no mat­ter the conditions.

There’s a cer­tain lib­er­a­tion that comes with that men­tal­i­ty. The most respect­ed thinkers in a giv­en sport are often the most open-mind­ed ones. 

At Real Salt Lake, acad­e­my goal­keep­er coach Luke Baxter often draws inspi­ra­tion from oth­er sports with how he devel­ops his keep­ers. From fut­sal to hand­ball to ice hock­ey, if it’s a team sport, it’s prob­a­bly in play.

Any team sport you look at — bas­ket­ball, hand­ball, lacrosse — all these dif­fer­ent types of sports, are def­i­nite­ly trans­ferrable into soc­cer,” Baxter says. We see a lot of dif­fer­ent tech­niques and shapes, and I think part of that is the speed at which the game moves now. It’s obvi­ous that the game is faster, so goal­keep­ers have to make deci­sions a lit­tle bit quick­er, more effec­tive­ly. Some of these tech­niques you’re see­ing enable them to do so.”

So what does this mean for you? There’s nev­er going to be a bet­ter time than now to explore what you’ve always want­ed to. Share that curios­i­ty with your play­ers. Consider mak­ing it a time block in your check-in calls with play­ers, or adding it to your next email blast. 

Set up a monthly book club’

This doesn’t have to be strict­ly books, per se. And you don’t have to wor­ship at the altar of Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho to lev­el up your coach­ing chops either. 

The great thing about this tran­si­tion to a remote world is there’s a lim­it­less sup­ply of insights from sharp soc­cer minds around the world on var­ied online resources — and most of it is eas­i­ly accessible.

Robertson built this doc­u­ment of the webi­na­rs, pod­casts, eBooks and web­sites he fre­quents, as well as Twitter accounts to fol­low. Take some bits and pieces from this hub and give it to your play­ers to con­sume, then set up some time each month to talk about it.

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Remember: you set the tone. It’s up to you to show com­pas­sion. What you do now can have a seis­mic impact on how the team works togeth­er when you’re able to meet up again, so take advan­tage and have fun with it. 

Want to see how Hudl’s video analy­sis tools play into your new remote work­flow? Take a look at all our offer­ings, or talk to an expert about set­ting up a free demo.