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No Money, No Problems: Things you can do to for free to improve your football fitness knowledge and practice!

25 January 2016 Ben Cartwright podcasts, fitness, football, soccer, coach, twitter

No Money, No Problems: Things you can do to for free to improve your football fitness knowledge and practice!

Listen to other coaches (especially the successful ones):
Seeking out and speaking to those coaches who are at the top level isn’t the easiest thing to do. With the best will in the world successful coaches are busy people, they simply will not have the time to speak to individuals at any length. Bombarding them with emails/questions or stalking them into submission won’t be at all helpful either and very rarely results in you gaining the knowledge your after. One way you can listen to them is via podcasts. I’ve listened to so many podcasts in the past and gained a huge amount of insight from those coaches kind enough to take the time to speak about their experiences in our game. A good example of a podcast that has many episodes with those working in football at the elite level is Pacey Performance. There are hours worth of outstanding content waiting to be accessed and all for absolutely no cost whatsoever thanks to Rob and all his hard work. Have a look at the avalible episodes here http://www.paceyperformance.co.uk/category/podcast/

PDF Google search:
The Internet is an amazing tool at your disposal. It contains a wealth of fantastic information that is free to access. The trouble is finding it amongst the even bigger amount of rubbish that is out there. Searching the Internet is a bit like mining, you’ll have to keep on chipping away in order to locate the diamond piece of knowledge that your after. This can be time consuming but thankfully it’s well worth the effort. Football specific research is a great place to start. When someone quotes a paper the first thing I do is copy and paste the title in Google with the letters PDF added at the end. More often than not this will result in free access to the paper, If not then there are usually other papers or resources that closely link to that topic area. The drawback of this is that research can often be difficult to understand fully, especially for those at grassroots level. So another good place to look will be to those that review research and source the precious bits of info we are interested in. Good examples of research reviewers include Dr Andy Franklyn-Miller (http://www.drandyfranklynmiller.com) and S&C research (www.strengthandconditioningresearch.com).

Network and interact with other coaches:
In my career journey the help and assistance I’ve received from other coaches who I’ve gotten to know through networking has been nothing short of instrumental in enhancing my coaching practice. I’ve met some amazing people who all genuinely care about players and their safe physical development. I’ve been taught many things from coaches all over the world. Again the Internet can play a role here, it’s never been easier to talk to coaches at all levels working in our sport (and in other sports too). Twitter is obviously my social media tool of choice, some of the coaches I’ve learned a great deal from include

Andy Driscoll @driscollcoach
Andy Wiseman @MrWiseyMan
Keir Wenham-Flatt @RUGBY_STR_COACH
John Davies @renegadestyle
Tim Lees @timlees10
Eoghan O’Kelly @CoachEoghan
Mark Senior @markproskills

The flip side to this is that there are some absolute whoppers knocking around, especially if they have products to sell or an axe to grind. I’m glad to say though these are few and far between, if as a sport we continue to share knowledge and practice the way the majority do then these types of self centred money driven coaches will (hopefully) fade away.
Nothing can compare with actual face to face interaction with other coaches. There are many (often free) events and meetings taking place all over the country. Notable events are organised by

Whitehouse address @THE_W_Address
Inspire football @Inspirethegame
Darren Roberts @TheRealConehead

And finally, you can follow Football Fitness Federation:
We are fully committed to promoting a higher standard and delivery of football fitness through communication, coaching and education. We strive to share the best information and knowledge we can to those who really want to improve their performance in the right way. One of our core aims is to connect coaches and players throughout the game and provide them with a platform to share and discuss football fitness in a supportive and professional environment. Why do we do this you may ask? Well we here at Football Fitness Federation believe that the only way we can truly progress practice is with unity. So get involved, let us know your thoughts, share your experience with us and other coaches so that we can raise the bar for players and their development, after all they are the beating heart of the game.

Enjoy your football

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