Coaching is a matter of opinion, what you value may not be what someone else values. Your methodology may be different compared to others, but as long as you can justify the reason behind your coaching methods and ideas, who in this world can say it is wrong? Not me. When Bruce Lee said, “Using no way as the way”, he was letting people know there is no one answer. If the soccer federations want to attempt to bring the science of KPI’s (key performance indicators) into the conversation, I personally don’t buy it either. Soccer is a game that has chaos and extreme variability, KPI’s might tell a story but in my opinion you have to be careful when it comes to data, it can be very misleading. Coaching to improve KPI’s is something I question, I would rather not fall into a prescriptive coaching method, constantly trying to fix my teams KPI’s, which are most likely leading you down false paths.
The next major point is how coaches learn. When I first started my coaching career I attended every coaching clinic I could in person, writing down everything in a notebook. As time went on more information became available in books and videos, which I consumed non-stop. I discovered that coaching books and videos were a highly-effective way to gain knowledge. However, the key was applying the concepts I learned in actual trainings, reflecting on how it went and what needed to be adapted. Now fast forward 30 years to an age where information is free, instant and only a click away. Just ask the Olympic Javelin Champion who learned to throw from watching Youtube videos, he didn’t have access to a coach in his country, but he won the gold medal. He applied the coaching information he found for free online to become an Olympic champion. My point is that information is readily available to anyone, but it is the application part that can’t be replicated, it must be lived daily. Coaching courses should provide you with ideas, not a soccer dogma that you must follow, take the ideas you like, and apply them in your environment. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against charging a fee for high quality well-organized information, but let’s be realistic in the price point and time commitments. I recently bought access to a soccer coaching methodology for $80 per/month, and another for $4 a month; both are valuable and worth it to me. I will cancel my subscriptions when I find I got what I could from them (hence the issue with subscription based models). But from these two subscriptions I found value, learning from a top coach who coached Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi for only $80.
If it was up to me, I would leave the coaching education to the individual clubs. The reason for this is to allow for creativity and freedom of methodology design. It would also stop soccer coaching from being a high-income only licensing scam. Currently, if you don’t work for a rich club that pays your licenses, you are at a severe disadvantage. Yes, you can get grassroots for a low cost but not the C,B, A or Pro. I doubt FIFA will change their rules in the near term, and I doubt the money hungry federations would ever want them to change them, but as the world changes, I think at some point in the future, the soccer licensing scam will be found out and stopped.