This is the TTT Research Lab page on coaching. See the links below for various articles and papers on the subject.

How Do Coaches Learn? By Ted Knutson

How do we learn a thing? If you are in any normal pursuit, you probably read a book, or take a course. Maybe you check out some peer-reviewed journal articles, should you have access to materials at a university. Possibly, what you want to learn has some expert sites on the internet, so you trawl through their material to get up to speed. In a few rare cases, maybe you are lucky enough to have access to a subject matter expert and you ask them for information.

That’s for normal subjects, which covers the vast spectrum of all things humans need to know.

Now… how do you learn if you are a coach?

This is a question that has fascinated me since I started working inside of football, not least because I needed to figure out the best ways for me to impart my knowledge to coaches for them to use. So I started studying the problem inside of our clubs, and also took the English FA Level 2 Coaching Course to see how new coaches learn from a personal point of view.

What I figured out is this:

How coaches learn is…

  1. an unbelievably important thing for people who work high up in football to know.
  2. horribly misunderstood by almost every decision maker I have encountered.

It’s not really anyone’s fault – it’s just that picking up coaching knowledge is so different than how humans learn almost anything else, it’s easy to make assumptions that seem natural, but are quite clearly wrong.

The Belgian Vision on Youth Development

  • Development Vision of the Belgian FA
  • The Competition Structure
  • The National Youth Teams
  • Coach Education School
  • The Topsport Schools
  • Talent Identification
  • Grassroots
  • Club Development

Dutch Vision of Youth Development

  • Individual development and team development.
  • Youth development is a joined responsibility of the Association and the Clubs.
  • The best players play with the best against the best.
  • Talented players have about 6 training sessions and 1 or 2 competitive games per week.
  • Well educated and football experienced coaches for talented players.

Liverpool Practical Training Sessions

  • Playing with your back to goal
  • Beating the press of the opposition
  • Attacking headers
  • General technical play

Coerver Coaching – Masterclass Series

Coerver Coaching – The Killer Pass

Coerver Coaching – Football Legends

Arsenal Academy Training Session (2007)

The Southampton Way (Documentary NBC Sports)

Known as a “selling club” that operates on a relatively modest budget, Southampton FC isn’t a side that should be competing with the heavyweights in England. Yet thanks to an extremely well run youth academy, a passionate fan base and a smart vision that pervades all levels of the club, the Saints continue to thrive despite their underdog status.

In this edition of “PL Download,” Roger Bennett of “Men in Blazers” fame visits the well-run south England club and spends time with coaches, players and executives to find out more about the Southampton Way. Bennett also wrote about the experience for NBC SportsWorld. Here’s what he had to say about the trip to Southampton:

Juventus Football Club: Scouting Plans – (Season 2012/2013)

Talent Identification in Germany

This post is on the DFB’s approach to scouting, talent identification and the six criterion used for this process.  It is effectively their equivalent of the ‘four corner’ model when working with young footballers.


The German FA use a mandatory range of criteria for initial review.  This takes into account that, although a player may fulfil such criteria now, it is by no means a guarantee or predictor of talent for the future.  Other factors such as maturation, social influences and other complex factors will inevitably present themselves over a number of years.  The first task is to identify a broad range of football playing children, those being the most ‘talented’.

Barcelona – Coaching Sessions

Inside the Mind of Mourinho – Tactics and Coaching (Part One) (Part Two) (Part Three)

John McDermott – Head of Coaching and Development at Tottenham Hotspur 

Written notes from a Pomona College talk in Southern California by John McDermott- Rose Hill Theatre- 22/03/2016

Start of Talk

John says to a member of the audience that he is sitting exactly where Harry Kane sits, always at the front, looking him in the eye and ready for questions.

John accepted an invitation from Pomona College because he sees the commonality between an elite school and Tottenham as an elite football team. He also came here to be challenged and never wants to be complacent as a coach.

Seminar outline:

  • How he teaches the players to live in an extremely tough environment- injuries, fluctuation in form, being released and outright failure
  • How he develops the staff and himself- How did he get from an economics degree to coaching Tottenham
  • How do you identify and develop talent- ‘the gold medallist at 16 is not the gold medallist at 24’

Trainer Analysis: Johan Cruijff by Rene Maric

Johan Cruijff is perhaps the single most influential person of football. As a tribute considering his untimely death we dig our trainers analysis out of the archive.

Death is not interested in the art nor for the talents of the people. Otherwise he would have Johan Crujiff not already called the age of 69 years to be. No man had probably had such an impact on the story he football tactics as it was as a player or as a coach. In honor of his death, we republish the trainer portrait, which appeared in December 2015 to our site.

On the way to superstardom in the Netherlands

Even as a player Cruijff was an outstanding actor and even then have been largely responsible for an innovative way of playing. For he was the centerpiece of the “totaal voetbal” the great Ajax team of the 70s and the impressive Dutch team at the 1974 World Cup.