March 24, 2022

Off-Season Talks – What the Tech is Going On?

Off-Season Talks – What the Tech is Going On?

In Episode 74, our second off-season talk between Seasons 5 & 6, Paul talks about the developments in technology surrounding the game of soccer, how we can protect against its downside, and harness it for good and our development. Paul also...

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In Episode 74, our second off-season talk between Seasons 5 & 6, Paul talks about the developments in technology surrounding the game of soccer, how we can protect against its downside, and harness it for good and our development. Paul also reminds us about the time-tested, best-practice way to develop our personal skills. As we work to understand and harness technology for good, we strive to be part of a movement that encourages a lifelong love for the game, leadership and character development, and human flourishing.

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[00:00:00] Hello everybody and welcome to how soccer explains leadership. Today I'm your host, Paul Jobson. We are coming to you right now at the end of season five, and we are doing our off season talks. Phil and I are splitting up some of the responsibilities, hoping to take a little bit of a load off the guy who is absolutely crushing it.

I think at least with these podcasts, if you haven't had an opportunity, just encourage you to go back to season five, again, just an incredible season that we were able to put together for you guys and hopefully you've enjoyed it. If you have, please share that with your friends and coworkers anybody you think might also benefit from what we're doing here on how soccer explains.

This week in our off season talk, I want to talk about soccer technology. I've had a lot of meetings lately that have been around the technology industry as it pertains to training players or preparing coaches. Running leads anything tech and I did a quick search with my best friend, Google.

And you type in Google, if you [00:01:00] Google search soccer tech, you're going to come up with over 485 million hits in the, in the phrase soccer tech. And that can be anything. It could be articles about soccer tech. It could be soccer tech companies give the articles in the news. Famous people who are doing it.

People, you know, a lot of different things, but 485 million hits for the phrase soccer tech. The soccer technology industry is valued at $17.9 billion in 2021. It's projected by 2026 to be a 40.2 billion with a B $40.2 billion industry, which to me is absolutely mind-blowing. We see the growth in tech, in everything that we do from our phones.

I'm recording this from my iPad. I've got these cool things in my ears. Everything is good. And you're kind of at a point in your life now where you can't live with it and you can't live without it. So how do we navigate tech as it pertains to soccer? Now you've got [00:02:00] every opportunity here as I'm talking to clubs and players and coaches.

You've got everything tech here. So let's start with this. So you can record from your phone quality video from your iPhone, your iPad. Schools, colleges, even clubs are using portable recording. The things like Veo or video to record high quality video of matches. There's even video cameras that you can put something on a specific person and that camera will follow that person specifically on the field.

Yeah, we can record video. We can track people in videos. We can do a match analysis. We can do individual analysis. There are companies, tech companies that'll cut the film for you. There is Predictive video analysis. Now, the predicting what players might do over a series of events, the AI is taking off and everything is the next thing is predictive.

So what does it, what would a player do? What are players tendencies now that's great for yourself as a coach or a club or a team to know [00:03:00] what your players do, but also from a scouting perspective, how are we using video from a scouting perspective, performance individually? Performance man, the wearable devices are absolutely crazy.

At this point, you can track everything from a GPS, you know, how you can how fast you're running, how slow you're running for some of us, a VO, two max change of speed, change of direction. There's even devices that can track. Which foot are you using the most? Which way do you turn? Do you turn most to the left?

You turn. To the right and even cooler. Some of these performance devices are interacting and connecting with these video devices. So you go into you upload your performance and your wearable device technology into your video. And it shows, you know, like you see on ESPN or Fox video analysis, you see the yellow lines that go behind the player.

You can slow them down. You can zoom in and zoom out. You can track a heat maps on the fields based on this wearable for performance technology. And you're seeing it [00:04:00] everywhere. Mental training apps physical training apps, technical training apps. You can do an entire soccer session in your living room in front of your television, there's that yellow ball that we keep seeing that you can juggle back and forth and the app tracks your touches or whatever it does for the kids in their homes.

So tech is everywhere. But for me, I think in this moment, like how do we navigate that? How do we navigate that as players? How do we navigate it as coaches? How do we navigate it as clubs as teams, as universities, how do we navigate all this information that's out there? Well, for me, when this all started, I'm a numbers guy.

I love seeing numbers. You know, maybe it's because I have an accounting degree. I don't know. I like numbers. The problem is I like numbers. But it doesn't mean I can always put it together what the numbers actually mean. So information overload was huge for me at the beginning of all of this, we had, we were one of the first teams, I think, using the catapult system.

And it tracks more things than you would ever want to know. The benefit [00:05:00] I had is that we had our human performance team that actually was able to analyze that and give me dumbed down reports. Yes, they were very much dumbed down reports so that I could analyze, and we can work together to figure out what was going to be best for our players.

Now, what I found was that a lot of this information really just affirmed what we thought with the eye test, you know, when it came to fatigue or it came down to, you know, how, how, how much our players playing or running you know, protecting from overuse injuries. But this tech and his dad was very, very useful, even if, just to confirm what you already know as a coach, as an experienced coach, you're going to know a lot of these things, because you know, your players, you have conversations with your players, but the data can be overwhelming. I remember the first time we looked at some of the numbers, I'm like, man, I, I don't even know that we really need 80% of the information that's coming through the pipeline here.

So they were great at putting together charts and graphs and things so that I didn't get [00:06:00]overwhelmed. But along with all this technology is we're looking now at a whole nother industry of people who are tracking, who are professionals and putting these numbers together to figure out what really is most important for people to know.

What's the most important thing for the club to know professionally, if they're looking to recruit a player or bring a player in in the professional ranks, what's the data on those players at the college ranks, are you tracking your own players? If you're looking at an opponent how are you tracking their players?

What are their tendencies. But as a personal player, what is the tech that's going to be important for me as a personal player? Well, listen, there's nothing better than just getting outside and play, get out and play. You don't need tech to get outside and play. I think sometimes the only type of tech that you need to get out and play is if you're with your buddies and you're outside.

Hey, bring your radio, use your blue Bluetooth and play some music. Okay. But get out, get a ball, put on your shoes. And play. All right. You don't need tech to do that. You don't really even need a video of that. All right. Just play. That is your best tool [00:07:00] in developing your skill is to get out and play. Get touches on the ball, play the game, have fun with it.

All right. But train hard. And remember when you're training the work isn't just going out and doing all the things you love to do. The things that you're good at, right? You do the things that you're good at. All right. So those are the things you're going to train. Great. Continue to get better. Hone those skills always get better, but don't forget to work on the things you're not great at.

All right. That things you hate doing and training are probably the things you're not good at And that's why you don't like it. It's because you're not having a ton of success. Use those failures to motivate you and push you to continue to work on the things that you're not good at. Now for tech, if you need to put a reminder in your phone to remind you to work on those things, like maybe it's your first touch.

Maybe it's bringing balls out of the air, whatever it is. Maybe your tech usage is to remind yourself to do those things is you don't really like to do and hold yourself accountable. now on the personal side of things, when it comes to tech, there's some great training apps out there. It is something that helps you hold yourself

[00:08:00] accountable. Is when you know, you've got, you're accountable to an app, you're accountable to somebody else on the other side of that app that, that you've got to do something, right. You're somebody who's going to know whether you've done it or not. Some issues that we have in the off season there in the summers, as college coaches, you can't follow up with your players as to what they're doing.

There's no accountability from the coaches to the players until they return. Some of these apps can really help you stay motivated. They can help you stay accountable. So I think maybe there's some uses there as coaches. How do we navigate? As I was saying earlier about our program, you know, I could get caught up in numbers all day long.

But what are the things that we can, we can use? I think videos are great. All right, a company that'll come in and take your games and, and cut up your video that can analyze individual touches. That's great for personal player, individual players as well within your team. Is there a technology that you can use that can help you attain your final goals and I'll stop there for a second to backtrack.

I think at the very beginning of this, you've got to figure out what are [00:09:00] you trying to do? Are you just grabbing onto new tech because it's the newest, latest and greatest thing. And you want to say that you're using it. Listen, anybody you'll take your. If you're interested in it and just telling somebody you've got the latest and greatest app, you want to pay some money, call me, I'll take your money.

I'll give you a certificate that tells you that you're using the latest and greatest app. You can share it with everybody and we're both happy you giving me some money. You can tell everybody using the, using the latest app. All right. I'm absolutely kidding, obviously, but don't just grab an app or don't just grab the latest tech because it's the latest tech I would tell you if that's your thing and you're looking for something, use it. Talk to people who have used it, see what they really think of it. There's a lot of bad tech out there. All right. There's a lot of, they're not scams, but there's some things that, you know, they're not really useful. You waste more time using them. Then you could just doing it normally to attain some of your goals.

So what are you trying to attain? All right. As a coach, do you need to analyze an easier way to analyze film? You need an easier way to break down film. You need an easier way to capture film. Do you need to, to [00:10:00] take do you need heart rate monitors to monitor your, your players and their health?

What are you trying to obtain? And then go down that route, figure out the best tech and that talk to leaders in the industry. Talk to coaches who have used things you could say. Yeah, that's great. Or it's not. Another caveat. If a coach is promoting or has a deal with a tech company, they're going to tell you it's the greatest thing they've ever used.

They're getting paid to do that. So be careful who you're asking also. Get legitimate people who are using tech, who have used the tech that you want to use, get their advice, get their opinions, read blogs online, and figure out if that tech is going to get you where you want to go as a player, coach, or club.

Now, a lot of clubs now there's so much tech out there. I remember coming up leading young clubs 20, 30 years ago. And there are only a few companies out there. There are, there were starting to push into the club registration systems. There are only a few that did it. And a buddy of mine actually started one [00:11:00] sold it's it's blown up now at this point, but now there's millions, you know, I'm using one for

Our warrior way registration and there's a thousand other companies. I get phone calls at least twice a month from different companies that are doing player registration. Now in tech, you can do player registration that tracks, everything you can put in, team chat in there, you can do managers have a link to talk to their teams.

You can schedule your team photos. You've got all your team travel in there. You've got, you could pay your dues online. You can order the latest t-shirt at, or hat or whatever it is you want to do. And these apps. All right. And, and in these, these forms, but I'll also say with that as a club. Make sure you're doing your research.

Talk to clubs that are using these resources, make sure it's benefiting them the way that the people that are selling it to you say that it's useful. So at the end of the day, I know for me, I can get really, really overwhelmed with the amount of tech that's out there. And I will always want it as a coach to make sure that I was doing the right things by my players. That I was giving them

the [00:12:00] best tools to be successful, but I had to catch myself at times realizing that sometimes I was overwhelming my staff or overwhelming my team with too much information. Too much information. All right. Information overload can really put players in a box. I can put the clamps on them. It can really hold them down.

They can keep them from going. So that's another piece of this. You have to know your players as well. I had players, they wanted the information, you know, they'd come in on a weekly basis in our weekly meetings. And we talk about the tech. We talk about the information. We talk about the data.

All right. What they were seeing, what I was seeing, what the data was telling us. And you got others. They wanted nothing to do with it. I've had coaches who wanted nothing to do with data. Let's just get out and play. Maybe that's another talk for another time is how you build a team, Some people want the data, some don't and that makes a great team.

But we'll talk about that maybe in another episode. So I just wanted to talk a bit about tech. There's so much out there. I'd love to hear some of the tech that you're using. Join us on the Facebook group on how soccer explains leadership. I want to hear the tech that you're using, whether [00:13:00] you're a player, a coach, or you're a club or a college or university, what tech is the most important for you to use?

Can you respond there? On the Facebook group of what tech are you using? What do you feel is the most important tech that you're using as a player, a coach club, or a team or an, or an organization? What has been the most critical, most important thing? Let's start sharing things maybe in that area that can benefit our other listeners.

Cause we can be very much overwhelmed with tech. So I hope this has been beneficial for you. I hope it's been informative if it has shared with us. A few ways that you can get in touch with us, obviously, is his email. You can email me at

Make sure you're checking in on Phil as he's doing. Uh, Coaching the bigger game. It's a great program that he and Christian are putting together. I'd love for you guys to check that out, let us know what you think of it. And then Marci and myself with What we're doing here in our local community with local soccer here also our nonprofit warrior way gives and [00:14:00]then a warrior way consulting where we are working with players, coaches, and clubs across the country and and across the world. Anyway, we hope you're having an amazing day. Hopefully this has been beneficial to you and we hope to see you next time on how soccer explains leadership.