We live in a virtual world that was forced upon us by the pandemic, but the experience has opened up our horizons. Up until the pandemic, it was believed that few tasks could be completed remotely. As many people suddenly learned how to perform jobs online, there became a sense of convenience surrounding the remote sphere. Parents could seamlessly shift from work to home life.
The challenge of getting kids out the door in the morning to catch the school bus diminished. We will not underestimate the gravity of the impacts caused by COVID-19 but can say that some parts of lockdown were refreshing. Spending more time with the family and reducing those pesky commutes was nice. Now that we’ve lived in a world where things have been accessible remotely, it will be challenging to adjust back to a lifestyle of rushed commutes and busy evenings.
Thus, more and more once in-person activities are moving to virtual domains. A prime example of this phenomenon is soccer coaching.
Soccer, also known as football, is rising in international popularity. In-person soccer games will never go away, thankfully. Thus, team practices will continue. However, when you think about soccer practice, what comes to mind? Probably lots of team drills, the keyword there being “team”.Team practices are used to build cohesiveness and strategy amongst the players but lack tailored skill-building. Team sports can make it challenging for young children to learn soccer skills. Even the best soccer coach can’t provide individualized soccer skills training without additional time outside of practice. There’s nothing wrong with one-on-one coaching outside of practice, but it does take time, and we live in a world where time flies, and there’s never enough of it. Thankfully, there is a solution to help your child learn soccer skills and save yourself from an additional day of rushing around — Online coaching.
How to Coach Kids Soccer Virtually
Parents provide their children with a great deal of knowledge, but that doesn’t mean they know how to teach kids soccer skills in between practices. Online coaching is convenient, and it’s the new trend in sport’s training. The flexibility and personalization are ideal for busy parents who struggle just to pull everyone together for a family dinner. Also, it’s a great way for kids to improve their soccer [football] skills at home so that they can focus on team cohesiveness and strategy building during those team practices. Alternatively, if your child is attempting to try out for travel soccer or a school team, then online coaching can help prepare them and give them the best shot at success for that tryout.
One of the latest technologies in soccer training is Playform, an application that is geared towards helping young players learn soccer skills by using advanced technologies. The app collects hundreds of data points through artificial intelligence and computer vision to rate the child’s skills. Additionally, the app provides tailored drills and workout routines to develop areas of deficit better. This whole process can sound a bit science-fiction and intimidating, especially when the idea of one-on-one in-person coaches has been the norm forever. However, online coaching provides an alternative solution, and there are multiple benefits associated with online coaching that children can’t get with in-person coaching.
Is Online Coaching the Best Soccer Coach?
The biggest benefit, and the one that parents should be the most thrilled about, is the time-saver. Nothing is more frustrating than driving through rush hour traffic knowing your child will likely be late to that 5:15 pm soccer practice. Why do they hold the practices so close to the time work lets out? The flexibility of online coaching itself is a reason to give it a try. If you’ve left the office a bit too late, or hit unexpected traffic, your child can learn how to play soccer [football] through the online coaching without you, taking the time pressure away. All that they need is a ball and some space to practice.
Moreover, you’re not married to a set schedule like in-person coaching. Some weeks your child’s practice can be on Mondays; the next week, they can be on Thursdays or even Saturdays if that works better. With an app, anytime, anywhere can be a soccer training session. Also, life happens. Sometimes, even with our best intentions, we can’t make it to an obligation. With an online coaching platform, it’s easy to switch around the day and time, and you don’t have to feel guilty about canceling at the last minute on a person.
Another fabulous perk is the tailored feedback, drills, and workouts. Personalized training from one coach is great, but how about personalized training from over a dozen? Over a dozen expert coaches collaborated in the development of Playform, ensuring that all of their unique coaching styles and tips are integrated into a single digital coaching platform. Platform encompasses smart AI technology to help your child learn how to play soccer [football] without needing a real coach. Hiring over a dozen coaches to work with your child one-on-one is unrealistic due to the cost, and it would probably overwhelm your child to take direction from so many different people. The conversations about what drills work best for what area of weakness has already been hashed out by the coaches, so all your child has to do is follow the simple, streamlined guidance provided by the app.
With all of these benefits of online soccer training, we are not blind to the downsides. Everything comes at a price, right? The biggest critique of online coaching is that it can be a motivational deterrent. Showing up to a personal training session has a built-in sense of accountability. You don’t want to no-show the person who’s waiting for you, and that appointment has been on your calendar for weeks now.
Even with that sense of obligation to keep the appointment breathing down your neck, sometimes getting kids there can take more effort than canceling, but then the guilt seeps in. The flexibility of online coaching is great for eliminating that guilt associated with canceling, but it can be challenging to motivate kids to use the app.
Thus, Playform has embedded a series of motivational tactics to make the app more engaging and entice children’s interest. To tap into the competitive nature that seems to be instilled in many young athletes, the app allows for shared team member stats so that your child can see how they’re ranking in terms of time committed compared to their teammates.
Some skills stats are also shared through this ranking board, which can be a motivator for children to work on mastering those challenging skills. In addition to the shared team stats, the app also includes drills and workout regimens in the form of games; who doesn’t love games? While the app attempts to motivate children through those features, the child will still need to have some interest to pick up and use the app. Parents have the ability to check in on their child’s stats to see how much time they’ve logged into practicing and their skill improvement progression. It may be helpful to think of training time as a scheduled appointment to hold the child accountable for training. Oftentimes beginning the training session is the most challenging part because, after that, it becomes fun.
Playform was developed to combat many of the issues that young soccer [football] players face in terms of accessibility to one-on-one coaching. We believe in the cliché that practice makes perfect, but practice should be intentional to enhance skills rather than stagnant. To enhance those skills, a tailored approach is the best solution. Refining their skills with engaging drills developed by the experts will set the stage for success. Whether they want to pursue soccer beyond childhood or if it’s just a fun temporary hobby, we owe it to our youth to give them the best opportunity at success.