How to handle the long dark summer without football? A homemade scouting course

So that’s that. As the season ends all we have to look forward to is the long dark summer ahead without football.

An early pre-season helps, but it’s there to be faced. An entire six weeks of insect bites and “enjoying the sunshine”. A football obsession, combined with ginger hair and type one skin, makes all this an unhappy thought.

How to fill the next 100 days?

To be serious for a second, it’s probably a good thing. As winter gave way to spring last season I was aware I was operating at the edge of what I could manage.

As the fixture list ensured a Saturday-Tuesday schedule from February to the end of April, I met deadlines but I was cutting corners.

It left no time for recuperating. No time to re-learn things, or to work on areas I’m not as strong at. There were (significant) gaps in my knowledge I had no time to fill.

So the idea of 100 days of no football got me thinking.

Why not set about relearning everything?

Devise a study curriculum, broken down into sections, using materials available online. In effect creating my own homemade scouting course. A kind of coaching badge for someone who has no idea what one of those might look like.

So what have I used?

  • My notes from the IPSO courses I’ve taken.
  • Tactical analysis videos.
  • In-depth articles.
  • Clips put together by people far more skilled than I, and gracious in their willingness to share.

Maybe there’s a use for summer after all.

Here’s what I’ve done

I’ve built the “course” on Obsidian, broken down into the areas of the game you’d expect.

  • Attacking
  • Defending
  • Transition
  • Set pieces
  • Players specific notes

This follows the basic structure of the opposition reports I create.

I’ve added some extras as well. The “theory” if you like.

Deeper dives into concepts I hadn’t encountered before, as well as those things that didn’t make any sense a year ago but do now.

The basics of a homemade scouting course: Each link goes through to more detailed notes with clips, articles and videos

Once you start looking there’s an endless supply of all of this online, of varying quality. So it pays to be picky. But I have, I think, the main areas covered.

(If you’re interested in what’s included, or where I’ve found clips and articles so you can create your own homemade scouting course, get in touch.)

What will (hopefully) come of this?

The plan is to be able to write better reports – more detailed and effective – in time for the start of the season.

And maybe put them together in less time. So I can allow more time for this type of study time between games, even if the fixture list starts to fill up. 

We’ll see how this all goes. I’ll be leaning heavily on the Canadian Premier League just in case.

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