Check out the video below to hear all about the plans & goals for The Hockey Site in 2022… Or read about it below 😉
Today we’ll talk about our plans & goals for 2022. Our “why” has not changed. Sharing the knowledge remains the reason why we do all of this. We love the quote from Robert Boyce: “Knowledge is power. Knowledge shared is power multiplied.” So for 2022 our main goal remains our favourite hashtag: #sharetheknowledge.
To continue with the golden circle as described by Simon Sinek… next we determined our How. Firstly we focus on the coach. Lots of websites or social media address the players or the officials of our game. We, we focus on the coach. Secondly all we do, we do online only. We want a low threshold for coaches from all over the world. So you don’t need to travel or stay in hotels for our talks & conferences. Internet access is all they need. Thirdly… and for the same reason of the low threshold we do a lot for free. Not all obviously, but if you can join our coach chats live they will be free most of the time.
That brings us to the outer circle from Sinek. The What. So what do we do? We do coach chats, our 1 hour interactive webinars with top experts from around the world. Coach clips on the other hand, are short video clips filled with coaching knowhow. Our coach conferences bring networking opportunities and lots of coaching knowledge together in 1 day. Next we have our coach courses for you to take in some knowledge at your own pace. Or design your own coach course and sell it through our platform for some extra income. A new one we aim to launch in 2022 is our coach connect. More about this one later. And finally the coach catalog is our shared knowledge library.
Let’s talk some more about all of these starting with our coach chats…
The Hockey Site in 2022
As of today we’re starting a weekly webinar – every Friday at noon London time or GMT if you will – that is 8am in Buenos Aires Argentina, 1pm all over Europe, 5:30pm for India and 8pm in Perth, Australia – every Friday we will be doing a new live webinar. Or as we call them coach chats. Because that is exactly what they are. I invite a guest coach, usually top experts with international experience, to talk about a specific topic. Either a technical, a tactical, a physical or a mental coaching topic. He or she shares their insights and knowledge on the topic in 20 to 30 minutes or so. Equally important though is we also allow for some 20-30 minutes to do an open Q&A. So you can ask your own questions directly to our guest coach. So make sure you can join us live. Because we want to have interactive talks and a real exchange of ideas.
Every other week though we instead focus on designing a practice session together. These specific chats are co-hosted by either Tsoanelo Pholo from South Africa or one of the coaches from the Sport101 academy from the UK. We pick a specific topic for our training and start building a 90 minute practice session from warm up to cool down. Every component of the session will be explained, discussed and shown some possible variations to adapt to teams of different levels and ages. These also are meant to be interactive sessions where we hope you speak up, ask questions and offer alternatives. All drills or SSG used will be added to our coach catalog for future reference. The full practice plan can be downloaded as a pdf and will be available for immediate use within XPS, our software partner.
Next up are our coach clips. We understand not all are keen on 1 hour webinars and prefer short and snappy. For them we set up our coach clips. In these we edit our coach chats into multiple short video clips. Between 30 seconds or max a couple of minutes in length. Most of these will be members only content but we will strive to have at least one or two clips from each coach chat available for free as well. Both on our website as on our YouTube channel or through social media. Since we have already over 400 clips in the database from coaches like Shane McLeod, Ric Charlesworth, Carlos Retegui,… you can easily search for the ones you need by coach or topic.
Let’s talk coach conferences. It’s the way our platform got started in December 2017. To be honest I’m not entirely sure yet how this will continue. That’s why I label it a WIP, a work in progress. But let me explain what the intentions are for 2022. We want to start a series of 4 coach conferences every year alternating 4 major themes for coaches. On Ball is all about what you do or should do when in possession of the ball. From build up over circle entries to finishing on goal. The Lost Ball theme is about the transition phase when your team just lost possession. How to reposition, block passing lines, press in those precious seconds of transition. Third is the Off Ball theme about when your team is not in possession and what you could or should do to regain possession without conceding that goal. The fourth and last theme is once again about the transition phase. Won Ball is about these important seconds of switching gears when your team regains possession. Within these 4 themes every conference will feature 4 workshops or interactive webinars. Each with one specific focus related to the overall theme: 1 technical, 1 tactical, 1 physical and 1 mental workshop. Before, after and in between workshops the virtual lounge will be open all day for networking with your fellow coaches from around the world. These conferences will be free for our members and if you’re not a member you can get access for a small one-time entry fee. So that’s the idea… We’ll make it work as soon as possible but like I said before, at this time we have not yet fixed any final dates for these.
Coach courses are next. Also one of the components of our platform that still is a Work In Progress. We do have several shorter courses already available, but we want to grow this section significantly over the next two to three years. The idea here has always been we want this to become a possible source of income for those coaches out there who have invested the time to set up their own course on a specific topic. Sell these through our platform and set up another independent source of income from these. Reach out to me if you think this is for you.
But the main idea is to offer several courses, always about a specific topic. We will not set up the kind of courses national associations and organisations like FIH Academy offer where they take a coach from a beginner’s level to the level of international expert. That’s not going to be us. We will only do courses about a very specific topic and go deep. Also we’ll never have courses with a specific starting date or end date. You start any course when it suits you. Go through it at your own pace. If it’s just a couple of hours worth of content and you want to do it all in 1 day? Great! You want to do it over 3 months time? Also great! You decide your own pace. Plus we want you to be able to check in from anywhere in the world. No need to attend an event or travel to a specific place to join in. If you’ve got internet, you’ve got access. Based upon the set up of the course and test at the end of it you can get a certificate of attendance or a certificate of completion to add to your resumé.
Coach Connect is a new one and not yet operational. But I’m hoping to get this up & running in 2022. The idea for coach connect is… well… to connect coaches to each other, to players, to clubs. If we have learned anything from the global pandemic we had to endure since 2020, it’s remote work is a valid possibility for more tasks and jobs we would have imagined before. Thankfully there is still a lot that needs good old fashioned human face to face cooperation. But we understand better a lot can be done remotely as well. This opens up opportunities for coaches. To assist other coaches as a remote assistant, to help players as a remote coach or offer your services to clubs or organisations as a remote technical director even. Or call in the help from a remote expert for your own team or club of course. Get yourself a mentor coach or participate in MasterMind peer-to-peer coaching. We’ll get back to this later this year… But again, if you already have an urgent need or want to cooperate on getting this up & running, reach out to me…
Last but not least, let’s talk about our coach catalog. In our catalog on our website you wil get access to two of our “libraries”. One is the drill library where we collect drills and small sided games that are the components of our practice sessions. With these you can start building your practice plans. From our website you can see most of our collected content and consult it. The second library you’ll see there is our document library where we store all useful coaching content we come across and want to read or use or share later on. It is our knowledge database for all coaching content that is not a drill or SSG. It is our goal to grow our coach catalog substantially in 2022. As you will see if you check out our coach catalog it’s powered by XPS, our software partner. So without making this into a sales pitch for XPS let me explain why we partnered with them…
Why we partner with XPS
Power your coaching philosophy with XPS is their slogan. And it captures a very important point: it will always be YOUR coaching philosophy. Neither XPS , nor we at The Hockey Site have the ambition, or the arrogance if you will, to tell you coaches how you should do your job. At The Hockey Site we want to share knowledge and insights from some of the best coaches out there for you to take in, adapt or ignore. We will never claim this or that way is the only right way for doing things. We will just share insights and knowledge from some for you to take on board or not. XPS has the same philosophy… it does not come with a filled database of drills and practice plans telling you this is the way to do your job. It starts with an empty canvas so you can use it to capture, structure, share and analyze your own coaching philosophy. XPS is a tool to use, not a guru to follow. That being said the stuff we collect over time will be available within XPS if you do not prefer to start from a blank canvas.
XPS, in my belief, is the most comprehensive coaching software out there. So flexible it can be used by coaching for individual athletes but you’ll notice immediately it was built by and for coaches in team sports. So flexible it is used by organisations at the very top of professionalism, think NBA or national teams in football or handball. But it can also be implemented by a single coach for an ambitious youth team. They offer different licenses, but basically you have plans for individual coaches, teams and clubs, academies or organisations with multiple teams.
At the core of XPS you’ve got several databases to store all of your know how. A database for all the components you would use to build your team practice sessions with. Another one with all the exercises you would use for individual workouts in strength & conditioning. A test library with the set up of all tests you would use for your athletes, from basic sprint tests to complex readiness tests or acute:chronic workloads. An information database for you to collect and store all relevant data on your athletes other than measurable data from training or games. And a document database to collect all know how you come across that does not fit one of the other categories, so you can find it easily later on or share it with selected others. In the interactive calendar within XPS you easily plan all of your practices, drag & drop all drills straight in, follow up on attendance, plan individual workouts, games and other relevant team events. Your athletes will see all relevant info for them in the XPS app on their mobile phone. Practice planning or specific game footage shared with them or a custom made questionnaire capturing their feedback and data such as training load for you. You know how training is where you spend most of your time, both you as a coach as well as your athletes… You will finally have the right tool to not only plan these efforts but also make sure they get analysed and adapted for the best possible outcome…
At The Hockey Site we capture all we come across in our XPS databases and share some of it in our coach catalog on the website. The coach catalog shows parts of 2 of our databases within XPS: drills and documents. So even if you’re not using XPS yourself yet you can still see most of it there.
Though if you become an XPS member at The Hockey Site you will see all of our knowledge stored in XPS and have it ready for use in your day to day coaching. Including all practice plans we design together in our coach chats. Ah well… I promised not to turn this into a sales pitch for XPS, so let me stop here. But if you want to know more, again just reach out to me…
Let me finish up by reiterating the ways for you to make use of The Hockey Site.
So we distinguish between Free, regular members and XPS members. The goal remains to encourage as much active participation from coaches all over the world. Therefore for almost all of our coach chats the rule is simple. Join us live and it will be free, no strings attached. Though we sincerely hope you’re not a silent lurker but will also speak up, ask questions and engage to help share the knowledge. Some of our on demand content will also remain free for all. But for most of this we will ask you to join us and subscribe to our 99 euro per year membership or the 10 euro per month membership. You’ll have access to past, present and future coach chats on demand, all of our coach clips, members get free entry to our coach conferences, etc… Plus you are helping us to share the knowledge..l. The XPS members finally get their own XPS license on top of this, with access to all of our content in the XPS app for sharing and use in building their own documented coaching philosophy.
That’s it for today. We hope your 2022 started in the best possible way and even though the global pandemic is still playing tricks on our beloved hockey, we hope it too will be allowed to flourish once more both at the domestic and recreational level and at the international top. If you have any questions, suggestions or remarks… do not hesitate to reach out. As you can see I’m from the email generation. Meaning I’m not always the fastest to reply through social media DM’s. However shoot me an email and I will get back to you soon. Feedback is essential for us all to get better. So bring it on… and see you next Friday !