Culture & Leadership

A topic at the heart of PDP content. The culture of our team or club can shape the development of our players.

Leadership is an inherent part of coaching. In this Masterclass Discussion, PDP Co-founder, Dave Wright is joined by father and son coaches, Keith & David Mayer for an in depth discussion on the topic of authenticity and leadership. Keith and David Mayer have just released their second book, The Lone Wolf: A Story About Assumptions, Authenticity & Action. Some of the key concepts from the book underpin this conversation with Keith, David and Dave diving into the following areas: What is authenticity? The coach as…

This paper outlines the connections between three problems which are deeply interlinked, growing in influence, and shaping many aspects of social and cultural life, including football: The overly-competitive and anxiety evoking cultures of modern work & educational settings – shaping football club structures and traditional coaching practice Social and environmental challenges – from structural racism to climate change football is part of these challenges and may offer solutions Deteriorating mental health is on the rise among football players and in wider society – something that…

How do you differentiate between each individual’s learning experience within your group? No single player’s experience is the same. In this article, Reed Maltbie discusses how you can ensure that you understand the needs of every player in your group. “This is easy. Watch me again. This is how you do it.” It was getting more difficult to mask my frustration. I had been trying to teach my 11-year-old son how to do long division for about 45 minutes now, and my patience was wearing…

Dane Coles is arguably one of the world’s best and most dynamic rugby players. In the combative position of hooker, Coles regularly goes head to head with front rowers around the world in both Super Rugby and International Rugby and is a Rugby World Cup Winner. In this article, PDP Editor, Dave Wright spoke to Dane about his player development journey, not specialising too young, the types of coaches he responds to and the value of mental preparation in performance. Dane Coles grew up in a…

In this article rugby coach and researcher, Jonny McMurtry discusses the importance of connection between athlete and coach taking a deep dive into an approach that is needs based and not just athlete-centred. Firstly, I hope this blog post finds you, your family and friends in good health; this is strange times and new territory for us all and I hope we can follow the advice of health professionals and leaders of our countries to “flatten the curve” and keep our communities safe and well,…

The ‘Cupfinalseminaret’ in Norway provided PDP Editor, Dave Wright with an opportunity to gather the opinions of some leading Scandinavian figures. In this fascinating round table discussion on the women’s game, we talk leadership, psychology and coach/player development with Even Pellerud, Katrine Pedersen and Solveig Gulbrandsen.   In November Player Development Project was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the Norwegian Cup Final Seminar in Oslo. It was a destination for coaches from all around Scandinavia to listen to some of the best in…

In this article, resident positive psychology expert Lara Mossman looks at good character through a strengths lens, focussing specifically on two strengths, courage and caution, and looking at how these can be overused or underused in coaching. We often hear calls for good character in our young football players, but what about our coaches? After all, coaches influence their players in a multitude of ways (Lorimer & Jowett, 2014). Viewed positively, they can be great role models for their players and leave a lasting legacy….

Barbara L. Fredrickson The Big Idea Until approximately the beginning of the 21st Century, the field of psychology gave little attention to theories, hypotheses, or building models of the form and function of positive emotions (such as joy, interest, contentment, and love). Instead, most all the previous emotion studies have focused on negative emotions (such as fear, anger, or disgust). The big idea of this paper is that there are inherent differences between negative and positive emotions. Because of these differences, there is little sense in…

PDP Lead Researcher James Vaughan poses the question to coaches: are we competing or are we collaborating? In this article, James discusses the concept of ‘water’ and its implications on an individual’s approach to coaching.   One of the most important questions you can ask as a coach is: Are we competing or are we collaborating? In fact, it’s one of the most important questions you can ask any group of people intending, attempting or pretending to work together. I’ll admit this is a strange statement…

Premature professionalism in youth sport is a growing problem. Environments created to replicate professional sport, ‘elite’ pathways at 8-years-old and coaches removing autonomy from the environment by exerting total control. In this article, PDP Editor, Dave Wright challenges the status quo and asks how we can break the machine that coaching is at risk of becoming. The world of sport is constantly evolving and new technology creeps into all sporting codes. Youth players wear tracking devices and GPS, while data can even now be captured…

Johan Cruyff changed the way football is played forever with Total Football and had a huge impact as a player and coach at Ajax and Barcelona. We’re excited to have founder of TOVO Academy, Todd Beane joining us to discuss the Cruyff Football philosophy and player development. In this Live Webinar Replay, PDP Editor, Dave Wright & PDP Lead Researcher James Vaughan host Todd as they discuss Cruyff philosophy and all things player development. Topics covered in this Masterclass are: Total Football Cruyff Football Philosophy…

PDP Co-Founder and psychology researcher, James Vaughan, explores creativity in footballers with a focus on the coach’s perspective. What does it mean to foster creativity in players? How can we better understand the process of encouraging creative problem solving on the field? Vaughan offers practical insights and solutions to an often abstract topic. Creativity is often described as the use of imagination to invent something. Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson refines this idea by explaining creativity as ‘the process of having original ideas that have value’. The…

What motivates young people to play sport? Why do some players like Zlatan Ibrahimović and Yannick Bolasie play the way they do? In this Masterclass Discussion, Dan Wright sits down with PDP Lead Researcher James Vaughan to discuss some of the complexities of player motivation. James has been studying motivation in football and shares some of his research to help football coaches working in the the youth development space. Big topics like Self Determination Theory, intrinsic motivation and social-cultural influences are discussed. Image Source: Pexels

Coaching youth sport is complex, challenging and rewarding. In this Masterclass Discussion we speak to Founder of Changing the Game Project and youth coaching expert, John O’Sullivan. PDP Editor, Dave Wright hosts John for an in depth discussion which dives into a range of topics including women’s football, John’s work in the youth coaching space, specialisation, organisational culture and creating learning environments for young people. John is a leader in driving change in youth sport, a long time PDP contributor and has some fantastic ideas…

The question this week comes from Steve via Twitter. “We are planning for next season and wondering whether coaches should stay with their team through the age groups, or is there a benefit in a new coach each season?” Your Turn: Ask PDP Anything Do you have a coaching question that we might be able to help with? We would love to hear from you. Here’s what you can do: Join the conversation on our PDP Slack Community. Post them in the comments section, tweet them to…

How do you create a successful sports club? In this article, Ruth Nicholson shares some excellent insights into how sports clubs can create a successful environment and positive culture on and off the field. You have worked hard to build your club – but what are the three simple secrets to making it even better? Learn the three critical elements that make or break an organization’s success on and off the field. The three secrets to a successful club live within the balance and partnership…

In this Masterclass Discussion, PDP Editor Dave Wright is joined by Reed Maltbie for a fascinating and wide ranging conversation on youth development. Reed is a TEDx Speaker, has a Masters in Sports Psychology & Early Childhood Education and is founder of Coaches Realm & Raising Excellence. In this conversation, Reed shares some excellent insights into the challenges of organisational culture and how program leaders can make change, the importance of parent education and how coaches can build stronger relationships with parents. Plus, Reed and…

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