What is a Coaches’ Boot Room?
Liverpool’s no. 7 Kenny Dalglish @ Anfield
Boot Room circa 1985
“The Liverpool Boot Room was a room at Anfield, home of Liverpool F.C., during the 1960s to the early 1990s where the coaching staff would sit, drink whisky and discuss the team, tactics and ways of defeating the next opposing side.”
It was a room full of soccer boots! And Guinness. Crates of the stuff.
Born at iconic club Liverpool F.C., Boot Rooms have become staples for many a club but now they look more formal and are regularly adorned with white boards, HD screens and the latest in gadgets to analyze data from the previous matches. However, the clubs that get the atmosphere and culture right within their coaches’ rooms, are the ones that know how beneficial robust debate between the staff can benefit the planning for future victories on the pitch. I also suspect a few whiskies and a sleeve of Guinness are still present after long days on the pitch…
A Canadian Angle
Canadian National team: Road to 2014 World Cup
While Canada isn’t technically a club and all the potential participants don’t work in the same Provinces or cities, at Play Better the thought was how regular informal discussions amongst coaches could begin to support player development in our country. The goal was simple, could groups of coaches begin to connect, educate one another, spur vigorous debate and discussion, then take that back to their teams and clubs hopefully positively impacting the players.
Coaches’ Boot Rooms: Enhance player development through coach education.
Now in ten cities across Canada, Play Better Coaches’ Boot Rooms are slowly fulfilling the vision by following the legendary managers of the past. Connect over a drink, unite our grassroots coaches around best practices in youth player development, and leave having inspired others with your knowledge or having been educated on something new you might try in your training.
How To Get Involved
Boot Rooms are open to any level of coach and don’t cost anything to attend. While robust discussion is promoted the gatherings remain a safe place for any coach to come and speak at. Politics and competition is left at the door upon entry and the focus is on how all those involved in Canadian soccer can begin to better prepare the players of the future.
You can find a Play Better Coaches’ Boot Room in your area or reach out if you’d like to start a chapter. Grab more information here and please share it with your club or other coaches you may work with.
Connect with the Boot Room community online:
Experts Supporting Coach Development
Vancouver Coaches’ Boot Room:
Martin Rennie – Previous Whitecaps head coach
Paul Ritchie – Former Man City Player & Assistant Whitecaps coach
Across the country some of today’s top managers and experts have made time to lead discussions at their local Boot Room. Topics vary between how to run a defending session to game model discussions and how to set up your yearly calendar. From culture talks to the benefits and integration of futsal, stretching our thinking is at the heart of the philosophy.
Reserve a Spot. Tell a Friend.
- Better coaches.
- Better players.
- Better clubs.
- Better national teams.
Today, consider yourself invited. You don’t need another excuse or another reminder. Simply register for the next one in your area, tell your friends and share across the land. Throughout the ten current cities each chapter is lead by amazing people, all of whom have volunteered their time because they believe in this. Take the time to support and give them a hand.
Connect Unite Learn
Yours in soccer,
The Play Better Coaches’ Boot Room Team
Willie and Greg
Vancouver Coaches: former Whitecaps captain and Watford FC legend, Jay DeMerit, is coming to talk about a Coach’s’ impact. Jay discusses the promotion year at Watford and goes into an indepth look at the way the coach/player roundtable worked. Amazing insight into a top level club working together for a common goal. RSVP here.
Edmonton Coaches: FC Edmonton’s Nik Ledgerwood and Jeff Paulus, also our fearless leader and the Eddies academy director, are leading a discussion around differences in Canada to Germany plus a game model workshop. This one is going to be awesome. Get registered. RSVP here.
Who is Will Cromack? A passionate UEFA B licensed soccer candidate and founder of the next generation philanthropic program, Play Better. Will mixes his curiosity, business experience and love for soccer to support coaches, players and parents gain the most from their sport enrollment. A TEDx speaker Guinness Record holder, founder of the Coaches’ Boot Rooms, an author…but mostly a guy that loves being on the field learning from and teaching young athletes the game of soccer. You can reach Will on twitter where he is often discussing the nuances of the beautiful game and how sport can teach so much more to our kids.