Academy Affiliate Webinars Recap

Throughout the past few months, Sporting Kansas City has been able to provide virtual education opportunities for our Academy Affiliate coaches through a series of webinars that ranged in a variety of topics. Leading the presentations included members of our SKC Youth Soccer Department, SKC Academy Coaching Staff and SKC first team technical staff. Content included behind-the-scenes looks at the First Team and Academy as well as practical material designed for coaches to be able to take back to their own training environments. Find a quick recap of each webinar below.


April 30 – Integrating the GK in Your Training Session Using Game Principles
Darrin MacLeod, (Academy Goalkeeper Coach) gave a detailed presentation on how the SKC Academy builds the framework for their goalkeeper training sessions and curriculum. Darrin also outlined the structure and pathway designed for goalkeepers who progress through the Academy from our Centers of Excellence to the SKC first team. Attendees were able to learn about different specialized goalkeeper training exercises as well as how to integrate goalkeepers into training sessions that may be typically designed for field players.


May 1 – Sporting KC Tactical Analysis & Preparation for the Opposition: San Jose (2018)
Ash Wallace, (Tactical Analyst) gave attendees an exclusive behind the scenes presentation on how the SKC Technical Staff scouts the upcoming opposition and how the team prepares throughout the week of training leading up to match day. Ash was able to provide video analysis of previous games the opposition played as well as the SKC training sessions to support the areas of focus on how the team approached their plan of action for the match. The presentation was based on a match from the 2018 season where Sporting KC executed their game plan efficiently in a 5-1 win over San Jose Earthquakes.


May 29 – Game Analysis to Enhance Player & Team Development
Luis Pacheco, (Academy Coach U13) Rumbani Munthali, (Academy Coach U17 & U19) and Nathan Hunt, (Director of Coaching, Academy Affiliates) presented on observation and analyzation in regard to breaking down a game. Webinar attendees got to see video analysis of an SKC Academy match regarding the execution of game principles (attacking) that had been emphasized in training sessions leading up to the match. The presentation also included an in depth example of an “individual player meeting” that SKC Academy coaches have with every player where statistical analysis in areas of physical, technical, and tactical are discussed through videos, screenshots, whiteboards, etc. in order to ensure the transfer of information is relayed in ways that are best for the individual player.


June 12 – Organizing Your Session to Improve Player Development
Presented by Colby Childress, (Academy Coach U12) Chris O’Neal, (Academy Coach U15) and Nathan Hunt, (Director of Coaching, Academy Affiliates) focused in on the importance of short and long-term planning as well as preparing daily/weekly training objectives with plans that focus on necessary areas of improvement in order to meet those objectives. Attendees were able to see how the SKC Academy staff uses different game phases to layer the same principle within their training sessions. The discussion also included how coaches can manipulate the playing environment in order to make exercises more or less challenging as needed.


June 26 – Age Group Development Characteristics from a Holistic Point of View
Presented by Tyler McManus, (Assistant Director of Coaching, Academy Affiliates) Declan Jogi, (Academy Coach U14) and Nathan Hunt, (Director of Coaching, Academy Affiliates). This topic, which was a different approach than the previous presentations of on-field game and training environments, covered two aspects in components of developmental psychology: Cognitive and Psycho-Social. The presentation focused in on educational psychology of what to consider when leading players in different stages of their development. Attendees were able to see what characteristics the SKC Academy coaches identify and foster within their individual players mainly in the 9-15 year-old age-range.


July 10 – How to Relate to Players to Enhance Player Development
Presented by Tyler McManus, (Assistant Director of Coaching, Academy Affiliates) Declan Jogi, (Academy Coach U14), Chris O’Neal, (Academy Coach U15) and Rumbani Munthali (Academy Coach U17-U19). Bridging on the topic from the previous webinar, our presenters continued to expand on educational psychology in how to create a constructivist playing environment as well as knowing the learning needs of individual players.



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