A healthy part of any career growth is professional development, and is something that I think is vital for coaches. Every off-season I attempt to take 2-3 'professional development trips' to go watch teams train, in hopes of gaining some insight from some of the top soccer or football coaches in the world.
In January, I had the opportunity to go watch the Aston Villa Football Club train in Birmingham, England - watching everything from their team training, goalkeeping session and a functional finishing session. Later this month, I am looking forward to going down to Nashville, Tennessee to go see our US National team prepare for their World Cup Qualifier versus Trinidad & Tobago. Whether it is learning new training ideas, hearing different reference points or sharing ideas, it is healthy to be exposed to different coaching tactics and concepts.
While at Duke University, I learned as much from watching the Duke University basketball team practice as I had in any coaching course I had taken part in.
I was really happy to hear that former Sunderland manager Roy Keane was doing much the same after leaving his post at Sunderland. In an article published by The Sun this past weekend, we learned that Keane has since travelled the world learning new techniques from a range of coaches. After a spell with the New Zealand rugby union team, Keane spent time in Portugal with Benfica boss Quique Sanchez Flores.
He revealed: "I wanted to know the methods of Benfica's work from the juniors to the first team. Benfica have some of the best faculties on the continent."