Coaching and the Internet

Thursday, April 30, 2015

By Matt Embling, Development Coach, Sandringham Football Club

As a coach I believe you are always looking at ways to improve yourself and your club. The main objective is to be better, quicker and smarter. One way you can be all three is by better utilising the internet. I have highlighted several web sites below which may assist you in your own individual coaching.

AFL Community ( - This web site should be your first stop when looking for ideas and methods for your coaching group. It has all the latest articles and videos for you to review. Look under the coaches tab for the information you are after.

Facebook ( – This is the most popular social media application / website which is accessed by 175 million people each day. You will find that most of your players have accounts on Facebook. You can use it to create groups, send individual messages and write messages on the player’s walls. I also recommend setting up a bulletin board for your playing group to access. This will ensure that your messages as a coach are heard by the playing group regardless of the time of day.

Twitter ( – Is a social media application which allows people to post comments up to 140 characters long on what is happening in their lives. As a coach you can follow certain people who may be able to assist with your AFL coaching. You can also send a message (known as a tweet) to the entire playing group by using what is termed a hashtag (#).

Instagram ( – Is an online photo and video sharing service with over 300 million people globally registered. This website is excellent for posting photos or videos from training or match day. The method of finding other photos and users is very similar to Twitter in that people can follow the account you have setup or you can follow the players.  

Club web sites - Clubs have been using websites for almost twenty years now and they include information such as contact details, results and fixtures. As a coach you may have the opportunity to complete a weekly, monthly or yearly report which can be published here. The report (sometimes called a blog) should be highlighting the work that has been happening in the playing group since the last report. It is important that the website is kept up to date as people are often reluctant to return if the information is out of date.

YouTube ( - Is a website where millions of videos are stored from all over the world. The site has a great selection of coaching videos on AFL and other sports. It might be advantageous to look at other coaches from other sports on how they do operate (as there are similarities between AFL and many other sports). You might also like to use some of the motivational videos to help your team in a big game.

TED ( - This website has well over a thousand speeches on various topics. By watching these videos you can learn from the presenters in two ways:

  • The actual content of the speech and how you can apply that into your coaching.
  • The way the message is delivered to the audience. Methods may be to include a single picture to illustrate a point, an important graph or to work the room.

Google ( - The master search engine for anything on the Internet. Just type in any word, phrase or topic to get links to the web sites you need. You can find a lot of useful blogs and web sites around AFL coaching by starting here.  

I am of the opinion that the opportunities to assist your playing group and improve yourself are endless if you can fully maximise the power of the internet. 

Matt Embling is a development coach at Sandringham Football Club in the VFL.

This article was written in as part of the requirements for the AFL High Performance Coaching Course. 

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